Saturday, July 25, 2009


Recently something triggered my memory, reminding me of an interesting co-worker I had years ago. Not interesting in the sense that the world's most interesting man is interesting, but rather in the sense that Phineas Gage is interesting.

This man, whom I will refer to as Todd to protect his anonymity and because I can't remember his name, I met while working at Sears many years ago. Todd worked in the paint department and other than being on the nerdy side, seemed pretty unnoteworthy. That was until he told me about the time that he had been attacked on the street by a man wielding a knife and after being slashed on the arm, punched his assailant in the throat, crushing his larynx and killing him. He told me that he had trained for years in ninjitsu and that he had reacted without even thinking about it. I thought that this was a pretty traumatic experience and easily trumped any story I had.

A few months passed without any more tales, but eventually Todd dropped this bombshell on me: he had either purchased or constructed (I can't remember which anymore) a powerful laser and used it to write his name on the moon. If I had a high powered telescope and new where to look, I would be able to see it. After hearing this, I began to form the opinion that he just liked to make up stories for his own entertainment and started questioning his ninja story.

Again, more time passed without giving it too much thought when Todd told me with a completely straight face that he was planning on colonizing Mars. That he and a brilliant engineer friend had purchased a small island at an undisclosed location and some materials to begin construction on a rocket. Todd explained that they had figured out an economically feasible way accomplish all of this, but that the government was trying to stop them and that's why the location of the island had to remain confidential. The one missing piece of the puzzle was the crew. He had picked me as one of his security officers. He attempted to recruit a few other fellow co-workers too but I don't know what jobs he had in mind for any of them. It was at this point that I began to question his sanity and avoid him. I never saw anything on the news about a successful mission to Mars, so I assume that he has still been unable to recruit colonists.

To date, he remains the most unusual and interesting co-worker I have had, although at the same job I did work with a seasonal employee who would have gotten along just fine with Todd. This guy, whose name I also don't remember, told me that a friend of his had invented a perpetual motion machine that would have been adapted to make cars so efficient that they would require virtually no fuel. Sadly, the oil industry found out about it and, as they are known to do, had him killed. As a result we are now saddled with inefficient vehicles and soaring gas prices. This was truly a loss for mankind.
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