Monday, May 12, 2008

Sock Puppets Inc.: Anthropomorphizing Alice

I really think Alice is my favorite co-worker. Her indefatigable optimism is astonishing. Breathtaking. Bordering on insanity. How can you not like it?

Alice has worked in this office since Bingam started the business. There are dirty rumors that she got her job doing dirty things, but I suspect Alice got her job because she sold the boss on religion. Her own particular type of religion - that the machines surrounding us have lives of their own, and any malfunctions they have are of their own doing. It's actually pretty compelling, isn't it?

Today, I was leaving the office to get some much-needed fresh air and I passed Alice whispering. Curious, I slowed, and overheard her coaxing, "Come on baby, you know you can do it. That's it, come on." I thought she was coaching her dog (Maybellina) through puppy-birth over the telephone. (It happened last year; she was heartbroken to have missed the event.) "That's it, Mr. Shiny, give us the file." Nope, no puppies. Just the computer.

Alice has a theory, she tells us. The computers are part of a karmic network. They give back to us what we give them. If we talk to them nicely, keep them clean, and don't gossip about them behind their backs, they will cooperate with us. Alice's theory is so indisputably nice, so innocent, that she's really won quite a few converts. The other day I did find myself nuzzling my mouse.

Princess Nijma

Princess Nijma