Getting Over the Hump

The Ants assemble at 9 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for “huddle.” These short meetings are designed to keep everybody in the loop about regular agency stuff, plus a little fun to get us ready for the day. Those with “huddle duty”—groups of three or four Ants—are in charge of coming up with an activity or some kind of presentation on Mondays and Wednesdays. (Fridays, or “Freaky Fridays,” are set aside for reviewing some of the best work of the week.)

Mondays are typically reserved for puzzles, brain-teaser games—something to get everyone’s neurons firing for the week ahead. But Wednesdays are designated for wackiness. “Wacky Wednesday” activities can be anything, but the goal is usually something that is equal parts mentally stimulating and competitive, like an old-fashioned game (Connect Four) or a spelling bee, or Name That Tune. Sometimes we’ll play hide-and-seek. And sometimes people come up with their own games.

Recently, one Ant (who shall remain anonymous, but his name rhymes with Cryin’ Stupor) did just that. At Wacky Wednesday huddle, he announced that there were a hundred $1 bills planted all around the office, and whoever found them could keep them. We thought he was kidding. He wasn’t.

In a matter of seconds, the whole office was frantically scrambling around, finding bills tucked in every nook and cranny in the office (he had been secretly planting them for weeks). About half the bills were found that first day, but after that the discoveries slowed to a trickle. Every once in a while we’ll hear a shriek from somewhere in the office: “I found one!” No one’s exactly sure how many bills have yet to be found, so this one Wacky Wednesday game could theoretically go on forever.

To this day, many of us occasionally find ourselves glancing under the base of a lamp, behind a bookshelf or in the creases of a wall to see if there’s a tightly folded treasure waiting for us. It’s downright maddening. And truly wacky.

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