Cheaper than a self-sharpening boot slicing Ginsu knife; more ambidextrous than the one armed man who singlehandedly collected all the gold medals at the backslapping Olympics; able to sweep dust and grime under the rug with a straw broom; these are the Average Adventures of Mean Man!
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Last time as our intrepid interloper, the young Mean Man aka Blom Adams spent the day at the workplace of his foster-father in the Bureau of Statistics, he was sent to field at deep fine leg during a game of office cricket. Deep fine leg being in this case behind a blue partition board and a row of laser printers where a rooftop fluorescent tube flickered and buzzed intermittently. Now for the next instalment in the episodic serials that are;
The Average Adventures of Mean Man
Part 3 - Harmonic Balancers of the Toner Deaf
The crisp snap of willow on leather was approximated by the slap of cardboard postpak on rolled up paper as the batter swatted the ball around him in a wild hook shot. The paper projectile struck the roof on its speedy journey to fine leg. Blom Adams looked up as the shouts of "Catch-it!" resounded and the ball came hurtling down towards the paper-shredding machine behind the young Mean Man. The paper hurtled. Blom stared. More hurtling. More staring.
Meanwhile................ in another part of the office, in the aisle that served as the cricket pitch, Lorne Coventry, the Director of the Bureau of Statistics remonstrated with the office workers.
"Where has the world census data gone? I can't find the file on my computer. All those beautiful statistics have gone forever. All the T-tests! Oh my Kai-squared tests, ANOVA tables. Variable statistics. Gone!" Lorne clicked his blue Bic pen three times and placed it in the blue plastic pocket protector of his shirt.
"Cheer up chief." Mack Jenkins said, pointing with the cylindrical postpak. "I've got all the files printed out on hardcopy. They're stacked safely over here. We only ever use one page at a time for office cricket."
"I looked. Everything else is there. Australia. The states. Yes. But the total world data has gone."
Gordon Foster poked his long nose into the conversation "There's a ninety-nine percent chance that the sheet we are currently playing with is the one you are looking for. The paper that Mack just hooked directly towards the paper shredder conveniently left running in case the Internal Improbability Affairs department decidg with is the one you ars. Don't worry Chief. My son will catch it. And only some kid with a long walk home and no dinner could miss and let the paper be shredded. There's a seventeen- percent chance that this is my son and an eighty five percent chance you will tell me to shut up."
The director whacked him in the nose with a fist. "What chance that that would happen?"
"Seventy-five percent." Gordon replied with an efficient nod of his head.
Meanwhile.... the ball of rolled paper spun and hurtled towards the paper shredder. Blom Adams noticed the drop of blood on his shoe and reached down to wipe it away. He was unaware of the small powder fragments of printer toner that had fallen onto his shoe from the laser printers. He looked at his pink fingers stained red with the semi-dried blood. The paper ball hurtled faster now blown by the gust from the wall mounted air conditioning unit Lured by the taste of his own blood Blom licked his fingers as the paper ball hurtled for the last time in catchable space before it landed in the feeder chute of the Paper Shredder.
"Last chance." The ball of paper said spinning through the space between roof and shredder. "I'm hurtling....right out of here ....into slivers and shreds. ....hurtling..."
Something happened in that moment to alter the young boys bloodlust and transfer him into the swan-diving crime fighting penny pinching do-gooder Mean Man. Perhaps it was the chemicals he had ingested in his blood from the toner? Perhaps it was his newfound ability to communicate with pieces of office paper?
Blom Adams dove full stretch and at the last moment as the paper was certain to disappears down the shredders hungry plastic mouth, the boy caught the ball in his bloodied fingertips and came crashing down to the ground accompanied by the sound of hairy men drumming on their stomachs with their palms.
And a legend was born.
The legend of a champion was a super-star in the who's who of legendary champions. Mean Man. Just an average guy with a big heart and tight purse strings, happy to put aside his own troubles and save the world population data statistics from annihilation.
Join us next time for another Average Adventure of Mean Man in
Part 4 - The Curse of the Tenderfoot Firewalker
Like the grasses showing tender faces to each other, thus should we do, for this was the wish of the Grandfathers of the World.