The way that the Turkish Government attempts ta point the finger at the exiled cleric, Fethullah Gülen, whenever something terrible happens in Turkey, reminds me of a phantom we had of our own, at work, a few years back……..

We have contracted out all janitorial functions to an outside firm whose employees come in around midnight, to clean, mop and sweep all offices and toilets in the company. The employees of the company, all Mexican migrant labor, are a disciplined bunch, their employment probably conditional on how they conducted themselves, because they are unfailingly gracious.

They are over-zealous as well. Inside our department it has become normal ta see stuff on our tables rearranged, post-its knocked off the board, when we come in to work – probably occurred while wiping off a coffee stain or something. But that’s okay, because if there’s one thing you can be sure of, it is that a migrant worker won’t steal from your desk. Its simply not worth the risk of immediate deportation and a lifetime ban. Espionage is another matter of course, but we have systems built in that minimize risks, with CCTV all over.

We could live with our stuff being moved around, had Sonja not had the habit of leaving an extra pair of panties in her bottom drawer. Long story short, one morning, there was a scream. It was Sonja. “Somebody took my panties!!!”

Matters would have settled down, had Melanie Sacker and Stephanie Crouistillant not reported their panties missing too, a day later. Now, any sane individual would wonder why women would leave extra panties in their drawers at work, but most men have discontinued wondering why women do the things that they do. They are pretty, they smell good, they’re a handful and definitely worth a canoodle and that’s all that we men are concerned about really.

Who could be doing this? Couldn’t be one of the night shift guys from the floor, no way, their cards wouldn’t give them access. It couldn’t be one of the outside janitorial staff, for reasons mentioned above. We couldn’t report it, since leaving panties in drawers is something unconventional.

We had ta do something. Lazslo and I formed a ‘behavioral sciences unit’, like the one the FBI has, to determine what kind of man could be doing this. The first thing we did was to ask a male volunteer ta leave his underwear in his drawer. Kenny left his jockey shorts with an A-4 sized sheet with a large black arrow pointing into his drawer, but it was still there after a month. So the perp was male (somehow lesbian didn’t seem spine tingling enough).

We gave him a name – Mitch McPuck. Don’t ask me why he had ta be Irish.

Mitch McPuck became our Fethullah Gülen. Anything went missing – highlighters, clips, permanent markers, staples, cellotape, rubber bands – it had ta be Mitch McPuck. Over time, our in-house pervert, Kenny, made the Mitch McPuck persona hunky and soon the girls were leaving behind their panties once again, only this time with stickies that read ‘ come and get it, Mitchipoo!’ or ‘Ooo, Mitchy, I left it unwashed, just for ya!!’

Just as in Turkey, I have ta report that there has been a new rash of pantie thefts the previous week.

If Erdogan can whine on and on about the mythical Fethullah Gülen, so can we, only we love our Mitch Fethullah McPuck, whoever he may be.