Archive for April, 2008


Saturday, April 12th, 2008

First let me start by saying that I was raised by the KING of practical jokes. Not just your typical everyday “where’s my ice cream” jokes, but rest assured there were plenty of those too. My dad is funny. But kind of mean funny. Maybe kind of “evil” funny (And put your pinkie finger up to the corner of your mouth when you say “evil”). How do I make this sound like he’s not a jerk? Dad’s brain works in mysterious ways. He does the crossword in the paper everyday, and reads the entire paper too. He’s an executive chef (French trained – and anyone who has tasted his food will rave, not just his kids), and not a tiny man. My dad is 6’4″ and (I hope he doesn’t kill me for this) somewhere around 300lbs. They say never trust a skinny chef. Well, you can trust my dad’s food is going to ROCK. But it might come at a price.

Here’s something that happened to me when I was a kid. I can’t remember how old I was, but I do know we were going to visit my dad’s friend Ken (whom I had not seen since I was diapered) in the East Bay and I had brought my roller skates to have something to do while the boys were watching their game. Dad parked about a half a block away and said “Shelby, go up to that door and ring the bell. Stand with your left hand on your hip and your right hand on the door frame, and when Ken answers the door, I want you to say, ‘Hey Big Boy’.” My terrified look didn’t change anything. The thing with my dad is, if he thinks of something and giggles with excitement, you MUST participate willingly or he goes from giggles to ultra bummed, bordering on pissed. So I did it. And a very tall and even bigger than my dad man answered the door. And Ken was shocked for about a quarter of a second until he peered around me and said, “Nice. Where’s your dad.”

I could go on for a very long time about all the jokes my dad has orchestrated, and perhaps someday I will, but today I did not actually start writing to tell you about my dad. I was writing to tell you about this HILARIOUS joke that was played on Courtland a couple weeks ago, which I thought was Dad-caliber funny.

Courtland is a software engineer. He is good at what he does, but he does not tolerate distraction well. I don’t either, so I can understand why he gets crazy. (I just don’t understand why he gets annoyed at me sometimes, because I’m his girlfriend and everything I do is pleasant and soothing.) I contract around the Bay Area and the Peninsula on Thursdays and Fridays so occasionally I find myself in Court’s neck of the woods, and he likes it when I sometimes get him a Starbucks soy latte and bring it over to him. This particular day I arrived with the lattes (one for me) and Courtland said I was welcome to come up and drink with him, but warned me he would be “sitting somewhere weird” because there was something beeping at his desk.

I thought that meant there was a noise that was bothering him, so he’d moved to a different location away from the noise. Imagine my surprise when we got upstairs and he crawled under his co-worker Buddy’s desk, flopped on his back, and stayed there.

Turns out, he’d unplugged everything possible at his desk, which butted up against Buddy’s desk, and since the noise kept happening (at random intervals) he had narrowed it down to one of Buddy’s computers, but didn’t know which one and since Buddy was at lunch, couldn’t unplug anything of his. While I was standing there looking down at him, I heard a buzz/ring. It was a really annoying sound. It was high pitched and sounded like something that would drive a dog mad. Court got really pissed. “It’s NOT this computer!.” He wiggled over to Buddy’s second CPU and Buddy came back from lunch. Court didn’t move, so Buddy sat down.

As the rest of his co-workers filtered in from lunch, comments were made about Court’s new work location and people wondered if Buddy felt at all uncomfortable with Court sticking out from under his desk next to his feet (to which he replied, “It is a little more awkward than I’d expected.”). The noise happened again and Court yelled again. “Dammit! It’s not this one either!”

Everyone seemed amused at Courtland’s obvious distress, and no one seemed angry that he was having mini hissy fits every time this thing beeped, so I took a seat on the left side of his desk and figured I would help him find the noise. Then Court did something even more outrageous than lying under Buddy’s desk. He actually stood on top of his desk and squatted down. I thought it kind of looked like he was going to go to the bathroom on the desktop zen rock garden he was straddling. I wondered what everyone else thought of him as he maintained that pose for another 3 minutes until the noise happened again right by my foot. I could almost feel the sound.

Court crawled under his desk, and Steve (who sits behind Buddy) crawled under Buddy’s desk and threw something towards Court. Buddy crawled under his desk and said “What’s this?” I couldn’t see what was happening under there, so all I heard was Court say “OHH. VERY nice. WELL played.” When he came up from under his desk he was holding a tiny box that looked like this (sorry I cannot upload pic directly, my blog seems to suck):


Evidently, Steve had ordered this nifty little gadget from and the whole office was in on the annoy-a-Court event. It didn’t stop there, though. Courtland still had to find it. And he did.


Now, why am I writing this post today? Because SOMEONE has hidden the annoy-a-tron in our apartment and I have been going MAD trying to find it. So it’s not just a one time gift…no. It will keep giving. Because even though you know what that FRIKKING ANNOYING SOUND is….if you cannot find it…it’s working!!! So when Court gets home, he’d better turn it off…or so help me… We are SO in a fight.