I've been teaching English as a Foreign Language classes in Koreatown (fortunately to do this you only need to be able to speak English and not a foreign language). Something about the combination of the school's carpet and my shoes causes me to work up a static charge more or less instantly, which means every time I sit down in my teacher's chair and touch the metal bar under the seat as I steady it, I get a static shock. As you might guess, submitting to a static shock every few minutes gets rather frustrating. On top of that, the chair is too small and not very comfortable.
However, there is another chair -- a lovely, cushioned, high-backed chair with plastic arms and no exposed metal surfaces. Problem is, every time I leave it in my classroom, I inevitably return to find that some morning class teacher has stolen it for his class next door. And ever since a new teacher started teaching TOEFL next door, he gets the chair and usually arrives before I can steal it back for the day.
Today I was early and he was late. I gleefully swiped the good chair. A few minutes into class, he knocked on my door. I answered.
"Someone stole my chair," he said, clearly hoping for some kind of help.
"Yeah, that was me," I said, proudly. "I like that chair."
"But I've had it for the past few days," he said.
"That's because you got here first," I explained. "Today I finally got here in time to steal it."
He said something about having an incentive now to get there earlier. His punctuality was hard enough to beat when he didn't know he was competing. Now the game is truly afoot.