Sometimes the cheap and sadistic urge to bullshit the Completely Innocent becomes difficult to resist.
This afternoon a colleague at work had an Autocomplete brainfart, and a work-related email intended for someone named Anna in our office ended up in the Inbox of a completely different Anna who works for the same company but a continent away. The email was a request that "our" Anna, a graphic designer, include a particular design specification in a technical document we were collectively putting together. I was cc'd on the email, and noticed the error and forwarded the request to the proper Anna.
Some hours later, a Reply All came from the "wrong" Anna, to the effect that she didn't understand why she was receiving this request, that she was a video editor on the West Coast, and to please remove her from the distribution list.
It's Friday before a long weekend, and it's been a hellish week. I have written 100 pages of extremely infra dig technical documentation in the last two days -- no exaggeration -- and it's been feeling rather sweatshoppy of late, so it suddenly became extremely important to go Full-Metal Surreal on an Innocent Bystander:
"Quit tryin' ta dodge work! [I Replied All]
"If you don't add the spec to the document as requested, we're gonna shoot this puppy!
"See it? This puppy right here!"
I'm thinking the next move is to send The Wrong Anna a note from Scamp.firstname.lastname@example.org, and beg her to please add the spec to the document, because it's scary having these angry people waving guns at you. Perhaps in a quiet moment next week.
Many years ago, when Freddie was a young 'un, his favowittest book inna whole wi' worl' was a little thing about pirates. We read that goddamned book so many times together that we both could recite it in our sleep -- and frequently did, Wonder Woman informs me.
One page of the book listed The Pirate's Rules, all laid out in numerical order. Complete bullshit, of course, but very impressive to the four-year-old mind. Things like "1. One eighth part of all Booty is reserved for the Captain; the rest is shared equally by the Crew"; or "7. Any open flames below decks shall earn a man twelve stripes with the cat, yarrrr."
I got the tiniest bit fed up with The Pirate's Rules fairly early on in the game, and began to, as they say, Play with the Form. Taking inspiration from The Philosophy Department of the University of New South Wales, I began to regularly omit Rule Four from the list, saying instead, "Rule Four: There is no Rule Four, me hearties!"
All very innocent fun, of course, until one day I overheard a conversation coming from the back seat as I was ferrying a gaggle of Cub Scouts somewhere: "Did you know that pirates didn't believe in the number four?" "Get outta here!" "No, really! They wouldn't have Rule Four!"
Late Nineties. My annoyance with the lame pickups in my Jap-Strat reaches terminal velocity, and I gift myself a set of hot new Fender Vintage Noiseless replacements. Of course I have to install them myself, because that's how I am, and I get wiring diagrams off the Net and teach myself how to solder.
I have a rapt audience as I do this. What seven-year-old boy doesn't love to watch something like soldering? So I'm talking him through the whole process, tinning the iron, here's how an electric circuit works, careful that's hot, yadda yadda.
Then the most awful pun occurs to me.
"You know, Freddie, you have to be really extra-careful while you're doing this stuff. And keep insect spray around."
"Yeah, Dad? Why?"
"Because there are these little bugs that can get into the solder and ruin your job. They like to hide in electronic equipment, and they are the only creatures on earth that can live solely on molten lead. Know what they're called?"
"No, what, Dad?"
"Solder mites. Watch out for 'em, son."
Months later. Months and months later. Wonder Woman accosts me:
"What the hell have you been telling our son?"
"Why, what do you mean?"
"Little bugs called sodomites that live in the radio?"
Oh, yeah, I'm headed for the Hot Place. They're preparing a nice room for me.
Hey: Once I heard about a family that taught their kid to count, but deliberately left out the number seven. I could have done that, you know. I didn't.