Tales of Surprise, Volume III - The Surprise Awakens!
Photo By By Jon Sullivan [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
I. The Case
Attorney Jack Awsumb was dealing with a difficult case. Millions of dollars hung in the balance, and the exact right strategy was required. But, what sat on his desk troubled and confused him. He did not know how it got there, and no answer made sense. For, sitting on his desk was a small piece of the skin of a raw onion, DESPITE THE FACT THAT HE HAD NEVER BROUGHT AN ONION TO HIS OFFICE. Ultimately, this confusing situation led him to quit his job and become a monk. A surprising turn of events, I am sure you will agree.
II. The Builder
It was a cold morning in 1928 as Lumpy Maxwell toiled on the roof of the Dunbar building Downtown. He was a master mason, and was completing the brickwork atop the new building. The cold wind drove him inside the structure as he finished it.
Lumpy was so good at his work that it is said he could construct a room that was airtight with just brick and mortar! Lumpy nearly completed the job when he realized he could not finish it from the inside, or he would have no way out! So he went outside and finished. But he accidentally walled up his lunch within the structure!
This is not what you expected, is it? You thought Lumpy would trap himself. Well, he didn't.
III. The Jumper
The storm had raged all day, but had died down in the half hour leading up to these events. A bolt of lightening earlier in the day had even blasted a hole in the wall in the roof above. But all was calm now. The figure stood outside of the 18th floor window, looking down. A single tear flowed down his face. It would be so easy to end it! To jump and feel no more.
But the figure did not jump, for it was a stone gargoyle, and not even a person or living thing!
How do you explain the tear, then? Well, it wasn't really a tear, but a streak of onion juice caused when an onion rolled off the roof and hit the statute. The onion had come from a lunch that had been encased in a wall years ago when the Dunbar building was constructed, and which had rolled out when the lightening strike occurred earlier. Don't worry yourself about why the onion was still moist after so many years! Assume it's because the space it was in was so well constructed it was airtight! If you had paid attention, you knew this was possible!
And, what became of the onion? Why it fell to the street. But one small piece of the skin floated down and into the 10th floor window of .... Max Gompers! Of course Max for reasons unknown took it down the hall and put it on the desk of his partner, Jack Awsumb! And, on his way out to lunch that day, Max Gompers was eaten by a lion that had escaped a circus, so he was never able to tell the story of the onion peel.
Frankly, there's a lot of surprising stuff going on in this one!