Now, granted, a lot of things are decidedly more funny at 5:30am than they would be if, say, you'd gotten a full night's sleep and weren't minorly freaking out about just exactly what the hell you were going to do for the Decorate the Managers' Windows Contest. I wasn't entirely sure this would be as funny as I thought it was, but hell, let's face it: it was an idea, which were in short supply, and it wouldn't cost anything and would take maybe 10 minutes to implement. Even if it turned out not to be funny, it was better than nothing.
The idea was a ransom note. I have an 11 by 17 printer, so it could fill up a goodly chunk of the window on its own. The idea is that the Elves have gotten fed up and stolen the Christmas decorations. Eventually, I got out of bed, made ready to face the day, and emailed my team:
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 07:16:51 -0800 (PST)
To: My Team
Subject: RE: Christmas decorating thingy
Wait, I have an idea that won't take much. Here's the scenario: we put up
wrapping paper and a couple of bits of dangling ribbons like the Christmas
decorations have been ripped down. Then, in the middle of the window, we
tack a big piece of paper in "ransom note" font (where it looks like all
the letters were cut out of different magazines) that says something like:
We is tired of you eating all our cookies
so we have stoled the Christmas decorations.
If youse want to see them alive again, bring
$1.37 in unmarked bills to the corner of
Peppermint and Chocolate Streets at dawn.
Also, we demands more cookie breaks and
recognition of our need for eggnog every
P.S. We lied: your diet is NOT working and
those pants DO make you look fat!
The two members of my team who responded seemed to think it was a good idea, so we decided to stay late after work that evening, and put it up. I brought in a bag of wrapping paper, ribbons, and, of course, the ransom note, and we waited until the workday was over.
So, it gets along around 5:30, and we can't find our other team member. I finally ring her boss' extension, and she tells me our team member had gone home at 4:00, perhaps due to a final exam. That left just me and Mike, both of us in the networking/programming department, or, as we refer to it, "the NOC" (short for "Network Operations Center").
My original idea was pretty simple, and, at least to the few people who read the ransom note before we put everything up, was at least moderately amusing. When you put a couple of techie geeks together on something like this, though, things get ... how shall I say it ... escalated.
We put up the wrapping paper across the top, and strategically ripped it to shreds and left the shreds hanging. We tacked up the ransom note.
Another idea occurred to me. "Wait! Over by where it says $1.37, let's put a little arrow and scrawl in 'and 1 pound of Oreo Double Stufs,' and then cross out the 1 and put 2, and cross that out and put 3, and then scribble in an s on the end of 'pound' like we thought of that later!"
Mike giggled, and we did so.
Then Mike found one of those itty bitty candy canes in a box in the office supply room. It was broken to bits, but still in the wrapper. He said, "Hey, let's tack this on there and write 'You if u don't show up!!!' on the side!"
I giggled, and we did so.
Meanwhile, people in the office wandered by and stopped to read the note.
I was right: it was funny.
Well, it was funny to the kind of people who work for the same company I do.
"The Elves, Local 403!!!" one hooted.
"One, no two, no THREE pounds of Oreo's! Classic!" another chortled.
I scrawled "SANTA SUX" in big letters with red lipstick in one of the clear areas of the window.
Mike and I both giggled.
"Hey, over there, put 'Elves Own You' but spell 'own' with a p!" he suggested.
Oh yeah. Elves pwn you!
"Ooh, ooh!" I cried, and scrawled, "Elrond wuz here" near the bottom corner. One of our sales people who happened to be passing by lost it.
We eyed our work critically.
In another flash of brilliance-slash-insanity (still not sure which), I drew a little arrow up from the "Elrond wuz here," and wrote, in a different writing style, "No I wasn't!"
"Suck up!" yelled Mike, and we both started cracking up. "SUCK UP!!!" I scrawled in lipstick with a little arrow pointing to "No I wasn't!"
Our work was pretty much done. We started packing up the remnants of our kit, and I went to throw away the crumpled bits of wrapping paper we'd left in the window sill.
"Wait," Mike said, "let's leave 'em there!"
Brilliant! To prevent accidental cleanup, we taped the crumpled up balls to the sill. We added a few other bits and pieces of string and ribbon, as though the perpetrators had departed in haste.
The tech support manager was walking out with us, and we proudly displayed our handiwork.
"Huh," he sort of grumped.
"Oh, come ON, Man!" I yelled. "That is some funny shit right there!"
I glared at him. He gazed back at me. Seconds passed.
"It's just that Dave always gets the cool windows," he said.
Oh yeah. Now we're talkin'. Now all that was left to do was to wait for the judging.