The Whole Altoid Deal

I have a lot of altoid tins. A lot. If you think like, 10 is a lot, or 20 or 40... yeah that's a lot. But I mean it. I have a lot, at this last count I have something like 90. People will often make the oh-so-witty joke that I must have really fresh breath, but actually the story behind the altoid tins reveals that I myself have finished maybe 5 of the tins in my collection.

Way back when I worked as a lowly Web Support representative at The Company, I had a friend named Cliff who really liked altoids. I had never had an altoid at this point and so one day I tried one. Oh MAN was it strong. My mouth was on fire with mint freshness. Like a hundred little minty fire devils were running around getting drunk in my mouth. But, as time went on, I became adjusted. When Cliff finished his tin one day, I wasked him if I could have it for my change. He said yes and gave it to me. Then later another, which I used for tacks. Okay, so at this point I had two tins and I really didn't have any use for more, but Cliff finished a third and I couldn't bear to see that useful little tin get thrown away, so I kept it. And this continued. Cliff finished, I kept, until I had about 6 or so.

At some point during my Web Support time, someone came to my desk and saw my altoid tins sitting there. "Oh are you collecting tins?" they said. "Not really, I just kinda have em" I replied. "Oh because I have some that I could give you if you were." Now see, with me, I have this thing about collecting. I like to collect stuff sometimes. And this was one of those times. "Hand them over." I said with a smile. And thus, the madness began.

Having so many altoid tins and so little desk space, the most efficient thing to do with them was not put them in my drawer like any sane person would, but stack them vertically so they took up as little surface as possible. After a little while of cliff adding and every now and then getting another, I had a stack that was about halfway up my cubicle wall, which people would make comments on and some would add to.

It was then that Katrina started working at The Company. Katrina really liked altoids. She REALLY liked them. When she saw that I had an altoid tin stack, she came to me with about 12 tins that she could not bear to throw away but did not know what to do with. Now my stack neared the top of my cubicle. People walking by would make comments now, and the stack started growing a lot faster. Soon, it reached above the wall, and could be seen from all around.

When I applied for a new position, and my future co workers came to see me before I was hired, I believe the comments went something like: "You have to leave the altoids" and "Yeah, no way you're bringing those into the office." To which I replied: "The altoids rule, and they're coming with me." Surprisingly enough, I didn't meet with much resistance after this, and within a few weeks, they had been restacked in their new home. By this time, with dontations from Katrina and others, the stack had grown out of control. It was now only a matter of time before they toppled and killed us all.

After a long period of dontations here and there, a tin or two added to the stack, I could no longer reach the top to put new ones on without standing on my desk. They were getting close to the ceiling. I was getting ready to take them down to move them to our department's new office as well, but wanted to leave them up as long as I could. All of my co-workers would tell me daily that the stack was going to fall, and I would touch it and tell them it was strong. Of course I wouldn't touch it very hard because it was a miracle of physics that it had stood as long and as high as it did.

And then the stack fell. The stack had fallen while I was away for a weekend and someone had pushed a chair into my desk. So, funny like they are, my co workers thought it would be a great idea to take them all back up to the wall. That Monday, Casey walked up to my desk talking about how sturdy the stack was, and then leaned over to touch it. At this point I screamed like a little bitch because I knew it was going to fall. Casey grinned as he leaned over and pulled a tin from the middle of the stack. The rest of it just stayed stuck to the wall. As I looked at them after I realized what was going on, they started laughing. They told me how it had fallen and all the events surrounding it. When I told Toad later that it had fallen he asked me if it had killed anyone. I told him no, but that I wished that it had killed Kevin.

At this point, I've collected more tins since the fall and have yet to restack them successfully. With about 90 tins to stack and a different office to do it in, I'm not sure if I will be able to do it. In fact, I even bet someone from another department that he couldn't stack them for ten dollars. I am ten dollars richer because of that. With the addition of so many more tins since the fall, including some from the east coast which I picked up from a friend during my recent visit there, I have my doubts as to it's possibility.

Here are pictures of the stack: