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• Scrine is the home of lost, forgotten, and lonely sentences.

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The Chief

a scrine without its captain is like a…a…pretty sad rusty bird.

    TAGS:  scrine idiosyncrasies, The Chief, The Rusty Metal Bird

Whoopsie :: Br. Ezra

Devon maintained it was an accident but, nonetheless, the White House press secretary felt it prudent to replace the young man with a new fangled Japanese robot when, during the president’s entrance, Devon inadvertently played calliope music instead of the prescribed “Hail to the Chief.”

    TAGS:  The Chief, calliope music, Japanese robots, White House press secretary

My duties sometimes involve acting polite and official, but I’m also allowed to swear gently if plunging a difficult toilet.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief, toilets, swearing

Tiny little girls will sit at the door, eat snacks and giggle while the chief plunges the toilet, oblivious to the awesome plugging power of toilet paper.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief, toilets

If there is a footprint in your bathroom that appears to be mashed into feces and you call in the chief for repairs, you should be prepared to be unceremoniously put out of your misery.

    TAGS:  The Chief, bathrooms, feces

The chief knew that one day all 200 toilets would join together in song, and that while the music itself would be a touching tribute, the stench of the toilet chorus’ breath would most likely ruin the concert for anyone who happened to be listening.

    TAGS:  The Chief, toilets

When the chief walks by the swimming pool, the tiny little girls now recognize him and cheer; sure he could crouch down low and take off flying into the sky, showing off some real super powers, but they are young and innocent, and simply knowing that he knows how to unplug a toilet is all the heroics their young minds can handle for the moment.

    TAGS:  The Chief, toilets, heroes

It was not the first time the chief had encountered a conniving old woman, nor would it be his last.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief, conniving

When the tenant presented him with the broken sprinkler head, the chief shook his fist at the heavens, cursing the foolish human need for manicured lawns.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief, lawns, human folly

The chief wasted no time on calculations regarding his terrible salary, since the way he saw it, anything was better than the weight of 144 cubic feet of Oregon soil bearing down on his chest.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief, Oregon

The chief remained straight-faced as 85 year old Doris complained about the squeaking bed of her young, upstairs neighbors, which began around midnight and didn’t let up until around 5 a.m.; “I don’t know what they could be up to jumping in and out of bed like that,” Doris complained, “but I suppose playing cards or something.”

    TAGS:  sex, The Chief, straight-faced, squeaking

The chief had high hopes that the Miss Marple in #418 was the one who could solve the mystery of who kept throwing soap in the fountain.

    TAGS:  The Chief, mystery, high hopes, Miss Marple

The chief was thankful that his armpits never smelled like Mr. Snell’s.

    TAGS:  The Chief, armpits, odor

When one of the teenage girls asked the chief why the pool was closed for the day, he gave her a brief but precise report regarding the necessity of chemical adjustments; “Oh,” the girl replied, “my younger sister thought that it might have something to do with the bottom drain, which she says smells like something is burning every time she goes near it.”

    TAGS:  The Chief, teenagers, improbable talents

When the chief was off, but on call, he made a point to limit the number of beers he drank, just in case there was an emergency that required delicate use of channel locks.

    TAGS:  beer, The Chief, channel locks, tools

When the crying girl wanted advice on how to throw out her boyfriend, the chief was empathetic, but made it perfectly clear that he was on no one’s side, and that her destiny rested upon her own shoulders, and not his; when the crying girl said, “It’s hard growing up,” the chief could have replied that it would get better in time, but had made a promise with himself not to lie to any of the tenants.

    TAGS:  The Chief, crying, relationships, boyfriends, empathy, girlfriends

As he made his morning rounds, the chief realized that time had somehow turned him into a village constable.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief

The chief reminded the swimmers that while over-chlorination of the pool would result in red, burning eyes, it also had the invaluable benefit of masking consumption at work; several of the smaller children bobbing around with floaties on their arms asked the chief to better explain consumption, to which he replied, “It’s kind of like saying you’re not doing something when, in reality, you are; similar in many ways to the way you kids are not peeing in the pool right now.”

    TAGS:  The Chief, swimming, consumption, chlorine

The chief knew better than to hide a dead body in the cloudy pool, because eventually the water would clear and he would be left with the difficult task of explaining to the children why the man refused to play Marco Polo.

    TAGS:  The Chief, dead bodies, tough spot, Marco Polo

It occurred to the chief that there were probably very few jobs on earth that gave you the power to choose your neighbors.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief, convenience

The chief was so dismayed by the company’s antiquated accounting system that he often worried that the copy machine was only a temporary office fixture, and that one day he would show up for work and find a scrivener standing in the corner, quill pen in hand, sharing stories of his vacation time in Leeds.

    TAGS:  accounting, The Chief, scrivener, quill

When the chief went to work on Sunday afternoons, it never felt anything like church until one of the older residents would show up to preach about the irritating noise of skateboard wheels on the sidewalk outside their window.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief, church, noise, preaching, skateboards

The chief believed in the beauty of microwaves, but would never, under any circumstances, ever push the “Fish” button.

    TAGS:  The Chief, cooking, fish, microwaves

The chief expressed great concern for the kids in the pool and the deafening click of the their many chattering baby teeth; later he would smile to himself as he walked by the heater without touching the dial.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief, baby teeth, chattering, concern

The chief was always intrigued by the different types of bugs the foreign nationals left behind for him.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief, bugs, intrigue

The resident’s 30-minute story was a lot like The Neverending Story the chief thought, only without any point or adventure, or cute creatures or chance of escape, not to mention it was almost entirely about a complete stranger’s bowel troubles.

    TAGS:  The Chief, pointless, bowels, The Neverending Story

The chief didn’t collect the hair he was called in to remove from the hundreds of clogged drains, but he imagined if he ever did, he could have built himself one heck of a voodoo doll.

    TAGS:  hair, work, The Chief, voodoo

The chief took the discovery of abandoned marbles quite seriously.

    TAGS:  The Chief, collections, habits, idiosyncrasies, marbles

When the resident asked him to take off his shoes before entering the bedroom because, as she so plainly put it, “God is in there,” the only thing that came to mind was the image of God stopping by the office to fill out the rental application.

    TAGS:  work, god, The Chief, shoes, belief

One of the things the chief enjoyed about his new job was that he could climb into the shower at home 20 minutes before he was supposed to be at work, get out, take his time getting dressed, write a Scrine sentence, and still make it to work 10 minutes early.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief, commuting, convenience

The chief came to realize that religious beliefs had very little to do with the plugging of toilets, and that Hindu shit plunged just as hard as Christian shit, and vice versa.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief, toilets, Christians, shit, religion, hindu

Although the apartment complex wasn’t marketed as a god complex, some of the residents’ actions made the chief think that maybe it could be.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief, attitude, marketing, god complex

Polishing away, the chief couldn’t help but think that the office had more brass in it than a Jules Verne submarine.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief, brass, submarines, Jules Verne

When the applicant pointed out that her husband’s job before becoming a missionary had been at Starbucks, the chief couldn’t help but say, “Coffee and God - both important jobs.”

    TAGS:  coffee, work, god, The Chief, Starbucks, missionary

When giving tours of the property to prospective residents, the chief always made it a point to tell people that even though they would feel at home if they chose to move in, they would, under no circumstances whatsoever, be allowed to drape shirts and trousers over the treadmills.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief, exercise, trousers, treadmills

Like some sort of doom’s day survivor, the chief often prepared an evening meal consisting of nothing more than canned goods left behind by those now long gone.

    TAGS:  doom, The Chief, doomsday, canned goods

The complex seemed filled with professional Indian women who’d gotten married, followed their husbands to the U.S., and as a result, could no longer practice their professions (so far he’d encountered a pharmacist and a dentist); “If I could only meet a doctor,” the chief told himself, “I could set up a clinic in a vacant 3-bedroom and make myself a nice little profit.”

    TAGS:  The Chief, dentists, clinics, India, pharmacists, zany plots

Wading through the clutter, the chief imagined this is what it would look like if Sears blew up.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief, clutter, housekeeping, Sears

The chief found it somewhat irritating that the Mormon boys couldn’t take their eyes off the prize long enough to watch where they were peeing.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief, toilets, Mormons

Raise your glass, folks, to our persistent and glorious Chief, Keith.

    TAGS:  The Chief, Keith, glorious

For ten solid minutes the chief avoided the thong while vacuuming up the water from the overflowed washing machine, but eventually his curiosity got the best of him and… whoosh... the thong was gone.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief, curiosity, thongs - the underpants

The chief did his best to block out the 8 hours of non-stop CNN that played in the background at work, but occasionally he would let his guard down just in time to hear tasty bits of nonsense such as, “What she was doing was leveraging the equity of the verbage.”

    TAGS:  The Chief, CNN, verbage

“Damn it,” the chief yelled,” someone has filled my watch with molasses!”

    TAGS:  time, The Chief, Sunday, watch - the timepiece, molasses

The phone rang so much that the ringing wore the chief’s ear down to a nub and his glasses fell off; several residents filled out work orders, stating that the chief’s missing ear was ugly and detracted from the property, and also, their toilet was plugged and could he take care of that before he did something about the ear.

    TAGS:  The Chief, toilets, ears

The chief promised many things, but pursuit of happiness was not one of them if it meant the sound of your running bothered your downstairs neighbor.

    TAGS:  The Chief, promises, pursuit of happiness

It was no jet plane, but the chief had no trouble thinking don’t know when I’ll be back again as the U-Haul truck pulled away from the curb.

    TAGS:  The Chief, moving, U-Haul

The chief enjoyed being the only resident of the entire apartment complex and spent his free time imagining ways to convince the owners that renters were an unnecessary part of their plan to get richer.

    TAGS:  The Chief

The fact that there were no sinks or toilets in that particular building did not stop the chief from leaning hard into the morning, his vacuum cleaner in hand.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief

No, I’m sorry, cleavage is not rent and today I will have the sheriff remove you.

    TAGS:  The Chief, cleavage, eviction

The chief was always surprised when the sneaky people living here tried to give him as a rental reference.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief, sneaky people

The chief’s new marketing idea, which roared into town like the world’s first steam engine car, met resistance from many of the old managers, who, the chief noted quietly to himself, may very well have dated back to horse and buggy days.

    TAGS:  The Chief, marketing, resistance

All at once the phones and Internet went down, the fire alarm panel went off, the plumber showed up to cut a hole in the ceiling to stop the water, and the devil showed up in Bermuda shorts, his stubbly legs so ugly that the chief thought for sure he would lose his composure.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief, devil, Bermuda shorts

The chief cleaned up hundreds of pounds of loose hairs from the empty apartment, but could almost swear the woman still had a full head of the stuff when she’d left.

    TAGS:  hair, The Chief

The chief assumed that the $190 tickets tucked under the wiper blades of their cars would finally get through to the lazy boys that he hadn’t painted a stickman wheelchair guy on the asphalt simply for their entertainment.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief

What an odd little world that has me as the only constant, the chief thought to himself.

    TAGS:  The Chief

To discourage the kids from sliding down the stair rails, the chief had made the tactical mistake of telling one little girl to let him know whenever it happened; how was he to know that his informant, while cute as a button, was the most thorough tattletale the world would ever know and that her timid little knock on his door would happen with such frequency that even his dog, normally on high alert for just such a thing, now simply rolled his eyes and went back to sleep.

    TAGS:  The Chief, cute, informant, tattletale, little girls, sliding

With so many different nationalities represented, living in the apartments seemed so worldly to the chief; for example, apartment 203 was just like China, but not because the tenants were Chinese, but because they’d somehow managed to sneak 1.4 billion people into the 2-bedroom while he wasn’t looking.

    TAGS:  people, The Chief, china, sneaky, worldly

The chief scrubbed at the stubborn black substance that covered the vacated apartment’s bathroom floor, wondering if maybe he’d discovered a woman who did something by producing spores, like reproduce or sweat or make his life harder.

    TAGS:  The Chief

The chief had never knowingly run over any irritating residents in the parking lot with his minivan, but that was only because he was a stickler for paperwork, and as far as he knew, there was no form called Satisfyingly Wrong Incident.

    TAGS:  The Chief

Arriving at his new job, the chief soon realized that his predecessor must have been the universe’s king of maintenance procrastination.

    TAGS:  The Chief

They’d promised they wouldn’t work him to death, but when the chief found himself inside the coffin with instructions to finish gluing on the velvet lining while the younger men outside dug a suspiciously shaped hole, he began to have some doubts.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief, coffins

The Chief knew that security was always tight down at the court house, but he couldn’t help but wonder how easy it would be to slip past all the guards and their electronic surveillance equipment with a carp in his pocket.

    TAGS:  The Chief, carp, fish, security

As the chief painted the now empty apartment, he wondered why the mother hadn’t taught her sons to stop wiping boogers on the walls once they’d turned eighteen.

    TAGS:  The Chief, boogers

After she’d told him that she suffered from alopecia, the chief found himself distracted, wondering about her wig collection.

    TAGS:  The Chief, alopecia, wigs

“The Chief genuinely sealed his pigeon.”

    TAGS:  The Chief, bogus scrines, pigeons

As the chief crammed yet another particle board entertainment center into the dumpster, a moment of angst nearly overcame him as he thought of future historians lumping him in with the current lot of people he found himself surrounded by, but the pains of his daily labors, particularly those in his lower back, and the loud clap of the dumpster lid falling into place helped snap him back into focus.

    TAGS:  The Chief

No matter how many times the chief asked himself why the man would have so many fingernail clippings in a kitchen drawer, the answer simply refused to come to him.

    TAGS:  The Chief, fingernails

The Chief responded to the 1 AM call, taking care not to shine his flashlight on the peeper’s nether regions.

    TAGS:  The Chief, peeper

Ostrich :: 'mouse

Juan found that if he put the handy towel he’d started carrying on advice of The Chief over his head, the world around him conveniently disappeared.

    TAGS:  The Chief, Juan, ostriches

After the chase, the confrontation, the questioning and the call to the police, the Chief returned to his apartment, trusty flashlight in hand, pondering the peeper’s awkward lies and the absurdity of his apology, “I’m sorry I ran from you.”

    TAGS:  The Chief, absurdity, police, peeper

The Chief couldn’t help but think that it’d been fun chasing the pervert through the dark.

    TAGS:  work, The Chief, perverts, peeping

He couldn’t tell you who was running for president or even which teams were playing in the upcoming Super Bowl, but thanks to Mrs. Bolander in apartment 4-B, who called him at 7:45 to share the news, the Chief now had extensive knowledge regarding the use of lemon juice to kill ants, and also an update regarding her rash, which like the ant problem, was looking better.

    TAGS:  The Chief, ants

Later that same day, the Chief discovered the cryptic love message the young girl had written with her black eyeliner pencil on the stairwell carpet, and whatever misguided sadness he’d felt for her loneliness, as she’d sat there for hours waiting on her friend to appear, disappeared in a heartbeat as he began to scrub.

    TAGS:  The Chief

“I should mention that there have been several murders in the parking lot,” the Chief told the obviously difficult-to-deal-with prospective resident.

    TAGS:  The Chief, crows

The Chief knew that stories lurked around every corner, and today was no different as he discovered that a resident’s dad had not only been a professional wrestler from the first golden age of wrestling, but had even mixed it up with the infamous Gorgeous George, wrestling’s first golden boy whose credo had been “Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat!”

    TAGS:  The Chief, credo, wrestling, Gorgeous George

After listening to the story for what seemed like the hundredth time about how the Army wouldn’t let him join unless he put on some weight, the Chief finally suggested to the man that maybe the Army wasn’t for everyone and that, just maybe, he might find work as a runway model.

    TAGS:  The Chief

The chief watched as the little girls strolled about the property with their parasols and assault rifle squirt guns.

    TAGS:  The Chief, squirt guns, parasol

The Chief listened carefully to his upstairs neighbor’s thoughts on emergency preparedness, and even took the time to watch as she pointed out all the items she’d purchased “just in case,” making a mental note to himself how much time he was saving by not shopping and just patiently waiting for the inevitable quake to shake loose the floor of her apartment and delivery everything he needed for survival directly onto his lap.

    TAGS:  The Chief, earthquakes, survival, emergencies

If the Chief had known that tomorrow morning before six he and the police would be rounding up culprits from the mobile heroin den, he never would have told to his dog, “I’ll go to the store first thing in the morning,” when he discovered he was out of coffee.

    TAGS:  coffee, The Chief

The Chief knew very little about the man except, given the appearance of the oven, that he obviously enjoyed baking pizzas upside down.​

    TAGS:  The Chief, pizza

When the Chief saw what the hoarder had left for him, he knew right away that he was destined to star on the next episode of that hoarder show he'd seen on television, but his luck ran out when the producers discovered he'd stretched the truth a bit, and there were, in fact, no dead cats.​

    TAGS:  cats, The Chief, hoarding, dead cats, stretch the truth

Having just dealt with a single rental and the cast of characters that brought out, Juan wonders about the application-silliness war stories the Chief could tell over beers.​

    TAGS:  The Chief, Juan, war stories

When the police entered the apartment, we all discovered that not only wasn't she dead yet, but that she'd recovered enough strength to regale us all with a lively tale of her three day battle with intestinal gas. 

    TAGS:  The Chief

Confident that the chicken bones incident was only the tip of the iceberg, the Chief prepared himself for crazy days.

    TAGS:  The Chief, crazy people

The Chief wished someone with a companion duck would move in, just so he could pretend he'd seen it all.

    TAGS:  ducks, The Chief

"The duck climbs onto my chest and alerts me if I'm on the verge of having a seizure," the man told the Chief, "but sometimes I think he's just after the cracked corn I keep in my shirt pocket."

    TAGS:  ducks, The Chief, seizure, corn

I know he's only two or three years old, but I still think he's on to something whenever he greets me with, "Hello, Your Highness."

    TAGS:  The Chief

The girl raced across the parking lot, yelling, "Chief! Chief!," until her short little legs finally delivered her, out of breath, with a giant, ecstatic grin on her face as she proudly announced, "We found a dead snake!"

    TAGS:  The Chief, snakes

The little girl's excitement over finding the dead snake reminded the Chief of the dead woman he'd recently discovered, but he kept this to himself, sensing that engaging in one-upsmanship with a seven year old was somehow a mistake he'd regret.

    TAGS:  death, The Chief, one-upsmanship


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