- Prank - Before I tell what happened, let me get into the back story. Last year I went to a software conference for work out in San Francisco. One night of that conference, we attended a party at a museum in San Francisco. While walking around the exhibits with coworkers, we came upon some sets of headphones that had donkey ears attached to teach kids that animals hear things differently from humans. My former boss, a coworker, and I put the headphones on and had a picture taken wearing them.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. The coworker in the picture was out on vacation and another guy we work with wanted to pull a prank on him. His idea was to print out pictures of this guy and tape them to everything in his cubicle. He just didn't have a picture.
A lightbulb went off in my head. I had a picture.
Instead of covering all of his stuff, I told him that we should be more subtle. The plan then became to print out dozens, if not hundreds of pictures, and hide them all through his stuff. Most were between wallet and stamp sized. Many were CD cover sized. A few were full page printouts. They were hidden in pages of books, taped to the backs of certificates on the wall, and a few were put in somewhat plain view so he would know that something was wrong.
It was a good prank, but as the days went on, we wanted more. So we put even more. Then more. After a while, another person got involved and printed a milk carton with this guy's face on it saying that he was missing. He placed those milk cartons all over the place.
So, when the coworker came back and found his desk now full of embarrassing photos of himself, he started cleaning up. He found some of the hidden ones, which resulted in him doing a thorough search of every item on his desk, in his desk drawers, and looking at each page of every book he had individually.
Eventually, he found out that there were the milk cartons posted elsewhere, so he went to each of the conference rooms and looking all around the floor finding the milk cartons. It became very easy to send him on wild goose chases if you mentioned that you saw one of his photos somewhere. He spent an hour and a half one day on the floor below ours because someone told him they saw one down there.
Over time, he found most of them, so we put a few extra pictures around and told him that he must have missed them -- even though in many cases he had already looked in those locations. He eventually found some more, and we continued this for a few days.
Last Thursday, the admin of our intranet decided to get in on the joke. He created a custom object on the site that could only be seen by people he gave permission to view it. He then posted that picture along with a smartass quote mocking the coworker. Then, satisfied with his job well done, he went home. The rest is mostly what I heard by those involved, but I did not directly witness what happened in the first few hours of Friday morning.
The manager the intranet admin reports to as well as the director we both report to arrive at 6:00am to work. Both pull up their web browsers, and because they are on the list, see the picture of my coworker, wearing donkey ears, on the site that every user of our network sees. They were not told by the intranet admin that only a few people, including them, had permission to see it. So they freak out and think that our intranet was defaced as a joke, and that everyone can see it. As it was told to me, people across the floor from my director's office could hear her scream, "OH MY GOD! I'M GOING TO BE FIRED!"
Fortunately, after freaking out a bit another person pulled up the intranet and did not see the picture, and informed her. After looking around some, they determined that the intranet was safe; minus a few lucky individuals. So the manager and director sought their revenge. They went to the helpdesk group, who created a fake helpdesk ticket. That ticket appeared to be from the CEO of the company, and included a screen shot of the donkey eared coworker's face on the company intranet.
That ticket kicked off some emails and a page to the intranet admin, who freaked out because he thought he was about to be fired. It didn't help that his manager called him while he was still in bed and asked him to come to work at a time that was about three hours earlier than his normal work time. So he comes in, all freaked out, and discovered that he was pranked as well.
Then I come in, see the helpdesk ticket and recognize it as a fake instantly, so I don't fall for it. My coworker who is featured in the picture arrives about ten minutes after me, sees the picture, and freaks out. Well, he had a little help with a few of us telling him that we could see it too so he better talk to the intranet admin before they both are fired.
So all in all, this has been one long-lasting prank that is still providing entertainment. We're looking forward to finding new ways to keep it fresh.
- Parents - Also on Friday, I went to pick up my mom at the airport. I knew she was coming for a few months now, but it was a surprise for my wife. However, what was a surprise for both of us is that my stepdad also came. It was very cool, as he has never been to Houston to visit us. Additionally, every time prior to this that both of them have tried to come, or both my wife and I have tried to go to Pennsylvania or Ohio, there are problems and the trip gets canceled. You know, things like hurricanes, huge winter storms that paralyze the northeast for a week, major emergency surgeries, etc. So this was a very cool thing.
After picking them up, I took them home and surprised my wife. We hung out for a bit talking, then went out for dinner at a nice Persian restaurant. The thing is that my parents never really took us to restaurants when we were kids. I had not eaten Chinese food until I was probably 19 or 20, for example. I could probably name the restaurants I ate at between 0 and 18 years of age on my fingers. So while it seemed very unusual to go to a Persian restaurant for my parents, they also liked that it seemed familiar. Steak, rice, and tomatoes. That's basically it. The only unusual things were the spices and the hummus that they are not used to eating. They were very happy and now have another type of restaurant they can eat at whenever they do go out on those rare occasions.
- Saturday Morning - It was like a blur. I woke up at 6:00am so I could get everything finished prior to the baby shower. First thing I had to do, since we didn't have groceries, was run out and buy kolaches for everyone. After that, I got ahold of a friend that I was to borrow a table and chairs from, and ran over to his house to take them, then drove home and dropped them off.
After that was the cake. This was nearly a fiasco. The girl taking orders was very confused, would ask me a question then go to the back. She would come out with no cake, then ask another question. This process repeated half a dozen times, where ultimately she returned with the cake. We then asked for the empanadas that we ordered, upon which she got even more confused. After a few more trips to the back and front, they grabbed a tray of empanadas that they were going to use for their cafe, and cleaned them out (so anyone going there after us that wanted empanadas was SOL.) She asked me if the cake was ok, I said it was fine, but something didn't sit right with me. So we went through another fiasco trying to square up the bill, as we were owed some store credit, so we bought a few cookies and went to the truck.
It was at the truck that the nagging feeling of checking the cake one last time really hit me. So I opened the back door of the truck, attempted to scramble in, and fell on the edge of the frame with the full force of all of my weight on my shin. This hurt fairly dramatically, but I played it off and got in and drove home without checking the cake.
After we got home, we started moving tables and putting together the final decorations. My wife's sisters had arrived by that time and were already hanging out at the house. We didn't really have time for lunch, so some snacking ensued. I didn't really think of my leg again until about 30 minutes before the party was supposed to start.
I pulled up my pant leg and saw what appeared to be a second knee on that leg where my shin should have been. It was also hurting in such a way that I could not walk without looking like a gimp. So even though I was tasked with coming up with music to put on (I originally intended a playlist on my iPod, but didn't get a chance to do it), I went to lay down and my wife helped by getting me some ice and a towel to put it in. She also appreciated my concern of not interrupting the party with my injury even if I had to remain bedridden for the entire time.
- Saturday Afternoon - The swelling went down some due to ice and being horizontal, so I was able to leave the bed after about 20 minutes or so. I was still in considerable pain, but I could hide it and walk without a limp.
The first to arrive was the Chinese coworker mentioned above in the photographs and his wife. I only know this because I heard him ask where I was constantly while I was still in bed. After that, many people poured in and I don't remember who arrived when (Stacky and clock might have been second, if not third), only that a bunch of people started showing up afterwards.
I'm generally not that extroverted, nor am I a good host. However, after watching others, I learned to fake it. I tried to go around and spend a few minutes exclusively talking to each person or group of people, then move on to the next. Unfortunately my conversations were often interrupted with phone calls from people who chose to not follow the directions I gave out. The problem is that my zip code is for a city like 15 miles from where I actually live, so Mapquest, Google, etc. will fuck you up bad.
Since the HuSi folks reading this are probably more interested in my interactions with the McClocky's (is this the proper term?) I'll focus on that. Clock seems like a nice guy, and despite the difficulties both he and Stacky are facing with the pregnancy, they mesh well together and both have a similar sense of humor. I saw them talking with my mom, I have no idea what was said, but I'm not sure who I should be worried about. Additionally, they helped keep the crowd entertained, which was greatly appreciated in the midst of my confusion. Literally the whole party was a blur. When they left, we had time to agree that we need to meet up again for drinks and hanging out. I do better in smaller groups anyway, so it would be nice to hang out with them for real instead of only having a few minutes of chit chat. Also, I can confirm clock's reference to me making statements about being armed.
One of the coolest gifts we got was a diaper cake. No "eat shit" jokes were made, which was good because the girl that made it for us is really cool and I'd hate for her to get embarrassed. We got lots of great stuff for the baby, and it helps us feel relief that we will have to buy less things than expected. Hopefully the baby shower at work takes care of that whole college scholarship fund and we'll be set.
Also amusing was a friend of ours, a nurse from Nigeria. She is excited about my wife's pregnancy and likes to dish out advice, some humorous, some not. She says these things in the sweetest, friendliest voice without a hint of sarcasm or meanness. If there was a real Mother Earth, she would talk like this friend of ours. Anyway, she would often give my wife advice and tell her things that didn't seem quite right. For example, she would tell my wife to not call me when she is in labor, just call 911. Or that they have to inject Vitamin K into babies to make them dirty. She wasn't too much this time, but it's hard not to laugh hysterically when she talks about things like babies pissing all over you and such.
The baby shower itself ended about three and a half hours after it started. Not too bad, and it was probably the most fun and lead awkward baby shower I've ever been to.
- Saturday Night - We played the Wii and had some fun with that, but stayed at home and relaxed mostly after the party. It was an early night to bed if I remember correctly.
- Sunday was a day of going out and of dropping people off at the airport. We ate Thai food and then got some of the best gelatto in Houston for desert. After that, we went straight to the airport to drop people off, then my wife and I went home and chilled out for the rest of the night.
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