The caterpillars have long, bristly hairs. Could they be dangerous? Are the hairs tipped with potent neurotoxins? Should I kill the caterpillars? I decide not to.
I find a sign on which most of the lettering is faded and illegible but I can read some of the words: "Director of Superannuation… in honour of… recognition… excellence…"
Two workmen enter the office wanting to affix the sign. We have a friendly conversation. I say "I'm amazed, astounded, really bowled over. Nobody tells me anything. It's the first I've heard of it. Without any inappropriate modesty I feel it is richly warranted…"
The workmen respond by saying they have known about it for some time--the fact that my achievements are to be recognised by means of the sign. The workmen go away. I go for a walk in the garden. When I return, the sign is no longer to be seen. I search my office, but the sign is nowhere to be found. The green caterpillars are still crawling on the back of my chair. I am not worried, or upset. I feel cheerful. I suspect the workmen may have taken the sign. But they probably have a good reason for doing so. I don't know what that could be.
President Bill Clinton enters the office. He is CEO. He knows about the sign. We look for it together.
"You are one of my best generals," he says to me.
"Thank you Sir, it is a great honour, and I really appreciate it," I reply.
We continue searching the office for the sign.
"What about…?" I cock my neck and shrug wryly and meaningfully in the direction of my Boss's office, which is adjacent to mine.
"Don't worry about him," responds Bill Clinton, "he's gone, fired."
Embarrassment shows on my face.
"No, it's not because of you," says Bill Clinton, "It's because of…" Bill Clinton speaks at length and very disparagingly about my ex-boss.
We continue searching for the sign. Bill Clinton finds a photograph of my daughter in a cellophane wrapper that also contains a large number of marijuana seeds.
I am very anxious about the discovery and whether it will reflect badly on me and stunt my career path.
"Those have been there for a very long time," I say in my defence. Bill Clinton pours the seeds into the palm of his hand, and then puts his hand inside his pocket. Neither of us says anything more about it. We continue looking for the sign. My cheerfulness returns. Bill Clinton is very friendly. He's a great guy. I can tell he likes me. And then suddenly, he is gone.
I go for another walk in the garden. When I return, I continue looking for the sign. The green caterpillars are still crawling all over my chair.
Suddenly, my colleagues walk into my office, in ones and twos, accompanied by a number of senior managers.
"What are you doing?" they ask me.
"I'm looking for something," I reply, not wanting to admit I've lost the sign.
My colleagues and the senior managers have come to my office to recognise my achievements. The most senior manager calls for attention, and starts making the official announcement.
But still I cannot find the sign.