This is an offshoot of the original Liam & Janet blog. That blog has become overrun by Liam's inability to keep his mouth shut when something annoys him. The serious rants there seemed incongruous with the humor columns. The plan for the humor columns continues to be to post a new one every Friday, plus occasional extras when the mood strikes.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Payback IS Hell

["Wow, Liam," I'm sure you're saying, "two columns in a row!" Well, yeah. This one was written almost a year ago, largely for the benefit of my sister (because posting it would clearly have been to her detriment), and the one thing I asked of her was that she let me know after she either got the job in question or decided not to pursue it any more, so I could share it with my adoring public. That happened a few months back, and I'd forgotten I'd written this, which shows just how much I adore my public back. Ah well, better late than never. I hope you enjoy it! --Liam]

So, tonight I got a telephone call from my sister. She is considering a change in employment, and has in her sights a major secret government agency.

Now, anyone who knows anything about the government knows that secret agencies require background checks on employees and their families. And anyone who knows anything about my political blog may know that I’m not entirely in favor of the current crop of Federal leaders. Perhaps not, I’m generally a very subtle and discreet person, so you may not have picked up on it, but I’m pretty certain that agents of our government, so adept at finding WMDs which don’t even exist, will be able to spot without much difficulty my personal leanings.

And hence, the call from my sister, letting me know that if I’m not ALREADY under scrutiny, that I probably will be (at least cursorily) and asking that I please, for her sake, not write anything blatantly anti-government for a few weeks.

Let’s review a few facts about my sister. First, of the three siblings in my family, she is by far the most personally successful. She’s also the youngest, most attractive, most female and has the largest breasts. Well, since I lost a few pounds, anyway. But being the oldest, least attractive, one of the two most male and having the second largest breasts, to say nothing of being arguably the least successful (although this is only by comparison to the other two), I have some reasons to feel some jealousy towards my little sis.

Now, let’s add in here a quick story. Part of what makes her so successful is that she’s a major grand Poobah Muckity-muck with a large children’s entertainment corporation whose logo is a large rodent. One of the few things that makes ME successful is that I’ve got a steel trap mind for any piece of useless trivia that will never matter to anyone, under any circumstance. Really. Ask me the origin of the phrase “Mind your P’s and Q’s” and I’m all over it. Ask me to list off the ages, genders, grades and even names of my children and I’ll stare at you blankly and say “Um... there are four of them, right?” (My wife, on proof reading, tells me I’m off by one. I forgot the youngest one. Lonny, or something...)

So a few years back, the television show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” hit it big, and suddenly my useless trivia wasn’t so useless after all. Here was a chance (albeit(*) a small one) for me to go on to some level of success, personal fortune, and the priceless opportunity for which our Founding Fathers fought and died: The chance to make a complete fool out of myself on national television.

I don’t know if you ever watched the show, but the way you auditioned was to call up a toll free number and answer a few questions. If you were successful and under a certain time, someone called you back, screened you, and then invited you down to the next level of contestant vetting.

I made it that far. I got through to the very busy telephone number, answered the questions, and received a call back from a nice older-sounding lady who asked me a few questions. By now I’ve given you all of the information that you need to see where this is going, but in case you haven’t connected the dots...

The Millionaire show was on a network which shares it’s name with an early scholastic subject. Said network was owned by the rodent and his corporate backers, who also employed my sister. So when the kindly lady asked me if any of my immediate family, including parents, spouses, children or siblings worked for the show, the network, or any large companies which might own that network, I found myself disqualified faster than I could say “The most magical place on earth!”

So you see, far from helping out, now is my chance to FINALLY get back at my sister for stealing this lifelong dream from me. (Well, OK, I’d been dreaming about it for the hour or so I tried calling the number, but still...)

I’ve been dreaming of my revenge since that day. The problem is, I don’t get many opportunities. I mean, I don’t work for a large entertainment company from which she might want something. I work for a company which makes digital maps. What was I going to do, delete her street from the map? Change one of the streets on her way to work to reverse the one-way information so that her in-car navigation system would consistently give her routes she couldn’t use? Yeah, that’d get her.

So now, of course, I finally have my opportunity. All I have to do is risk greater governmental scrutiny to the point that eventually I’m declared an enemy combatant and thrown into Guantanamo Bay detention center without benefit of council or charges being filed, away from my entire family and secretly looking forward to the next time the battery terminals are attached to my nether regions just for the human contact, and I can get her back! I can ruin her chance of getting a job which for all I know she’s not really interested in anyway. (I don’t know that she’s NOT interested, but how great would that be, to spend the rest of my life having government agents play punching bag with my major organs, far from the family that I love, only to find out she didn’t really want that job anyway).

So at this point, I’m torn. I could say “OK, Sis, what’s it worth to you?” and try to get some of the fruits of her success showered upon me as payment for my silence. Or I could just go the revenge route and write some article or other in support of terrorist forces which I otherwise find abhorrent, evil and worthy of total destruction.

Or I can say: Sue, good luck. In all seriousness, if this is a job you want, you deserve it and good luck.

There, that’ll show her.

(* See what I mean? Who knows what albeit means? And who, really, cares?)

Copyright (c) January 4, 2006 by Liam Johnson.


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