Thursday, March 27, 2003

From The Brain of The Giant Head

Why Can’t I Just Email It To You?

"I hate you!

"You suck!

"I’m going to rip your heart out and stomp on it a zillion times until you decide to stop screwing with me!"

The fax machine is the last great technological frontier that I have yet to figure out. Other technologies are easy to fix when you have problems. When the copier breaks down, I add more toner and it works. When my computer breaks down, I unplug it and move it to a coworker’s office so it can sit next to her computer, Loretta, and get its jollies throughout the night -- cause everyone works harder after a good night of jollies. But when the fax machine breaks, my only recourse is to stare at it angrily for three hours, while waving my finger and yelling "Why won’t you work right!?!" It gives me more headaches than My Sister Jennie, my 21-year old younger sibling, who screams bloody murder when I spell her name with a Y instead of an IE.

I got a call from a client of ours that needed important papers faxed over right away, and by important I mean the updated leaderboard list from our NCAA College basketball pool. He could have called anyone in the office and asked for help, but out of all the cubes in the entire world he had my number on speed-dial, much like everyone else on the planet with any type of complaint.

So I grabbed the bracket sheet and ‘skipped to My Lou (My Darlin)’ over to the fax machine station, a cubical where many coworkers enter and then vanish, never being heard from again. As sad as that is, I’ve found the station to be useful for disposing of irritating interns and "Sing-O-Gram" clowns. If I could only get Ted Nugent in there.

The lighting in the cube was dim, creating some instant drama, as the LCD screen on our fax machine was the only source of light and glowed as bright as a full moon. (Editor’s Note: quit mooning me, Kevin). I approached the machine, quietly, hoping not to disturb its peaceful rest. I assumed the less aggravation I caused, the more likely the machine will grant my request.

Once in front of the faxing device, I acted quickly, much like an artist that is instantaneously hit by inspiration and has a pen and paper close enough to jot down the lyrics in order to remember them. (Without that inspiration we wouldn’t have such great tunes as "Let It Be" or ‘Um Bop.") I punched in the numbers of my client’s extension, like a pianist tickling the ivory. If you don’t do it fast, the machine may wake up prematurely and kill all hope of having a successful fax.

After hitting the final number, I shoved the NCAA sheet in the fax machine’s mouth, making sure it’s tongue grabbed the edge and began swallowing it. It was working! Sometimes I think life is wonderful.

Then it woke up.

Sirens began going off as the machine started spitting papers out at me, which read "HA HA HA." I’m not quite sure how to react when a mechanical device insults me because 1) It’s a machine and shouldn’t have feelings and 2) I’ve already been reprimanded twice for screaming at the Pop Machine.

So after careful thought and consideration, I grabbed the fax machine, smacking it, punching it, setting it on the ground and doing the leg-drop on it. At one point I climbed to the top of one corner in the cube and actually jumped down on it, giving it what we wrestling fans like to call a "Flying Elbow." The machine was in pieces, in shambles, in hell where it belonged.

I can’t tell you how invigorating it felt to destroy my Archenemy. I was relieved, ecstatic, overjoyed, and hungry. It was my own personal catharsis.

And I smiled knowing that somewhere, someplace, sometime, my office manager is smiling too -- especially while reading the nice anonymous note I left explaining how I saw the new Intern knock over and beat up the Fax Machine.