Ranting randomness with 9 fingers
August 3, 2000
What was your name again? I can't remember. My head hurts.
The split second that I had at my disposal to think about what was happening was long enough to realize that launching myself off my bicycle at that speed was a bad idea, especially when taking into account that I was holding my helmet in my right hand. After I gained consciousness I was aware of a throbbing pain in my face and my right thumb. The first thing I said was "fuck" (listen, I'm telling you what happened), the second thing I thought was "where are they?" I quickly got up, took a quick look at my bleeding thumb, and jumped on my bicycle to escape the evil that---I thought---was coming my way.
(This e-mail contains 7 instances of the word "fuck". Now it's 8. If you are by any means insulted by that: stop now. The good news is that they are all compacted in a few sentences somewhere around line 92)
Just moments before, I was standing at a traffic light when a car filled with 4 drunk men passed me by. They were yelling at me through their open car-window. I guess my reaction---I looked at them and shook my head---was one that only aggravated the pitiful mental state they were already in. With screeching tires they stopped and put the car in reverse. I decided not to wait for them. I turned around, took off my helmet hoping that they would no longer recognize me, and started biking. Fast. I took a left, a right, and a left again. I did not look back. While holding my helmet in my right I was steering with my left hand. Suddenly I saw a small alley on my left and decided to take it and hit the break. I clasped my fingers around the break and tightened the grip. My front wheel made a full stop. If Newton had been there, he would have told me that a mass of 70 kg does not like to be slowed down from 30 km/h to zero that quickly. The rear wheel of my bicycle lifted off the ground and took me with it. The next thing I know is that I am lying on the street, face down, holding my helmet in my right hand and having my bicycle lying on me in a cozy fashion.
"That is not what they meant when they told you to bring your helmet."
I got up and went home to eat some chocolate chip cookie dough peanut butter chunks vanilla butter frozen non-fat yogurt with added vitamins and minerals. Would you like a cup or a cone? Just hurry up, or I'll show you my bleeding thumb.
My biggest shock was to realize how easy it is to injure my fingers. No piano, guitar, or keyboard without my fingers. According to Dave, enough reason to kill himself. After some thinking I realized that's exactly what happens to all computer scientists that lose their fingers: ever saw a computer scientist with no fingers? My point exactly. Dave says I have an obsessive compulsive disorder because I wash my hands after going to the bathroom. I don't think that's weird, but I haven't told him that I don't step on the lines and the cracks when I walk on the street.
Republicans say they are "everybody's party" and Reagan's 11th commandment is "never to harm a fellow Republican", but this morning, while I was eating my Team Cheerios with added vitamins and minerals, I witnessed one of the most shameful scenes ever to be broadcasted on public television: at their own Republican Convention in Philadelphia, half of the audience LOOKED DOWN at their knees or at god knows what while an openly gay Republican senator was giving a speech for their own good. They Looked Away In Shame. One audience member was holding up a banner that said: "There Is A Way Out". This party, that claims to be everybody's party for all Americans, is about to barf out the next President who will rule this country and the rest of the world with it. I had to stop eating my Team Cheerios to go and vomit on the carpet next to the cat's puked hairball.
A few days ago there was a big insect with many legs in the bathroom. I made a photo for my grandchildren to see what their grandfather had to go through. After that I made a picture of myself for my grandchildren to see what their grandmother had to go through. 9 fingers.
I think it started somewhere around the 7th slide that I showed. I was giving a talk at M.I.T. about the work that I have been doing during the past 6 months. I think it was Dave who took the first shot. Soon, many followed. Within no time, the room was filled with the sound of automatic rifles shooting their entire ammunition at the innocent stuttering kid standing before them. Twenty against one. After approximately 10 minutes they succeeded in killing the idea that I had been working on for so long. A bleeding corpse was lying in the PDOS meeting room and the proud crowd was stamping and dancing on the remains of what once was a happy young fellow who believed in himself, his idea, and the victory over evil denial-of-service attacks. This place is a minefield. OK, not all is lost, but a lot is. I have to rewrite close to 100% of my thesis. Thank god, I still have 9 fingers left.
After the baseball game was finished, the place looked like a mess. I like this style: starting a story somewhere in the middle or simply at the end. It's fun, it's creative. Am I a writer? No. Are you confused? So am I. I fell on my head, did you? Beep beep.
Lesson #1 in US English: anyway, like, you know.
Example #1: you know, the past few days I've been like, you know. Anyway, it's been hard, you know. It's like I'm feeling all... how to say? You know, like a loser.
Advanced US English: dude, fuck, random, awesome.
Example: Fuck, dude. That's the most fucking random thing I've ever seen! Dude. Awesome. Dude, man, what the fuck happened? That's random, dude. Fuck.
Expert US English: baseball.
Example: the place looked like a mess. Baseball is lame and dumb. 40.000 people gather in a stadium to collectively be bored, yell "bullshit" at the umpire, eat popcorn, chips, peanuts, hotdogs, and drink beer. Meanwhile an elite group of men earning a couple of million per year is throwing a ball. In the 3 hours that I was there, 3 points were scored. The aggregate action time was close to 1 minute. A total of 1 minute over 3 hours. For 32 dollars. That is 50 cents per second. Ever seen a baseball player with 9 fingers? My point exactly. I took the wrong job.
Long live free association and e-mail.