Tag Archives: Straight Fun

Day #40: G-D VS GOD SMACKDOWN: RED SEA EDITION

“WELCOME TO G-D VS GOD SMACKDOWN, RED SEA EDITION! We’re here live at the Red Sea in sunny Egypt for round 11 of this era’s title match: THE MUMMY vs. THE INVISIBLE G-D. I’m Jethro, high priest of Midian and with me tonight is Bilaam, seer extraordinaire. Bilaam, what are your thoughts on this match?”

“WELL,” shouts Bilaam into his microphone, “THIS IS LIKE NOTHING I’VE EVER SEEN BEFORE. I’ve been in this business my entire life, but this fight between the up and coming INVISIBLE G-D and the superpower, the AWESOME, the INCREDIBLE MUMMY has been the surprise match of anybody’s lifetime. It has been UNBELIEVABLE.”

“Before the round gets started, let’s review some of the action up to this point.”

“WELL,” says Bilaam, “The INVISIBLE G-D certainly did things in unusual ways. He got his peeps into the heart of THE MUMMY’S territory in a land called Goshen. And his peeps got BEAT on. We didn’t even know there was a match going on. THE MUMMY landed everything he tried. Slavery, oppression, killing babies, you name it. It was AWESOME. Thing was, these peeps kept on coming. And MULTIPLYING. Watching it, you got the feeling somethin’ was up.”

“When did YOU know there was a match?”

“WELL,” says Bilaam, “EVERYBODY knew when the INVISIBLE G-D decided to make an entrance. Sort of. He sends down THE EMISSARY who shows off a few tricks and who tries to say ‘MATCH OVER’ DUDE. Naturally, THE MUMMY just ignored him. He wasn’t doing ANYTHING until THE INVISIBLE G-D showed up in the RING.”

“In retrospect, that was NOT a wise move.”

“YOU CAN SAY THAT AGAIN. We don’t even know if the INVISIBLE G-D ever made it to the ring. MAYBE HE DID, MAYBE HE DIDN’T. NOBODY SEEN HIM. But I’ll tell you this, THE MUMMY got himself some TROUBLE. The INVISIBLE G-D unleashed blood and frogs. But THE MUMMY WASN’T HAVING ANY OF THAT. He said to the invisible G-d’s peeps – ‘MAKE ME STRAW TOO!’ And they started complaining. I mean, hey, where was their main man? And then, WHAM, BANG, KAPOW! The INVISIBLE G-D smacked THE MUMMY upside the head. Warnings, no warnings, it didn’t matter. THE MUMMY was helpless. HECK, a bunch of times THE INVISIBLE G-D even said WHEN he was gonna lay down his thunder. HE TELEGRAPHED IT, and THE MUMMY still couldn’t stop it.”

“I was just amazed at that 10-punch combo the INVISIBLE G-D threw. I mean, I’ve seen a few moves in my day, but getting off a routine like that – wow that sends a message.”

“Jethro, it sure does. And THE MUMMY seemed to be down for the count. He sent THE INVISIBLE G-D’s peeps out. But just before the ref counted him out, THE MUMMY pulled together a HUGE army. I THINK WE MAY BE SEEING THE SECOND COMEBACK OF THIS MATCH.”

“You think THE MUMMY is going to rise from the dead and take out THE INVISIBLE G-D?”

“It sure is possible. I mean think about it. THE INVISIBLE G-D was KICKING THE MUMMY’S BUTT. And then he ends up getting his peeps out and HE GETS THEM LOST!!! THIS IS THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY FOR A COMEBACK OF HISTORIC PROPORTIONS!!!”

“You don’t think maybe it’s a trap?”

“WHAT KIND OF TRAP?”

“Where THE INVISIBLE G-D plays stupid, brings THE MUMMY close and then jumps up and BODY SLAMS HIM?”

“No, man, I don’t think so. I mean, think about it. That 10-punch combination, that was against the soft bits – the people the economy that kinda stuff. THIS? This requires beating in the head of the TOUGHEST sonfabeaches around. No lice gonna slow this gang down.”

“Well, we’ll see,” says Jethro. “And now, we turn to the action with our correspondent on the field, Job. Job?”

In a radio-filtered voice, “I am a righteous man. I am a righteous man. I am a righteous man. I am a righteous man-”

“Well,” says Jethro, “It appears we’re having some technical difficulties with Job’s connection. We’ll cover the action from here. Right now, THE MUMMY’S ARMY is arrayed above THE INVISIBLE G-D’S massive collection of homeless people. They may be outnumbered, but that army knows what it’s doing.”

“ABSOLUTELY RIGHT,” says Bilaam, “Those Hebrews are slaves. They are trained to be SCARED. They are trained to get PUNISHED. They’ve had the humanity BEAT out of them. Those people don’t stand a chance. I mean, THINK ABOUT IT. If your daddy been beatin’ on you since you were a little kid, just seeing him with that BELT is gonna FREAK YOU OUT.”

“But you might get angry and get even in a burst of courage.”

“Sure, Jethro, that happens a lot. NO, I don’t see it. These people wanna run, there’s no place to run – and I AIN’T SEEING NO INVISIBLE G-D ROUND HERE.”

“Oh my, I think this is over before it BEGAN. The Hebrew people are calling out for surrender.”

“THEY ARE INDEED JETHRO, THEY ARE INDEED. LOOK AT THAT. The EMISSARY is trying to hold them back. But he DOESN’T KNOW WHAT HE’S DOING. He’s as confused as everybody else. OH, FOLKS, THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE PRETTY! THOSE HEBREWS REALLY DON’T WANT ANY PART OF THIS CAN OF WHUP-***.”

“You can say that again!”

“THOSE HEBREWS REALLY DON’T WANT ANY PART OF THIS CAN OF WHUP-***.”

“Bilaam, look down there, some idiot has decided to run through the sea. And, wait, the EMISSARY is stretching out his rod over the SEA. I don’t know how, but I think they’re going to make a run for it.”

“Jethro, they CAN’T MAKE a run for it. It’s the SEA. They GONNA DIE.”

“Pharoah’s army are charging. They don’t want surrender.”

“Not in this match. They want a straight up KO – NOTHING LEFT.”

“OH MY! BILAAM DID YOU SEE THAT.”

“DID ANYBODY NOT SEE THAT!!!”

“THE WHOLE SEA JUST OPENED UP. IT SPLIT IN TWO!  I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP FOLKS. IT SPLIT IN TWO!”

“WOW.”

“WOW IS RIGHT, BILAAM.”

“I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT. You can’t believe the excitement here folks. Something absolutely INSANE is happening. THE INVISIBLE G-D just SPLIT THE SEA.”

“BILAAM. WHAT IS GOING ON??”

“Well, it is IMPRESSIVE, but I think it’s just too late. Those chariots are gonna CATCH UP. And then it’s BYE BYE PEEPS!”

“I DON’T KNOW, BILAAM. I THINK THIS MAY BE A SUCKER PUNCH.”

“I DON’T SEE IT. What are you related to THE EMISSARY or something?”

“maybe. FOLKS, the seabed has turned to DRY LAND and the people are making a run for it. THE MUMMY’S ARMY is catching up. But the ground seems to be turning WET under their feet.”

“IT IS INDEED, JETHRO. THAT IS A NEAT TRICK. THEY ARE GETTING SLOWED UP SOMETHING FURIOUS.”

“Bilaam, I’m not sure they can close that gap.”

“You know, JETHRO, you may be right.”

“THE PEOPLE ARE OUT ON THE OTHER SIDE!!!”

“Jethro, let’s see what happens. Slogging or not, when THE MUMMY’S ARMY reaches the Eastern shore of that sea there will be a SLAUGHTER.”

“The INVISIBLE G-D’S PEOPLE HAVE STOPPED!!”

“What are they waiting for? They’ve got to RUN.”

“OH MY, THIS ISN’T PRETTY.”

“THE SEA IS NO LONGER SPLIT.”

“IT IS CRASHING IN.”

“WHAT A MOVE!!!”

“THE MUMMY’S ARMY IS BEING ANNIHILATED.”

“IT IS ANNIHILATED.”

“GAME-SET-MATCH.”

“JETHRO, YOU CALLED IT. DUDE THAT WAS NASTY!”

“THAT WAS UNBELIEVABLE. FOLKS, THE MUMMY, UNBEATEN IN THE RING FOR 2,000 YEARS HAS JUST BEEN ANNIHILATED BY THE INVISIBLE G-D. I MEAN DESTROYED. THERE AIN’T NOTHING LEFT.”

“JETHRO, that was INCREDIBLE, COLOSSAL, HISTORIC. FOLKS YOU HAD TO BE HERE TO BELIEVE THIS. THE MUMMY, I REPEAT, THE MUMMY, HAS BEEN WASTED.”

“Bilaam, that was the greatest match ever. And look, the Hebrews are dancing the chicken dance and doing the singing thing.”

“THEY ARE INDEED, JETHRO. And who can blame them. They’re INVISIBLE G-D just rewrote the ENTIRE SPORT OF G-D VS. GOD SMACKDOWN. FOLKS, it’ll be a LONG time before anybody steps up against THE INVISIBLE G-D.”

“They may ignore him, but they ain’t gonna FIGHT HIM.”

“Jethro, I’m a SEER, I oughtta know.”

“Well, folks, the fight is formally over. In Round 11, the INVISIBLE G-D KOs THE MUMMY. After the break, we’ll have interviews with THE EMISSARY about the fight, and his SISTER about the chicken dance.”

“Jetro, I know I’m looking forward to that.”

— Cut to commercials.

Day #21: The Newbie

“Guys, am I doing okay at this?” asked a tentative, quiet voice.

The last of the office doors had closed, the alarm had been turned on, and the first comment of the night came from the brand-new sprinkler head. It’d only been installed the day before, so it was kind of a newbie. And it was clearly worried about its performance.

“Dude,” said a fire extinguisher, “Don’t worry about it. When the alarm comes, you go off, that’s it.”

“I know, I know,” said the sprinkler, “I learned all that at the factory. But I’m kinda tense.”

Another sprinkler chimed in, “Son, if you’re a sprinkler you’re gonna be tense. You’ve got to be ready to go off on a moment’s notice. It’s how you’re built. You better get used to it.”

The new sprinkler didn’t nod – they can’t. But it got the message.

Silence, once again, dominated the office.

“Guys?” asked the Newbie again.

“Yeah, man?” said the extinguisher.

“What are you guys named?”

“I’m George,” said the extinguisher.

“Jonathan,” said the older sprinkler.

“Frederick,” said a smoke detector, happily.

Nobody else answered.

“I guess, well, I guess your kinda my family?” asked the newbie.

“Sure are,” said Jonathan.

“Just kick back and get used to it,” suggested George.

“You’ve got a lifetime to spend in this office,” said Frederick.

It was still all a bit scary to the newbie. A lifetime in one place.

“What’s your name?” asked Frederick.

“Don’t know,” said the Newbie, “I didn’t get one at the factory.”

“Well,” asked Frederick, kindly, “What would you like?”

“Uh, Ernie, maybe.” said the Newbie, tentatively.

“Ernie it is!” announced Frederick.

“Not so fast,” said Jonathan, “The kid probably doesn’t know a whole lot of names.”

“How do you learn more?” asked the Newbie.

“Well,” said Jonathan, sagely, “You can talk to us or you can just stay up a bit while the office people are doing their thing. You can find one you like and you can use their name.”

“Which one is Jonathan?” asked the Newbie – trying to remember everybody he’d seen that day.

“Oh,” said Jonathan, “My Jonathan left this office a long time ago. I’ve been here eight years.”

There was silence.

“Eight years?” asked the Newbie, disbelieving.

“Eight years,” said Jonathan.

“How do you not get bored?” asked the Newbie.

“First,” interjected George, “You learn not to ask that question. You’ve just got to learn to sit back and not think too much. Then, time can just flow by you.”

“Eight years.” said the Newbie.

Everyone was quiet for a while.

“When do we leave?” asked the Newbie.

“Another question not to ask,” said George, a warning tone in his voice.

“It’s okay,” said Jonathan, “We leave when we get used. We sprinklers, we’ve got a little smoke detector in our noses. When it goes, we go.”

“Oh,” said the Newbie, “And then what?”

“I don’t know,” said Jonathan.

“We come back to life,” said Frederick, confidently.

George snorted.

The Newbie ignored him. “Really?” he asked.

“I think so,” said Frederick, “I think we get resurrected.”

“In the same office?” asked the Newbie.

“No,” said Frederick, “I think we get to be someplace and something totally different. Maybe we get to be a smoke detector in a family home or a fire extinguisher in a restaurant kitchen.”

“What do you want to be when you get resurrected?” asked the Newbie.

“Me?” said Frederick, “I dream of coming back as a Halon system in some high-tech military hub or something. If there’s a fire, I could do more than detect it, I could just push it away.”

“Hah!” said George, “You’re stupid. You can’t be a Halon system. They’ve been banned.”

“Fine,” said Frederick, “I’ll be an Intergen or something. Either way, I want to be something funky and advanced. What do you want George?”

“Me,” said George, “You guy’s might not know it, but I’ve got a mean streak. I don’t believe in all this coming back stuff. I think if we screw up we end up right here, consumed by fire. But if we work, we blissfully expire and just kinda cease being. But if I did believe in this stuff, I’d guess that I’d love to come back as a fire extinguisher at a really rowdy bar. Then, when people are fighting, they can swing me around and bonk heads with me. It’d be awesome.”

“Really?” said the Newbie.

“Sure,” said George, “Beats sitting around day after day.”

“Frederick,” said the Newbie, “Could I come back as a Fireman’s Axe?”

“Or maybe a Fireman,” said George with a laugh.

“Seriously,” said the Newbie, “Could I?”

“I guess,” said Frederick, “Why?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” said the Newbie, “I’m just thinking.”

“I know,” said Jonathan, “What I don’t want to be.”

“What’s that?” asked Frederick.

“I don’t want to be some fire extinguisher in a janitor’s closet that nobody ever opens. If you think this place is boring. Wowsers, that’d be a prison.”

Everybody got that.

The newbie couldn’t think of anything else to ask.

So he just stayed where he was. Thinking, contemplating, passing the time.

The others did the same.

And then, in the beginning of the new day, they heard a key turn in the door.

“Night guys.” said the Newbie.

“Good night,” said Frederick, Jonathan and George – in unison.

“Pick a name,” said Jonathan, reminding Newbie.

And with that, the office fire suppressant devices settled in for another quiet day.

Day #19: headcount@nile.com


ADMIN UPDATE:
If you are of a political bent, you might find Dr. Rajiv Chaudry (about Healthcare ‘Reform’) and Jason Webster.(about Air Terrorism)
There are, of course, lots of other fun stories like Howitt (about a soldier), Violin Boy, The Cult etc… Enjoy this one!

headcount@nile.com:


Date: Thursday, 8, Mhyr, Fifth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Sunrise

From: “Neferty” < neferty@nile.com>
To: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
Subject: Headcount

Amenemhat,

I had a vision last night. In it, the Hebrew slaves covered the land. And there was no work. And they ate everything.

FYI, don’t bring your eldest out next Sunday.

Enjoy your weekend!
Neferty
Human Resources Analyst, Department of Astrology  & Visions

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 8, Mhyr, Fifth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom,  Early Morning
From: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
To:  “Ammon” < Ammon@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Ammon,

See attached. Neferty had a vision. Explain.

Amenemhat
Chief Task Master, Slave Driving Division

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 8, Mhyr, Fifth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom,  Mid-Morning
From: “Ammon” < Ammon@nile.com >
To:  “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Amenemhat,

There are too many slaves.

Ammon
Project Planning, Slave Driving Division

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 8, Mhyr, Fifth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom,  Mid-Morning
From: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
To:  “Ammon” < Ammon@nile.com”
Subject: Re: Headcount

Ammon,

What do you mean too many slaves? I thought we were on top of this.

Amenemhat
Chief Task Master, Slave Driving Division

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 8, Mhyr, Fifth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom,  Midday
From: “Ammon” < Ammon@nile.com >
To:  “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Amenemhat,

I’ve reviewed the model. They didn’t reproduce to projections. They were brought on for one project, which was expected to take a generation. They didn’t die out but the project is ending, so now there are too many.

Ammon
Project Planning, Slave Driving Division

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 8, Mhyr, Fifth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom,  Midday
From: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
To:  “Ammon” < Ammon@nile.com”
Subject: Re: Headcount

Ammon,

Can we retask them?

Amenemhat
Chief Task Master, Slave Driving Division

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 8, Mhyr, Fifth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom,  Late Day
From: “Ammon” < Ammon@nile.com >
To:  “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Amenemhat,

Yes we can. But I’ve analyzed it and my projections don’t show us having anything worth feeding them to do.

As an aside, they eat a lot. We’re going to have food issues soon.

Ammon
Project Planning, Slave Driving Division

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 8, Mhyr, Fifth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom,  Late Day
From: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
To:  “Ammon” < Ammon@nile.com”
Subject: Re: Headcount

Ammon,

Give me a report and I’ll present to Pharoah.

Amenemhat
Chief Task Master, Slave Driving Division

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 9, Mhyr, Fifth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom,  Sunrise
From: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
To:  “Pharoah” < bigkahuna@nile.com”
Subject: Re: Headcount

Oh Great and Masterful Pharoah,

It appears the Hebrew slaves have been multiplying faster than the budget can accommodate. I suggest working them harder and beating them more in order to dampen their future anticipated growth curve. We ought to be able to tackle this issue through attrition alone.

Amenemhat
Chief Task Master, Slave Driving Division

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 9, Mhyr, Fifth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Early Morning
From: “Pharoah” < bigkahuna@nile.com”
To: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Loyal Amenemhat,

I agree, I will issue the approval in the workforce management system.

Great and Masterful Pharoah

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 9, Mhyr, Fifth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Early Morning
From: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
To:  “Pharoah” < bigkahuna@nile.com”
Subject: Re: Headcount

Oh Great and Masterful Pharoah,

I will keep you updated.

Amenemhat
Chief Task Master, Slave Driving Division

~~~~~~~~~~~~

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 20, Ipip, Tenth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Sunrise
From: “Neferty”   < neferty@nile.com>
To: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
Subject: Headcount

Amenemhat,

I had a another vision last night. In it, the Hebrew slaves covered the land. And there was no work. And they ate everything.

FYI, avoid Imhotep Lane this evening.

How’s the wife?

Neferty
Human Resources Analyst, Department of Astrology  & Visions

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 12, Ipip Tenth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Early Morning
From: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
To:  “Ammon” < Ammon@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Ammon,

See attached. Same dream. Same answer?

Amenemhat
Chief Task Master, Slave Driving Division

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 12, Ipip, Tenth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Early Morning
From: “Ammon” < Ammon@nile.com >
To:  “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Amenemhat,

Same answer. Let’s add more work. Maybe make them make bricks?

Ammon
Project Planning, Slave Driving Division

~~~~~~~~~~~~

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 12, Ipip, Tenth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Late Day
From: “Pharoah” < bigkahuna@nile.com”
To: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Loyal Amenemhat,

I agree. I will issue the approval in the workforce management system.

Great and Masterful Pharoah

~~~~~~~~~~~~

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 15, Ta-‘b, Twelfth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Sunrise
From: “Neferty”  < neferty@nile.com>
To: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
Subject: Headcount

Amenemhat,

I had a another vision last night. In it, the Hebrew slaves covered the land. And there was no work. And they ate everything.

You need brain surgery.

Neferty
Human Resources Analyst, Department of Astrology  & Visions

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 15, Ta-‘b, Twelfth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Early Morning
From: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
To:  “Ammon” < Ammon@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Ammon,

See attached. Still there.

FYI, I don’t know how Neferty knew, but I did have a little bit of pressure relieved. I’m fine now.

Amenemhat
Chief Task Master, Slave Driving Division

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 15, Ta-‘b, Twelfth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Late Morning
From: “Ammon” < Ammon@nile.com >
To:  “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Amenemhat,

Good to hear. I’m almost out of ideas. Maybe we can slaughter them?

Ammon
Project Planning, Slave Driving Division

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 15, Ta-‘b, Twelfth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Midday
From: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
To:  “Ammon” < Ammon@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Ammon,

Wouldn’t work, they might unionize.

Amenemhat
Chief Task Master, Slave Driving Division

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 15, Ta-‘b, Twelfth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Midday
From: “Ammon” < Ammon@nile.com >
To:  “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Amenemhat,

Maybe we can restructure by kill all the boy babies and keep the girls as breeding stock?

Ammon
Project Planning, Slave Driving Division

~~~~~~~~~~~~

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 16, Ta-‘b, Twelfth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Early Morning
From: “Pharoah” < bigkahuna@nile.com”
To: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Loyal Amenemhat,

I agree. I will issue the approval in the workforce management system.

Great and Masterful Pharoah

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 16, Ta-‘b, Twelfth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Mid-Morning
From: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
To:  “Akh” < Akh@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Akh,

We are having excessive headcount issues. The Great and Masterful Pharoah has approved a baby-culling exercise. Can your group implement?

Amenemhat
Chief Task Master, Slave Driving Division

******************************************************
**********
Date: Thursday, 16, Ta-‘b, Twelfth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Midday
From: “Akh” < Akh@nile.com>
To: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Amenemhat,

We’ve already developed a plan for this. We can outsource the actual baby-killing to the Hebrew midwives.

Akh
Vice President, Operations Management

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 16, Ta-‘b, Twelfth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom,  Midday
From: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
To:  “Akh” < Akh@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Akh,

It isn’t my department, but wouldn’t that seem difficult to actually implement? It seems like incentives wouldn’t line up with desired outcomes.

Amenemhat
Chief Task Master, Slave Driving Division

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 16, Ta-‘b, Twelfth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Late Day
From: “Akh” < Akh@nile.com>
To: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Amenemhat,

It will work. Midwives’ activities are carefully tracked and we have in-depth reporting on their performance. We can track it and impose disincentives on a case-by-case basis.

Akh
Vice President, Operations Management

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 16, Ta-‘b, Twelfth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Late Day
From: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
To:  “Akh” < Akh@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Akh,

Ok.

Amenemhat
Chief Task Master, Slave Driving Division

~~~~~~~~~~~~

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 25, Ipip, Twelfth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Early Morning
From: “Akh” < Akh@nile.com>
To: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Amenemhat,

We’ve had some pushback on implementation.

Akh
Vice President, Operations Management

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 25, Ipip, Twelfth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Early Morning
From: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
To:  “Akh” < Akh@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Akh,

What about the disincentives?

Amenemhat
Chief Task Master, Slave Driving Division

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 25, Ipip, Twelfth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Midday
From: “Akh” < Akh@nile.com>
To: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Amenemhat,

They’ve covered themselves. They claim they aren’t actually at the births in time, so they can’t kill the babies. Due to under-funding of our department, our database is primitive. We can’t track whether or not they’re telling the truth.

We can solve the problem by increasing our budget and thus our data storage and tracking capability.

Akh
Vice President, Operations Management

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 25, Ipip, Twelfth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Late Day
From: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
To:  “Akh” < Akh@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Akh,

There is no room in the budget. Send out Egyptian auditing groups. If they find baby Hebrew boys, reduce future the headcount by throwing them in the Nile. I’ll have Pharoah authorize.

Amenemhat
Chief Task Master, Slave Driving Division

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 25, Ipip, Twelfth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Late Day
From: “Akh” < Akh@nile.com>
To: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Amenemhat,

Without the increased database budget, somebody might slip through, but we will implement it.

Akh
Vice President, Operations Management

~~~~~~~~~~~~

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 5, Kahrka, Thirty-Fifth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Late Afternoon
From: “Pharoah” < bigkahuna@nile.com”
To: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Loyal Amenemhat,

Some young man just showed up claiming he was a Hebrew. I thought we restructured them so there wouldn’t be any more young men.

Great and Masterful Pharoah

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 5, Kahrka, Thirty-Fifth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Late Afternoon
From: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
To:  “Pharoah” < bigkahuna@nile.com”
Subject: Re: Headcount

Oh Great and Masterful Pharoah,

We achieved our project goals. We laid the groundwork for a significant future reduction in headcount.

One or two might have slipped through.

What did the Hebrew want?

Amenemhat
Chief Task Master, Slave Driving Division

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 5, Kahrka, Thirty-Fifth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Late Afternoon
From: “Pharoah” < bigkahuna@nile.com”
To: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Loyal Amenemhat,

Collective bargaining.

Great and Masterful Pharoah

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 5, Kahrka, Thirty-Fifth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Late Afternoon
From: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
To:  “Pharoah” < bigkahuna@nile.com”
Subject: Re: Headcount

Oh Great and Masterful Pharoah,

Oy.

Amenemhat
Chief Task Master, Slave Driving Division

****************************************************************
Date: Thursday, 5, Kahrka, Thirty-Fifth Year, Twentieth Dynasty, New Kingdom, Late Afternoon
From: “Pharoah” < bigkahuna@nile.com”
To: “Amenemhat” < amenemhat@nile.com>
Subject: Re: Headcount

Loyal Amenemhat,

Tell me about it. Just like that, there goes the family business 🙁

Great and Masterful Pharoah


Day #10: Siren's Call

I set up my tripod carefully. I get behind the video camera and turn it on. The couple is perfectly in frame. I give a thumbs up and the woman smiles in that grandmotherly way that says she’s enjoying helping a youngster like me out a bit.

She is helping me out. This is an interview like no other and it was hard even to get introduced to the couple involved.

The husband well, he doesn’t seem to be paying attention to me. Whenever I say anything, he appears to just grunt in my general direction. And every time he does it, without fail, his wife’s face brightens and she gives him a long and loving look.

I haven’t heard him grunt though, and I haven’t heard her speak. At least not directly.

Legend has it, correctly, that to hear her speak would result in my death. Thankfully, whatever part of her voice does this doesn’t seem to have any effect over the telephone. And so I’ve got a Bluetooth microphone tucked away beneath my over-sized and double-insulated ear protection. And she, well, she has a speakerphone.

I motion towards the phone, and she picks it up and calls me. I answer and her voice comes through – only slightly delayed, “Can you hear me, young man?”

I nod. And she smiles again.

“Can you hear me?” I ask.

She nods. Her husband grunts. I sense some disguised desire to be friendly. Apparently, so does she. She elbows him gently in the ribs and smiles that adoring smile again.

“Mrs. Snowman?” I asked.

She turns back to me, her voice projecting into my right ear, “Oh, deary, you can just call me Victoria.”

“Victoria,” I ask, “And how should I refer to Mr. Snowman.”

“Oh, you people have such a hard time pronouncing his name, just call him Aybo.”

“Okay,” I answer.

I flip open my notepad and start with my first question, “Victoria, can you tell me a bit about your life before you met?”

“Sure,” she says, with an open smile, “I was living in Thailand. I was making my living there, in the way of my kind. You know, singing to men, drawing them in, and eating them. I know you people tend to be horrified by this – I do read the press. Anyway, I was a pretty lonely Siren, as most Sirens are. We eat the men of your species – so they don’t provide much company. And the men of the monstrous species – well, they generally consider us a bit on the desperate side. The singing and coy glances and all that do lend themselves to that impression. Not that there’s much we can do about that. Biology is biology. Anywho, that’s where I was. Me and a few of my girlfriends just getting by, playing cards to pass the time.”

“And you, Aybo?”

Aybo, more commonly known as Abominable Snowman raises his shaggy head. His glowing red eyes are framed by his dirty white mane. He looks right through me and I feel an incredible chill. He opens his mouth, his breath the smell of rotted Yak breath, and then, he grunts.

Victoria smiles up at him. “He doesn’t talk much. Kind of the strong and silent type, you know?”

I write in my notebook, trying to get the image of his face out of my mind.

“So, uh, how’d you meet?”

“Oh, that was a strange day,” says Victoria, “It was back in ’43. I was living in the Thailand. I think I said that already. Anyway, I was living in what I thought was a sunny little seaside village. But one year, it got very cold and snowy. And us Sirens – well, we aren’t built for cold and snow. We’re actually allergic to clothing. We built a little fire in our cave and tried to stay as warm as could, but we were fading fast. We were in real trouble. But then, when we were on the brink of death, in stepped Aybo here. He rescued me.” She pats the matted hair of his arm appreciatively.

“Was it love at first sight?”

“For me, yes. I was smitten. Of course, he had no way of knowing that. I’m a siren, we always act smitten. And my girlfriends were acting exactly the same way. I think, more than anything, he wanted to get out of there. He built us a bigger and better fire. He put up some doors on the cave. And he got us all battened down. And not one of us made any progress on luring him. I did mention we’re generally regarded as the desperate types, right?”

I nodded.

“Right,” she said, “I was really falling for Aybo though.”

Her eyes twinkle in remembrance, “My girlfriends were just acting on instinct. There wasn’t any love or desire there. But Aybo couldn’t tell the difference. So I pulled out all the stops and just as he was about to leave, I said, ‘I’m still cold here.'” – with that the little old siren indicated a key portion of her upper body – “‘Can you warm me up?’ He grunted and grimaced, but he finally agreed.

“And let me tell you, his hands were freezing. I mean icy cold. I wasn’t cold before, but I got cold awful fast. And this sweet teddy bear of a man,” she pauses and smiles up at him, “He kept looking down at me and asking, ‘Are you sure I’m helping?’ And I kept looking up at him and, lying through my chattering teeth, insisting that he was.”

“Was that it, instant love all around and you got happily married.”

“Oh, lord no,” says Victoria, “It didn’t really work at all. All it really did is get him to stop working and strike up a little bit of a conversation with me. This Aybo of mine, he was all work and no play. He was doing doing doing, but he wasn’t stopping to smell the flowers. I could see he needed some love and some help. Anyway, once I actually got to talk to him, I’m sure he could see that there was more than the standard Siren routine going on. I was more than a body and a sweet voice. And we sort of began to click. And then, just as I thought things were going great, he was gone. Some other monster needed help – or he had a snack to finish – who knows. I was forlorn.”

Aybo grunted.

She patted his arm.

“When did you meet again?” I ask.

“It could have taken years,” she says, “But I took things into my own hands. I left my girlfriends in sunny Thailand and I moved into a cave in Nepal. Next thing you know, I was in the middle of another snowstorm and I needed rescuing again.”

“And Aybo showed up?” I ask.

“Well, no,” says Victoria, “His brother did. I could tell they weren’t the same. And I pouted and refused his help. He must have been extremely confused – Sirens just don’t act that way. But I said he wanted his brother and, seeing I was next to death, he agreed. A few hours later, my Aybo was there. We talked and talked. Well, I talked and he grunted amenably, and we spent a wonderful night together.”

“And then you got married and lived happily ever after?”

“Well, you’d expect a little drama. A little spat. Wouldn’t you? We are monsters. Well, we had our little drama. Aybo is a bit of the jealous type – and I can’t help but, shall we say, put myself forward. I kept on luring monsters and men and he got more and more angry about it. It looked like things would never work out. We fought and he left for a while – he never liked fighting. I got myself stuck on an ice-floe in the Arctic, on a mountaintop in Colorado, in the middle of the Andes, all sorts of places. But his brother always came to rescue me. He never ever came. And I was falling to pieces. I almost wished the snow would take me.”

“But you’re here now?”

“Yes,” says Victoria, “I finally realized how we could both be happy. I sent him a letter explaining: I’d sing ’em in, and then, to satisfy his jealousy, he’d get to kill them. He got it out of his system and I got to keep doing what I’ve always done. In fact, it was a really successful little operation. People are prepared for a Siren near the sea, but I’d be on a glacier or something unexpected. They wouldn’t have any protection. I’d lure in climbers and hikers and anybody who thought about travelling through those parts and Aybo here woul
d finish them off. We were eating well and making a fantastic living selling excess equipment. It was a great partnership and we were truly happy.”

“What happened next?”

“Oh, before long, I was expecting and we moved to a bigger cave. Life was really great.”

“What did you have?”

“It was a god-awful thing,” she says, playfully, “My cute little Johnny. Being as we’re monsters, the greatest risk in childbirth is that your offspring will eat you. So our obstetrician recommended a prenatal surgery to put a muzzle on little Johnny. And little Johnny, that cute little guy, bit her arm off from within the womb. That’s when we knew he’d be something special. When we was finally born, he had the voice of a Siren, the body of a Siren, and the hair and smell of Aybo here. We didn’t think he’d ever get married. But he did, eventually. I guess there are all types.”

“Do you have any grandchildren?”

She gave me her best grandmotherly smile, and said, “Of course!”

She reached into her purse, pulled out a photo wallet and was just about to show me the pictures when she thought better of it. With a disappointed look, she put the photos back and then said, in a slightly depressed voice, says, “I’d show you, but you might not survive.”

I closed my eyes and counted to five.

Then, I turned to Aybo and asked, “Is there anything you’d like to add.”

He looked straight at me and I resisted shivering. And then he grunted.

Victoria smiled warmly and translated, “He says ‘We’ve lived happily ever after.'”

They both gave me their best smiles.

And with that, I closed my notebook, packed up my gear and headed home.