Business is probably doing well at the moment, but I'm finding it hard to tell. I came into a shipment of terrapins about a week back, none of which were expected to survive more than a month or so. Marketing first suggested we sell them as disposable pets, but the last time I had a run in with the RSPCA I discovered that they have a paramilitary branch. I can still remember being pursued across moorland by two very angry Doberman Pinschers and a poodle with a remotely detonated bomb strapped to its chest. So I nixed that idea.
Their next idea was a good one though; we're selling them as instant turtle soup. You pop the top on the can that hold them, pour in boiling water and use a hand-held mixer to whizz the soup up, then drink it. We've had to shell the terrapins, obviously, but the shells make reasonably good casings for splinter grenades, and there's still a market for small explosives.
The problem is that my secretary succumbed to her cancer of the jaw two weeks ago, and I'm having trouble without her. The amount of paperwork that comes our way is mountainous, and a lot of it needs attention to make sure that the right set of carefully reconstructed documents is sent back with it. Send out the wrong set, and there's a whole world of people who need persuading to look the other way again. And I can't cope with it anymore, I just don't do paperwork well.
I've gone through five replacements for her in one week, and none of them have been up to the job. The first one let the clockwork penguin out of the locked safe and it waddled to the middle of the goods yard and stood their ticking to itself again until I sent a couple of the explosives lads out to recapture it. That thing gives me the creeps. I locked the new guy in the safe with the penguin, to see if that casts any light on the enigma.
The second one somehow managed to staple himself to the photocopier half-way through his first morning. The third one decided to inventory the warehouse and we found him deliquescing near the holding pens we use when we're sending giraffes out.
The fourth one is actually the second one again -- I unstapled him and performed a quick'n'brutal lobotomy to see if we could curb curiosity without damaging too much higher-brain function. For a few hours everything seemed to be going well; he was more of a mouth-breather than before, but at least the email was shifting and the postsacks were starting to empty. Then we found him stapled to the photocopier again. This time I left him there for anyone who wants him.
The fifth one tried emailing copies of everything to the local tax office (which thankfully still hasn't recovered from the EMP pulse). The mail server spotted the unauthorised email address and electrified the keyboard. The office smells pleasantly of roasted pork.
So I'm missing a secretary, the paperwork is mounting up, and my stress levels are through the roof. I have had a bit of a brainwave though, about how I might be able to get my old secretary back. I shall need to do some planning.