Thursday, February 03, 2005


David, a co-worker, was telling us about his shenanigans when we was in college. He squirted lighter fluid on his dorm floor and lit it afire. �Great fun.� he says. The RM peeked around the corner: �Do I smell smoke?� �Ah, don�t worry the floor is slate. It ain�t guna hurt nothin�.�

He set up a �floating bar.� They�d stock the elevator full of booze and run it up and down the building. �Hey, there�s a party on seven and some cool people live up there!� And then run up the stairs and hang out.

David is rather unconventional even now. I remember when I started working with him we�d talk over coffee early in the morning before anyone came in. I tell him about an approach we were taking on the software as he typed away on his email. When I said something that captured his attention he�d push back from his desk, crease his brows, lean back in his chair and scissor cross his legs up on the file cabinet. �Interesting idea.� He�d say.

I looked at his ankles revealed by his jeans. He was wearing tennis socks with little colorful heart designs at the tops. They remedied me of something a girl scout would wear. Certainly nothing I�ve seen in the men�s section of a department store.

And David loves his leather clogs. He�ll slip them on and off absentmindedly as he talks. Or he�ll wet a paper towel and wipe them down. He cinches his jeans with a black leather belt that threads through the buckle and past the second belt loop at the other side. It�s end hangs down several inches like a dog�s tongue panting. He usually wears a long sleeve plaid shirt buttoned at the cuffs but rolled a half cuff length up to the button.

He likes to cut his hair himself using a razor when it gets past a half an inch and �feels crazy.� He has so much energy he can�t sit still for very long and will move around with boundless energy that seems to exude from every pore.

He once told me about a fight his kids had over the remote and somehow the remote went into orbit and cracked the front of the TV. They were punished but David had a mind to build a bond fire out back, pour gasoline over it, paint his face and bare-chest as a North American Brave and set the whole thing aflame. It sounded like so much fun I offered to help him do it. It would have taught the kids there is life beyond TV.

But what is most amazing and humorous about him is his ability to capture a feeling or attitude in a few sentences. One day, early in my Georgia life, I told him I didn�t realize Georgia had capital punishment. I�d lived in California and Hawaii much of my life, neither of which have it.

�Yeah� David says with a put on redneck accent �If they ain�t no good we shoot �em out here. We ain�t like them Washingtonians out there, takin� their multi-vitamins, stantin� around in shorts and kickin� their hacky sacks in their hemp sandals. Bleedin� hearts them all.�

But if you think David is unusual, you should check out some of the other people I've worked with here.

If you mow your lawn and find your car, you might be a redneck.