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In a stark and bare white room I stood atop a tall step ladder, facing a corner that had received new wall board.  The joint where the wall boards met at a right angle was exposed, and I was expected to do something about it.

I couldn’t see my task masters.  I didn’t know their faces or names.   They wouldn’t speak to me, but somehow I knew what they wanted — they wanted me to seal the joint in that corner.

Was I given tape?  No.

Was I given spackling compound?  No.

Was I given specialized tools for the task?  No.

What was I given to do this job?  A large jar of mayonnaise.

And I was instructed to used my bare hands.

I performed as instructed, but the mayonnaise slid down the wall in gooey glops, again and again.

I wanted to question their choice of materials and tools, but questions were not allowed.  And when I wondered privately why I had to use mayonnaise — and my bare fingers — to finish a plasterer’s job, I got a sharp, tingling impression they were greatly displeased I could ever doubt their wisdom,…

… I woke up with an overwhelming desire to wash my hands.

— Ryl

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