Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Colossal Blunder

I don't know if I have the courage to tell you about every fax pas I've committed in my lifetime, so far, but I have to tell you what happened to me yesterday.

A friend of mine—I'll call him Oniondude—from the last company I worked at likes to send me links from The Onion, which many of you know about already. I don't find it particularly funny most of the time. Satire has to be done with just the right touch and I don't often appreciate what I read there. It's sort of ironic because I can laugh from the start of Top Secret to the end (especially the exploding Pinto scene).

Earlier in the day, I had been working on a tough issue at work, and the newest addition to our software development team—I'll call her Mary—happens to have had some experience in the arena I was investigating, and she sent me her notes on how to set up my software tools to do what I needed them to do. It worked wonderfully, and I would have been sunk without her. So at 5:30PM, after finally getting everything up and running, I wrote an instant message to her, "It works! Wahoooo!"

No reply. I was thinking it was after five and she had gone home.

Twenty minutes later Oniondude sends me an Onion link entitled: Houston Rockets Catch Tracy McGrady Masturbating To Tape Of His 41-Point Performance. I didn't bother to read it and was going to ignore it, but he wrote me back:

"that is great!"

Ok, he wanted a reaction. I typed, "I would masturbate to my own perfomance too. Not sure how long it would take to wear off."

A minute later: "did you mean to send that to me? i'm not getting it. sorry"


I looked at the IM screen. It was Mary who had replied, our previous conversation having overlaid the one I was having with Oniondude.

I felt a thousand sizzling hot prickles on my face.

"Oh, my, goodness—I am sooo sorry. It was replying to a friend about an Onion article."

"don't worry. no prob :) just making sure it wasn't some new fangled programming joke"

"I'm glad you have a sense of humor… I would never do that out of the blue. That's going down in my history of big whopping blunders, and the list is pretty long already."

"definitely. i like have a laugh. well, if you don't have a list of blunders you may not be living life fully :)"

Can you imagine what could have happened if she weren't so cool? My GOD! My legs were shaking after the adrenaline wore off. I thought I was going to get fired for sure.

So, does anyone care to share a similar story? Feel free to post about it and put a link in the comments.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Snow Business

My wife told me I should write this down, and my preschooler thought it was funny enough to tell his teacher about, so it's at least worth committing to my blog.

I've been a little skeptical about global warming lately—not that I'm discounting it or even changing my pattern of conservational behavior—but it's been so dang cold this winter, and the snow has been relentless. I'm sick of it. My snow blower has been on the fritz ever since I ran over a stick and took out the right front blades. Technically it still works, but I have to go over everything twice.

It's of significant importance that I keep the face of our driveway clean, since it slopes for a stretch of fifteen to twenty feet to the street; and ours is a blind driveway—which roughly translated means you never really know if some crazy teenager or Boston commuter is coming until your headlamps kiss the median.

So this morning I had a bright idea. I backed the Saturn to the road's edge, then parked the Expedition (bought before global enlightenment) in front of it, both vehicles spanning the incline. The thinking here was to keep the snow from burying the incline so that I didn't have to shovel it. Sound thinking, but just a bit too late since the snow had already coated the driveway. But the Expedition held fast. So, I made of ass of u and me when I decided it would remain so.

I went inside where my wife had the kids bundled up in winter coats, boots, hats and mittens. From that vantage point, I could see something didn't look right from the laundry room window. I could have sworn that the Expedition was not where I had parked it. It appeared to be where the Saturn used to be.

And sure enough, the Saturn was in the middle of the road with the trailer hitch of the Expedition pinned under its bumper.

Thankfully nobody hit it.

So I pulled the Saturn into the neighbor's driveway.

When I picked Emmett up from preschool, the teachers laughed and told me about Emmett's recounting of the story.