The Answer


As luck would have it, I forgot my corporate access card in another suit.

So picture this: I stride in, late and hurried, through the glass doors, dodge the jet-lagged gaggle heaped upon the low couches, make a beeline for the turnstiles, grab at the retractable steel chain that ought to hang from my belt (the only outward sign of my corporate allegiance, usually out of sight under my jacket) and, failing to find both the spool and my access card dangling from it, make a drastic U-turn for the reception desk to ask for a temporary one, scattering a small flock of contractors.

Sure enough, after a couple of minutes in line commiserating with similarly oblivious colleagues, I get a “new” one and go back to the turnstiles. Still in a hurry, I try one, then the other, then the other, going for four in a row since none of them open, barely deigning to acknowledge my attempts with a noncommittal yellow light.

As I walk back to the desk, I look at the card and see that it is number 24, and muse about how close it is to The Answer before handing it back and asking for another.

Sure enough, she gives me card number 42 – unbidden, unwarranted, unstated, and I walk back unfettered through the contractors and the turnstiles, chuckling at another little quirk of this Universe of ours.