0. . Stupid Comics

Some in the working world are known for not taking enough vacations, for working too much overtime, and in general for an uncompromising attitude towards our careers. And then there's the rest of us, who take extra long lunches and call in sick the day after the big game. But what about the really dedicated employees? The ones that never miss a day? Is there something strange about that? Comics sure think so!

Viola Adams worked 23 years with a perfect attendance record - and then *something* happened! Was it a cold? A wisdom tooth extraction? Did her car not start that morning? Let's uncover this mystery!

"The normal conflicts" that might pull us normal slobs away from our jobs at one time or another simply didn't apply to Viola. The flu, stomach viruses, broken bones, auto accidents, a big World of Warcraft campaign, the opening of yet another Star Wars movie, none of these things got in the way of Viola Adams and her job. Which is actually really weird. Maybe she's a robot, maybe that's it.

But of course there are always lesser mortals, ashamed of their own absenteeism, who seek to tear down the more efficient among us. The crew of catty water-cooler gossips at Viola Adams' office is no exception.

Witness as the office gals' evil scheme unfolds. Step one: assume, for some reason, that having a perfect attendance record at work automatically means that someone is single and has never had a boyfriend, a date, or a Valentine, like, ever.

That night Viola sat, stunned by the realization that not only is Valentine's Day a thing that's been going on this whole time, but that one of those valentines might at some point be headed her way. Not that she's done anything in the past 23 years to put herself in the way of anyone who might send her a valentine, but who knows? Sometimes mail gets misdelivered.

The sad realization that never ever speaking to anyone outside of your perfect-attendance-record job won't lead to valentines causes Viola to sob, just as the Office Gals execute the last part of their amazing evil scheme, which is to mail Viola a fake valentine, the kind of prank usually seen among 12 year olds. Aim higher, ladies!

Also, what city you live in where you can drop a card into the mailbox at 6pm and expect it to be delivered the next morning? Must be some guys at the post office who also have 23-year perfect attendance records!

There we have it, the miracle of the first valentine ever recieved in her whole life, her elementary school didn't do valentines, she never had a boyfriend in high school or whatever vocational training school she attended that prepared her for 23 perfect attendance years doing some kinda clerical work, here's that statistically improbable first valentine, delivered twelve hours after it was dropped in the box... of course, mail delivery used to be a lot faster back in the day. In fact the USPS quit delivering twice daily as recently as 1971! Can you imagine? Think of the junk mail piling up twice as fast!

The office cats sharpen their claws, basking in the glow of their amazing prank that I'm sure impressed 6th grade kids up and down the block. "Fake VALENTINES? Is that even LEGAL?" And yet - their moment of triumph delayed or even spoiled by the complete absence of the victim? Fate cannot be so cruel!

I can only imagine the kind of terrible landlord that would let complete strangers into somebody's apartment. I sure hope they came up with a better story than "well, we sent her a fake valentine, and..."

At this juncture I wanna point out that you don't have to wait a week before reporting somebody missing. Heck, you don't even have to wait a day.

But I know what you all want to know. What caused Viola Adams to break her 23 year perfect attendance record? What caused her to vanish from the face of the Earth? Was it aliens?

Well, it turns out that valentines can kill. That's our twist ending, that she said she'd be in seventh heaven if she got a valentine, and she got a valentine, and it actually turns out that there are different heavens and they are sequentially numbered, and so when she got a valentine that's where she went, to spend eternity staring at a cheap dime-store valentine from the 1950s. I hope the valentine is at least funny or cute, like one of these.

Anyway, if YOU ever find yourself with a 23 year perfect attendance record at YOUR job, before you go making wild and potentially life-altering statements about where you would magically be transported to if you ever got a valentine, why not ask for a raise? 23 years is a long time!