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My girlfriend always seemed to enjoy seeing just how much she could get away with doing some form of bondage in public. She does this partly because she finds it fun, mostly because she knows it drives me out of my tree. Usually, I'm able to fast-talk my way out of potentially embarrassing situations with Mundanes, but yesterday she nearly got me fired. Yesterday afternoon we had lunch together. Afterward, she accompanied me back to my place of work. I thought this slightly unusual, since she had never before expressed an interest in my work (electronic engineering), but it didn't occur to me that she had something planned. We arrived at my workbench, where I'm currently trying to figure out why the $& board on which I'm working is not performing the way I designed it. "Is this where you work?" she asked. "At the moment," I replied. I reached over to turn on the scope, thereby completely failing to notice the huge studded black leather collar she produced from her purse. Before I could even blink (it is amazing the speed at which she could do this), she had locked the collar snugly around my neck, and locked the end of the six-foot jack chain to the center of the bench (where there just happened to be a mounting hole, dammit). I turned to face her in utter disbelief, mouth agape. "I'll be back for you at five," she said. "HAVE YOU GONE COMPLETELY WACKO!!?!? I yelled in a hushed voice. "HOW THE HELL AM I GOING TO EXPLAIN THIS???" "You'll think of something," she said, dropping the keys into her clevage. "You always do." "But suppose I have to go to the bathroom," I countered. "Don't give me that," she said. "I've seen you go for a whole day without visiting the bathroom." "But...," I tried to say. "SHHH! The subject is closed. I'll be back at five. Bye." She turned and left, against my hushed protests. I sat in panic and tried to think myself out of my situation. I tried to think of all the people who might visit. Most of my co-workers were friends who knew that my girlfriend and I were a bit odd, so this shouldn't surprise them. But I had *no* idea what I was going to say if one of my bosses came in. I checked my watch to see how long I would have to endure this ignomity. 13:30 (I'm a military time weenie). "Three and a half hours," I thought. I heaved a sigh, and got to work, such as I could. As it happened, three of my co-workers visited for what-not. All of them immediately noticed the collar (it would be pretty hard not to), and asked if it was my girlfriend's idea. I said yes. They asked what I would say if my supervisor saw it. I said I hadn't the faintest idea. One of the aforementioned colleagues took the bench next to me, and after a few remarks (and a question as to where he could get a collar like the one I had), settled down to work in silence. After some time, I checked my watch. 16:40. "Gee, I just might make it through this after all," I thought. I was even beginning to get a handle on the problem on the #%^*@! board on which I was working. Murphey must have been standing right behind me reading my thoughts, for not more than two minutes later one of my bosses entered the room. And not just any boss. Noooooooo. This was Mr. Narrowminded himself. This was the guy who took Lifespring *and* became a born-again fundamentalist. How he came to have the power of hire-and-fire over us is one of the Great Mysteries of The Universe. We avoided this guy at all costs. His eyes fell upon me immediately. A few picoseconds later, he saw the collar around my neck in all its splender. "My life is over," I thought. I still hadn't thought of a plausible explanation for this. Mr Solderbrain (the name we called him behind his back; a corruption of his real name) started to walk slowly and deliberately over to me, his eyes fixed on the collar. Fifteen agonizing seconds later, he was standing next to me. I thought the guy next to me was going to have a siezure stifling all his giggles. I continued to work, acting as though there were nothing the least bit unusual about my predicament. Finally he spoke. "What. The. HELL! Is. That??!" he said. I don't know how I thought of what I said. In fact, I'm pretty sure I didn't know what I was going to say until just as i was saying it. I'm even more amazed that Mr. Solderbrain actually bought it and didn't fire me on the spot. I turned to face him calmly, with total nonchalance, exuding complete confidence in what I was about to say, even though I didn't know what it was yet. I didn't even miss a beat. "Grounding strap," I said, and returned to work The guy next to me fell off his chair and nearly died laughing. --Unknown

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