Too Much Help
Clyde was tired of paperwork. Everything required paperwork. Well, he had filled out his last form in triplicate. He was going to make a stand.
As long as he was staging a protest, he might as well enlist some helpful minions. Clyde put an ad in the paper, and prepared to conduct interviews. Half of the responses were spam. He deleted them and scowled.
Most of the other half insisted on benefits like health insurance and dental care and being paid. Good minions weren’t paid. That was paperwork. Finally, he found a response from a college student looking for an internship. Perfect.
Kevin was early to his first day of work. Too early. Clyde opened his front door to get the morning paper and Kevin was standing on the front steps waiting. He was wearing a suit and tie and grinning. “Hello, sir,” he said.
“Gah!” Clyde said. “It’s six in the morning, what are you doing here?”
“You told me to come in the morning,” Kevin said. “It’s morning.”
Clyde sighed. “Come in and sit on the couch and don’t touch anything. I’m going to change out of my pajamas and eat breakfast.”
“Okay,” Kevin said. “I could make you cocoa. I’m good at making cocoa.”
“Fine,” Clyde said. He went upstairs and changed. He came back down, ignored Kevin, and ate breakfast and read the paper. He forgot all about the cocoa.
He remembered the cocoa soon after he sat down to tinker with his doomsday device. The device wasn’t really meant to be used, of course, but it would keep people from showing up asking for donations or survey information or back taxes. He figured the best defense against all those paperwork pushers was a good offence after all. Unfortunately, Kevin had left the mug of cocoa on the shelf right above the device.
So, when Clyde was reaching for the screwdriver without really looking up, he knocked over the mug of cold cocoa and it splashed all over the doomsday device. There was a flash and a fizzling sound and a puff of smoke.
“Kevin!” he yelled.
“Yes, sir?” Kevin asked, appearing at his elbow.
“Eek!” Clyde yelled. “Where did you come from?”
“I was taking out the recycling,” Kevin said. “It’s Wednesday, you know.”
“Kevin, why did you leave the cocoa over here?” Clyde asked.
“I thought you could drink it while you were working,” Kevin said.
“No more thinking and no more cocoa,” Clyde said.
“Yes, sir,” Kevin said.
“Now I’m going to have to start over,” Clyde said. He stomped over to the table and stopped. The pile of blueprints and master plans was gone. “Kevin. Where are my blueprints?” he asked.
“It’s Wednesday,” Kevin said.
“Argh! The recycling. You didn’t! Go get it all back now,” Clyde said.
“It’s gone already,” Kevin said. “But I got you a nice surprise.”
“I don’t want to hear about it. I’m going to see what I can retrieve from my computer. I think I scanned some of it,” Clyde said. Was Kevin really his only option? Maybe he didn’t need a minion after all.
He opened the door to his office. There was a white fluffy cat walking on the keyboard. “Ack! Kevin!”
“Did you find the surprise?” Kevin asked.
“There is a cat on my computer,” Clyde said. He shooed the cat away and began to type and press buttons. “It erased everything! Why did you bring a cat here?”
“I thought supervillians liked cats?” Kevin said.
“I’m allergic to cats. At this point, I’d rather do paperwork than deal with this any longer. I’m going to call the lab and see if I can have my job back. Go home, Kevin, you’re fired.” Clyde sneezed.
“But sir,” Kevin said.
“Go home,” Clyde said. He picked up his phone and started to dial.
Kevin picked up the cat and left, closing the door behind him. He started walking home. Two blocks away, his phone rang. “Hello, this is Kevin,” he said.
“Good work, Agent K. One less potential threat to the safety of humanity. I have the details for your next assignment, are you ready?” a whispery voice said.
“Yes, sir” Kevin said. The cat meowed.