Howdy folks! (I realize that using the plural is a little presumptious, but "EF" it.)
Anyway, I'm back to post chapter 2 since nothing interesting has happened in the last 24 hours. If you haven't read chapter 1 yet, then scroll down to the previous post and read it first... it matters!
Oh, and for those waiting with trepidation... my Jetta's oil change was successful. No congratulations are necessary... they're appreciated, but not necessary.
Danny Peril sits on the far end of the community workbench, scribbling notes into his journal, while at the other end a group of computer nerds argue the finer points of data encryption. Danny is not invited into the conversation, nor does he have any desire to participate. He much prefers writing in his journal so he can explore his little used left brain. He doesn't care that he is considered weird by his peers, who regard his “diary” as a childish waste of time, especially when one can spend it displaying a vast knowledge of programming in front of a gaggle of chronic masturbators. Danny isn't like the other guys in the M.I.S. department. He doesn't view technology as a religion. He doesn't get off on talking about the latest advances in microchip technology, or bashing the latest operating system that is always piece of shit no matter how advanced it gets. He doesn't wait around impatiently, like a spoiled brat at Christmas, for the latest system upgrades and patches to be available on the net. He doesn't need computers and their binary truth to be the center of his universe.
Danny is a different animal altogether. He can have normal conversations with non-computer geeks, and not talk down to them or preach about the absolute nature of technology. He has the ability to take social etiquette into account when engaging in even the simplest human relationships. He understands that the world does not operate on the ones and zeroes principle of basic computing. Danny learned the hard way, long before he ever touched a mouse or soldered together a motherboard, that life is not black and white. He believes that it is gray, non-scientific and dependent solely upon subjective interpretation. That is why he chooses the computer field; to bring some order into his chaotic gray world. Computers bring balance to his life, but he isn't obsessed like the others. Computers are not a refuge for him because he is not a social misfit secretly yearning for mainstream acceptance.
He is the lone quiet and polite employee of the M.I.S department at Totally Toys. He is also the only fellow in the department who doesn't look freakish, oafish, bookish or just plain ugly. He is a decent looking, regular guy with an imperfect-but-interesting face, straight white teeth, and an almost athletic physique. These characteristics place him on another plane from his Warcraft obsessed co-workers. Every one of them are more intelligent and technically proficient than he, but Danny is better looking and better adjusted by a long shot. And it's not even close. Yet, Danny has not an ounce of conceit in him, nor does he judge them the way they judge him. He has had a hard life full of pain and sacrifice, and has learned the importance of being humble. He is so humble that it doesn't even occur to him to be bothered by the jealousy shown by his computer comrades.
The phone rings and the inner circle of arguing computer geeks don't budge. They all assume that Danny will get the phone since he isn't doing anything nearly as important as debating Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak's place in history.
“Man, you guys don't get it, do you?” One of the more rotund ones says. “Bill created an entire industry.”
“So, what? Steve Wozniak invented the personal computer.” Another replies.
“Dude, Bill wrote BASIC when he was a nineteen.”
“Dickweed, you'd be running Microsoft word off a floppy disk if it wasn't for Steve.”
“Bullshit. Bill Gates would have figured it out.' Shit, he reverse engineered the MAC operating system, didn't he?”
“He did.” A few of them mumble, before breaking off into separate mini-conversations about what has just been said.
Meanwhile, the phone rings a third and fourth time. Danny puts down his ballpoint pen, and grabs the phone on the fifth ring. He knows right away that it is Allan Poole. It isn't just Allan's dog-whistle of a voice that is the giveaway, it is the heavy sigh that precedes any talking. It is an affectation that is incredibly long, and sounds like a leaky tire.
“Who is this?!”
“Danny. Good morning, Mr. Poole.” Danny's voice is pleasant and accommodating, which throws Allan for a loop since he expects the patronizing monotone of an M.I.S. employee. He takes a moment to gather himself, then starts his pre-planned attack.
“One of my girls in the marketing department has a computer on the fritz! I don't care which one of you nerd monkeys does it, but it better get fixed before lunch. Don't make me take this to…”
Danny interjects, assuring him that the computer will be up and running before noon. Allan offers a half-assed, mumbly thank you and hangs up the phone.
Danny fishes the two day old repair request out of the in box and walks over to the others. He starts to explain things, but is shined off before he can discern whose turn it is make the field call. Danny, an underprivileged bench tech, decides to handle it himself, pockets the request and gathers some small tools. He heads out the door, unaware that this simple decision will change his life forever.