Today should have been a happy day. After all, the Kansas City Royals finally wised up and sent the worst manager of its history, Tony Muser, packing. And there was much rejoicing. It was all over the front page of the Kansas City Star. In other news, Boeing 747s are having a difficult time avoiding pigs, and Royals utilityman Donnie Sadler is hitting .265.
Unfortunately, a serious development in my life quickly jarred me back into the real world. An e-mail message arrived. I had Klez! I guess I shouldn’t have double-clicked on that attachment titled “Hot young 32-year-olds dressed like middle-school cheerleaders want you!” at work. But since everything on the Internet is true, and since the kid who mows my friend’s cousin’s neighbor’s lawn says his uncle told him e-mail travels over the Internet, I thought I’d better check it out. Opening that unexpected attachment from a complete stranger seemed like a good idea at the time.
The evidence that I had the Klez virus pointed back to a really old e-mail account I had, back in my days at the University of Missouri. So this must not have been the result of me opening the last “Hot young 32-year-olds dressed like middle-school cheerleaders want you!” e-mail I got. It must have been the result of a “Hot young 32-year-olds dressed like middle-school cheerleaders want you!” e-mail I got sometime in 1997 or 1998.
That’s really scary. Klez had the ability to trigger itself FIVE YEARS before it even existed, yet lie dormant until such a time as it did exist. Very powerful stuff. Very scary stuff. This is even bigger than the firing of Tony Muser. I think I should leak this discovery to The Register. Or maybe The Inquirer.
Then I looked at the headers more closely, and I noticed that even though it referred to that really old account, it also had a reference to my new Verizon account.
Then I realized I don’t have a Verizon account. So there’s only one possible explanation. Klez signed me up for a Verizon account! The nerve of it! And I’ll bet it’s using that e-mail account, and possibly also the cell phone that goes with it, to make marriage proposals to one of my ex-girlfriends. Probably the closet homo sapien. I’ll be in even more serious trouble after it realizes that all of my ex-girlfriends are closet homo sapiens and it proposes to all of them. This is bad. Really bad. I don’t think I’ll be able to blame this on Tony Muser.
I sure hope those cheerleaders know my new address in St. Louis. After all that scary Klez stuff, I could use some cheering up. They haven’t shown up yet, but that message never said when they’d show up.
When I went to lunch on that wonderful Tuesday, there was a TV in the lunchroom. There are always TVs in the lunchroom when important, newsworthy events of national impact occur. It was there so we could watch the latest developments of the Tony Muser firing as they unfolded on CNN.
I don’t think my coworkers believed me when I said that. So instead we talked about what I had learned about Klez. They were all really excited to hear about it. One of them asked if it had really neat graphics. I said sometimes. Another one asked if it would run on something as ancient as a Pentium 4 1.7 GHz with GeForce4 Ti4400 video. I said it probably would. They all wanted copies.
When I got back from lunch, there was something else waiting for me in my e-mail: an invitation to a meeting to standardize our virus delivery to one or two tools and formats. I thought this was a great idea, because when we limit our clients’ abilities by forcing them to use limited tools–tools that were designed for another purpose entirely, of course–of our own choosing rather than their choosing, they are always much more productive and they thank us for it. Ideally, these tools should cost a lot of money and should require expensive outside consultants to set them up, so that these outside consultants can later go to the clients directly and do what consultants always do, which is this: Tell people what they already know. In this case, what they already know is how this overpriced, clueless consultant can do the job much better without our involvement. Next thing we know, we’re out of the picture, the clients are happy, the consultants are happy, and I’m happy because there’s not as much work for me to do, and if this kind of thing happens often enough, I’ll find myself without a job and then I’ll have something in common with my longtime hero, Tony Muser.
So of course I was falling all over myself to attend this meeting.
I asked the person who invited me if his new laptop has a DVD drive. He said it did. I told him I’d bring a copy of Office Space to the meeting. He said he didn’t have the drive configured to work in Linux yet because he hadn’t yet had the need to watch a movie on his work laptop.
Obviously, he needs to go to this meeting even more than I do, if he’s too busy doing real work to waste time watching DVDs really loudly on his work laptop and disturbing the rest of us in the office. It’s all due to the lingering effects of the decisions Tony Muser made during his tenure as Kansas City Royals manager, of course.
I’m sure a few scenes from Office Space will help us to prove our point. And, besides, if you read User Friendly, you know it’s fun to violate the DMCA.
Tony Muser will have a lot more time to do that kind of thing from now on.