We’re kicking off Giving Tuesday early this year! Your donation today will be matched up to $10K, doubling your impact! If you donate $50 today, the Reader will receive $100.

The Reader is now a community-funded nonprofit newsroom. Can we count on your support to help keep us publishing?

  • From the days when staffers had time to kill

The Reader office was a strange and fascinating place when I started working there about five years ago; I could spend hours—or minutes, at least—sifting through the layers of ephemera pinned to bulletin boards. Most of it was “ridiculous, nerdy shit that had nothing to do with anything,” as one coworker put it. Random stuff like an empty Diet Coke can and a fake rose decorated the heating ducts near my desk, while a bag of packing peanuts was pinned to a rafter.

At one point I discovered a giant pinkish meringue on top of a wall dividing the cubicles. Judging from the amount of dust coating it, it had been around for a while. I was puzzling over how it might have come to be there when a coworker saw it and solved the mystery. Apparently he’d taken a bite of the meringue while sitting in one of the cubicles about eight years earlier, decided he didn’t like it, and put it up on the wall, where it had stayed ever since.