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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Rat-Zombie Roundup

Sometimes, Google reads my mail. Do you notice this, if you use gmail at all? It reads your mail and suggests things that you might be interested in. Like if you write to your friend and say, “I so need a giant picture of George Washington’s head,” a little banner will appear at the top of your page with a George Washington resource on it.

This is weird on two levels. One, Google is reading your mail. Two, Google is not very smart sometimes. Like today, when it suggested I go here.

Why Google thinks I want to go to RatMart is anyone’s guess. I hadn’t mentioned rats. Maybe Google knows something I don’t. But I saw the link and I had to click it, because I’m me. Put a rat link in front of me, and I click.

I have to admit, I’m kind of fascinated by RatMart. This is partially because I once went into a PetCo and discovered that they sell two kinds of rats there: regular rats and fancy rats. Seriously. That's what they're called. For a buck more, you get a fancy one. It seems worth it. One needs a higher quality of rat if one is to be accepted into Society.

RatMart held it's own charms. First, what’s with Sherry? Sherry, owner of RatMart, is looking WAY too happy here on the phone.

If I ran RatMart, I would hire someone who looked like this:

Welcome to RatMart. I sell rats. You probably despise me, don’t you?

Don’t get me wrong. I like that Sherry is putting some glamour back in the rat business. I would just do things differently. Say you want to buy this nice fleece rat hammock.

Here are the two approaches:

SHERRY: Check out our totally cool and awesome rat hammocks! They’re great for the summer months, when your rat is just chillin’!

MY GUY: Theese ees a rat hammock. Eet ees good eef you want to sweeng your rat. *scary laughter*

The natural companion of the rat is the zombie. They go together like salsa and chips. And there obviously IS a theme in my e-mail, because I got this today from my dapper friend, editor J.Z. Migraine. J.Z. has been under a lot of stress, and has been resorting to playing Resident Evil all night to alleviate it. Today, he made this very apt comparison between deadlines and zombies. Since deadlines are a favorite subject of mine (and Deadline is still living with me—he sits on the couch all day and commands the TV), I thought I would share what he wrote, as a thought for the day.

You know, zombies are a perfect metaphor for life. Or, if not for life, at least for deadlines. You see a group of five lumbering idiots shambling menacingly toward you, but they're still 20 yards away and not approaching all that fast. So you roll your eyes and take out your gun and go to work on them.

But after you pick off two or three, they're all much closer, so you start frantically pumping bullets into them, and just as one falls, another one's stabbing you in the side of the head with a pitchfork.

It's pretty nice to work out these real-life stresses in the context of a video game. Plus, it's more fun than in real life, because in the game you can save up money and buy a bigger gun, and next time things will be different. Whereas with deadlines it's always the same. Always the dumb handgun with low caliber bullets, against a never-ending sea of zombies.


Anonymous Chelsea said...

"Theese ees a rat hammock. Eet ees good eef you want to sweeng your rat."

This line had me laughing so hard that I almost choked on my soda. You're a bit of a comedic genius.

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Dimitra said...

While I agree with Chelsea on the bit about your being a comedic genius, I would just like to point out that that thing in the hammock is a ferret.

5:49 AM  
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