Thieving Thursday: Queen of Sarcasm

>> Thursday, August 13, 2009

I promised JD of I Do Things that, on this week's Thieving Thursday, I would provide examples of my Queen of Sarcasm experience.

Unfortunately, most of this happened when I was much younger. Since I've spent most of my life as a goody two shoes, it is not uncommon for people to try to shock me. Since I went to high school in Las Vegas, I had plenty of opportunity to be shocked and I learned, fairly early, to turn that about.

So, when I first started working at JSC, it was a mixture of people close to my own age and people who had been there since the Apollo days. Many of the people I worked with were crusty old men, who were quick to temper and considered themselves dirty old men (DOM). Several of them would occasionally try to shock me much as my schoolmates had done before. Unfortunately, most old men can't take what they dish out nearly so well as they think they can. Also, unfortunately, those exchanges are also really inappropriate for a family-friendly blog. I do recall one I could repeat, though it's actually unfair.

The gentlemen in question was indeed a gentlemen, not one of the DOM type at all, and he was helpfully trying to talk me out of becoming a test subject. But old habits die hard. He said, "You know they have to use electrodes against your skin. They'll have to shave your chest."

"Well, how hairy do you think it is?" I found myself asking. Poor man turned beet red instantly.

But, though I can't use most of those stories, I do have one.

When I started a new job, I was thrust into a very fast-paced activity, building and designing at a clip I had not experienced before and have not experienced since. The group I joined was fairly tight-knit and contained some of the most talented people I ever met. A few of them had egos to rival (if not surpass) those talents. Early on, only a couple of days after I had taken the job, we all sallied forth to dinner. I had been rather quiet, as I often am when I'm learning a new job, and continued that way for most of the dinner. One of our software contractors was rather taken with himself that evening. He'd gone off on a concept he seemed quite enamored with (PG-13) - a titanium condom. It was easy to clean and lasted indefinitely, he went on.

After some time on this vein, I found myself speaking up. The group silenced. Apparently, it was unusually for anyone to call this fellow on any of his nonsense. I asked, "The thing is," I said, "If you found a woman willing to entertain a titanium condom, what exactly would she need you for?"

The man blinked at me. For several seconds. "Well, for the novelty of having someone in bed with you."

"For some of us," I told him, "It isn't a novelty."

OK, so it's not always sarcasm but I don't often feel at a loss.


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