The Case of the Upside Down Desk

Updated: Mar 8, 2019

By: Sean Azze, Burns Group Copywriter

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was returning to the office after spending my lunch hour getting my wingtips polished while polishing off a pastrami on rye. I was walking on sunshine. Not a care in the world. But little did I know the horrors that were waiting for me back at work.


I was feeling saucy and in the mood to wet my whistle with a steaming hot cup of Dandelion tea. And then I saw it. My desk. It was different. My beloved Star Wars mug. My instant oatmeal that fulfilled my recommended daily fiber intake. My specially commissioned painting of Lionel “The Goat” Messi. All of it had been flipped 180 degrees.


My world had been turned upside down.


The blood rushed to my head. What freakish monster could have done this? I needed answers.

Finally, assistance arrived in the form of a Canadian who towered over me. The freakishly tall Canuck offered to help me track down the culprit. The land of beavertails and universal health care had bestowed upon me a savior. I craned my neck upwards and asked him if he thought we’d catch the guy. He replied, “Do three goals in a game make a hat trick?” I assumed the answer was yes. I don’t watch hockey.

We devised a plan of action. He would cover the northside and I would handle the southside. After referring to a map and compass, we figured out which was which and went on our merry way. If one of us had a suspect, we’d promptly make a citizen’s arrest. Or at least I would. I didn’t know what his immigration status was.


I canvassed the southside and found nothing but cats clutching onto tongues. No one saw anything, and if they did, they weren’t willing to share. The place was Quietsville, baby and the word of the day was “mums”. Next, I checked the tapes connected to the security cameras. Much to my chagrin I discovered there were no security cameras. What kind of a lawless, no man’s land was this joint?

Then I looked for clues. Fingerprints. Strands of hair. Blood. Yes, blood. After all, a murder had been committed, and the victim was my belief that my personal belongings would remain right side up. But alas, I came up with a steaming pile of bupkis.


When I regrouped with my neighbor from our neighbors to the north, he also returned emptyhanded and confirmed we did not have security cameras. He apologized the way Canadians often apologize – by butchering the pronunciation of the word “sorry” – and returned to his desk.


I sat at my computer and tried to stare at the screen through my tears when I noticed a crumpled up piece of paper on my desk. I opened it to find a cryptic message - “Follow the money”.


I sat and thought about it for a beat and came to a conclusion; I had no idea what it meant. I called out to no one in particular. “What does follow the money mean? Hello? Anybody?” Then suddenly, someone chucked a balled up piece of paper at my noggin. It bounced on to the surface of the desk, begging for me to open it and unlock the wonders that lay within. I opened it. And there it was. An answer. And a revelation that rocked me to my core.


“The Canadian did it.”


I had been bamboozled. Made to look like a pansy. Worse yet, a schmancy pansy. I had been running a fool’s errand. An errand worse than dropping off a dirty bag of tighty whiteys.


It had happened again in the span of one day. My world had been turned upside down.


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