By Derek Woellner —

On this very campus once lived a laptop named Jack.

He rode on a professor’s shoulders in his black backpack.

The two graded homework, wrote syllabi and emails.

They watched Youtube and Netflix, looked at cats and pretty females.

But Jack grew tired as the years came and went.

Warranty expired, to Stout Surplus he was sent.

Located in the University Services Building, Room 146.

Jack’s hard drive was wiped; his tiredness was fixed.

Feeling fresh and clean, Jack was set on a shelf.

He was greeted by a monitor who introduced himself,

“Hello new friend, nice to meet you, name’s Nathan!”

“Welcome to this place we call the Stout Surplus Operation!”

“Nice to meet you Mr. Nathan,” Jack the laptop replied,

“Can you tell me about this new place in which I reside?”

“Tell you?! I’d love to! It’s my favorite tale!”

This is where the University hosts its resale!

On Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the faculty can come.

And take what they need: less, more or some!

And it costs them nothing, diddly squat, it’s all free.

If faculty reuse items it saves everyone money!

And this reuse is important, listen carefully, stand-still.

These past five months, 12,000 pounds saved from the landfill

Thursdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. the public comes to buy what is left.

The amount of what they purchase is a considerable heft!”

“And what do they buy,” asked Jack, brow furrowed,

“What do they find when through the shelves they burrow?”

“They buy lots of things! Oh, where to start!

Building materials, dressers, computers and parts!

They buy desks and keyboards, office supplies of all sorts!

One time Surplus sold an inflatable paintball court!

The public knows there’s good deals, no need to be a scholar.

If it’s books that they’re after they’re three for one dollar!”

Jack then asked about the stuff not reused or bought,

“Is it destined for the garbage, please tell me it’s not!”

“Of course it is not! Very little is wasted!

Much of it goes out to recycling places!

In just the past months, November back to July

Surplus recycled over 5,000 pounds! Oh my!

There were 1,700 pounds of electronic equipment.

400 pounds of toner cartridges went out in a shipment.

Over 800 pounds of batteries were sent away.

So that the materials could be used once again someday!”

Jack was quite impressed. His mind was quite blown.

What a wonderful thing, this place he had been shown!

So Jack waited and waited. Patience can be such a chore.

Until he awoke the next Thursday to a line at the door!

As the clock hit nine and the door swung open,

“I hope I find a new owner,” Jack was hoping.

A woman walked up after only a short while.

She looked at Jack’s price tag and gave a big smile.

She lifted him from the shelf and walked up to the front.

She found what she was looking for, ending her hunt.

The man at the front said, “We accept cash and check.”

The woman set Jack down and said, “Wait just one sec.”

Jack was devastated.  His heart started grieving.

He wished for a new owner but now she was leaving!

The man at the front said, “Mr. Jack just look!”

“Your new owner simply went out to get her checkbook!”

And with that happy ending, the tale of Jack ends,

Remember owners are still needed for all of Jack’s friends.

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