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Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Hello, friends! I am pretty much falling over dead with Cheer! I hope you are the same!

A quick note of explanation before we go any further, because I have been getting a lot of comments about this . . .

Many of you who watched yesterday’s video will have noticed that I put the Nerdfighter thumbnail in completely the wrong place. It was supposed to go in the middle of the video, but instead, I put it . . . not just in the wrong place . . . but in the wrongest place. The place that makes me look like I think minutes have 100 seconds, not 60.

My excuse: I AM SICK. And I DON’T MAKE VIDEOS OFTEN. And I WAS IN A HURRY. Look, can you imagine how nervous-making it is to be me, sniffling and sneezing and banging around with a video camera and a HUGE book cover . . . all the while knowing that J.K. Rowling could be crawling up your drainpipe to get at the genuine English Christmas cake you bought for your mother? Can you?

Many of you are still going with the “not so bright” theory, I know.

Actually, I have proof that I am not dumb. Just the other day, my friend Charlie made me this medal, which clearly states that I am well-appointed in the brain department.


If that isn’t enough for you, you will never be satisfied. Charlie does not lie. Neither do I.

In response to the WHAT’S IN THE BOX challenge in the video . . . Many of you guessed what I WANTED the box to contain, namely, a Vespa, a pink stun gun, or sequin-covered Converses.

Sadly, none of these were true.

What was ACTUALLY in the box was Lil’ Poxy, my adorable stuffed giant syphilis microbe.

Pox in the box

I felt the closest answer was this one:

phases of the moon said...

it could also contain a tiny Holiday Elf who was punished for not being cheery enough. as we speak, the elf is crouched in there, dressed all in black and wearing headphones. i sympathize, elf. i been there.

He is kind of crouched in there, so I thought this was close enough. So, phases of the moon, please e-mail me your address and your choice of book right away!

Five people made response videos. VIDEO MAKERS . . . please e-mail me your addresses as well so that I can send you some AWESOME PRIZES as well.

“Wait,” you are saying. “Is that it? No more prizes? I thought you abounded with CHEER?”

I do!

I saved the best for last, friends!

Soon after I recorded that video, my agent, Daphne, brought another box over to my house. And do you know what that contained? YES. It contained advanced uncorrected proofs of SUITE SCARLETT.

Advanced Uncorrected Proofs (or ARCs) are exactly what the name implies—advance copies of the book with some mistakes in them. They go out to reviewers and people in the publishing industry . . . and now ONE can go to YOU! You will be the FIRST PERSON aside from me (and Daphne, and a few other people) to read Suite Scarlett. For reals. It will be signed, and it will be yours.

“How?” you ask. “How can I be the first person to explore the inner workings of the Hopewell Hotel, New York City? How can I be the first to read about the trials and travails of Scarlett, Spencer, Lola, and Marlene? How can I get this highly-collectible, first of the series, limited advance edition. HOW, #&*#@ YOU? HOW?”

I’ll tell you. The book will go to the person who can explain this photo I took today with my iPhone while mailing my Christmas cards at the East Village post office:

What is Jorge Rodriguez? And why is this question on the side of an official USPS tape dispenser?

Put your explanation in the comments by noon, Thursday (that’s noon Eastern U.S. time). At that time, I will select the correct answer, sign the book, and send it to its new owner!

Now, let’s get right to some questions!

balexa said...
Hi Maureen! quick question:When will the worker elves be finished and the cheer cards arriving?I can't wait!

The elves are close to breaking point, guys. There have been a lot of card requests. Which is GREAT! Each card is a little bit of Cheer. The biggest batch of cards is going out TOMORROW. So, this is the LAST CHANCE SALOON if you want a signed card! Hurry, hurry!

danica said...
My house is being renovated, starting today and going on 'til late January. Consequently, my parents and I are moving in to my Grandma's for Christmas due to lack of bathrooms. Suffice it to say this Christmas will be much different than previous years. What can I do to raise Cheer Levels and just make the day more awesome all 'round?

Danica, let me tell you a story.

The other day, I went to the gym. There is a grocery store next to my gym where frequently stop and buy groceries after working out. This means I am sort of not looking my best. I am looking like I just went to the gym. But John Green was staying at my house and we needed some snacks, so I ventured in, even though I knew it was a dicey proposition since the Silver Sneakers Society had just had their party at the gym while I was there, so all the Silver Sneakers members were filtering out and they all wanted to go to the store as well.

So there I was, clipping through the aisles as quickly as I could—but when I got to the registers, the lines were truly epic. What was I going to do? John Green was STARVING TO DEATH on my sofa, and I needed a shower!

So I turned to the self-checkout line, which are these four computers, two of which are almost always broken, and the remaining two are notorious for getting things wrong. Like, if you buy a box of tea, it screams something embarrassing instead like, “ADULT DIAPERS” or “ONE COPY OF THE O’REILLY FACTOR FOR KIDS.” (Did you know that Fox new anchor Bill O’Reilly has a YA book out? It’s true! You were probably hoping for “Are you there God? It’s me, Ann Coulter” but this will have to do!)

Holiday shopping dilemma: RESOLVED

No one likes the checkout robots because of this, but I was in a jam. The Silver Sneakers had beaten me to the punch. I plunked down my chips and salsa, and the checkout robot immediately started ringing up my headcheese and soap . . . and it did it in a very peevish voice.

See, it doesn’t help that the checkout robot has the voice of a tattletale. A kind of “Nah-nah-ne-boo-boo, I’m telling on you” voice. This, aside from the fact that it broadcasts all the wrong purchases, makes it extremely punchable. I was wondering what the scanner would make of me going all Blade Runner and pounding it into replicant oblivion, when I heard the most beautiful voice . . . the most alluring voice . . . the most seductive voice imaginable . . .

And it was coming from the OTHER checkout robot. In Spanish. I understand only a little Spanish, but that Spanish corresponded to the foods going into the bag. And that voice . . . that voice.

I was kind of falling in love with Spanish checkout robot, but English checkout robot was screaming at me to put my items in the bag, even though I had put my items in the bag, and the Silver Sneakers people were looking at me like I was stealing chips. So the guy with the keys and the magical card had to come over, like he always does, and the Spanish robot fell into silence just as I was falling in LOVE. And it was kind of like Decker in Blader Runner, which I just watched for the first time—except that a lot of people think Decker is also a replicant, whereas I am clearly not a supermarket checkout scanner robot.

Anyway, Danica, I hope this answers your question!

icanhaswurdz? said...
I'd love to see a gratuitous photo of Danny Kaye on your blog; he's my favorite member of the International Heartthrobs and definitely cheer-related. :o)

Ican . . . Icanhas . . . I . . .


I cannot do this because there is no such thing as a gratuitous photo of Danny Kaye. There are only totally legitimate and awesome photos of Danny Kaye! Here’s one from White Christmas . . . and it is sure to bring Cheer!


Okay! Get your explanations and your card requests in. I’m reading and signing and wearing my Santa hat!

Labels: , , ,


Anonymous Bridget said...

The world is indeed a scary place when Bill O'Reilly has a YA book and "Are you There God, it's me Ann Coulter" had me laughing at for ages. Also, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who loves the Spanish-voice on the self-checkout computers. It always makes me trip to the grocery store seem more exotic when in actually I'm just picking up some soy milk or something.

In response to your challenge, I believe that the message on the side on the tape dispenser is an answer to the following Jeopardy question: (if you will allow me to partake in a brief dramatization)

Smart Contestant: I'll take International Sports for 500.

Alex Trebek: All right. This is the name for no less than 3 famous Latin American footballers.

Smart Contestant: What is Jorge Rodriquez?

Great blog Maureen and Happy Holidays!

8:39 AM  
Anonymous Jas said...

Wellllllll... seeing as the question was written on the side of a USPS tape dispenser, I'm gonna throw out a guess that it's a delivery location. This Jorge is so very special that he gets a locaation all to himself. Now the only question should be "WHERE is Jorge Rodriguez?"
My initial thought was an answer to a Jeopardy question, but I didnae want to usurp Bridget's recognition and dramatazation skills in any way whatsoever, so this is my backup guess.
I have seen that Bill O'Reilly book before, once, when I was with my little sister. I screamed, covered her eyes, and dragged her from the room... but that stare followed us. I can't get it out of my head, much like Ann Coulter's increasing degrees of undress on her book covers.
Please Maureen, make it stop!
Other than that, things seem to be going well. Pray, tell us more about this Silver Sneakers Society you mentioned, and the spanish-speaking check-out robot. I never actually saw Bladerunner (funny, it is sitting on my shelf) but I've read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, mostly for its awesome title but also because Philip K. Dick is a good writer.

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Naru said...

3 footballers + a Venezuelan politician and psychiatrist, and the current vice-president of Venezuela.

he is a busy man.

it is on the side of a of an official USPS tape dispenser because it's fun to write random things. and you should understand this, Maureen.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Bugsy said...

Jorge Rodriguez is many thing, a footballer for three different countries, The vice president of Venezuela,a radio host and producer, a member of the High Energy Physics Group for the University of Florida, he received his Ph.D. from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, a photographer, SEM Consultant at DX Media, Senior Vice President of Product Development at Tumbleweed, a student of Scientology,a writer, a boxer from California, a shortstop for the Arizona Padres, an associate professor of physics at Purdue and a painter using charcoal. Needless to say Jorge Rodriguez is a man that has accomplished a lot, I believe that is why "What is Jorge Rodriguez?" is written on that tape dispenser at the Post Office.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous xx Hanna xx said...

You have an iphone- so jealous:P
Um....so 'what is Jorge Rodriguez?' is stuck to the side of the tape dispenser for the simple reason that a poor soul(much like me) was trying to win a copy of Suite Scarlett and needed inspiration while at work-which could possibly be sending sparkly tinsel gloves to scary blue eyed O'Reillys- that could really break down a persons imagination.

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Jessie said...

Wow! I didn't even have to go to Wikipedia to find out what he was, I just had to read these comments! Oh, the joys of the internet!

..but. I do not actually believe he is a vice-president/soccer star/PhD genius.

In fact, Jorge Rodriguez... Is the name of that tape dispenser. And nothing more. (He plays up the soccer-star thing with the ladies, though.)

3:24 PM  
Blogger Ms. Hill said...

I believe that Jorge Rodriguez is a poor Puerto Rican who had to wait a whopping 45 minutes (with his wife) in line to buy STAMPS!!! That's right. 45 minutes wait to buy stamps. I'm sure the USPS customer service had a heyday with that newspaper article!

4:28 PM  
Blogger Tobias said...

The problem with the question "what is Jorge Rodriguez?" is the word "what". If the question was about a certain person it would be "who is Jorge Rodriguez?". So it either refer to a specific property of a Jorge Rodriguez or something completely different. And why it is on the side of a tape dispenser is quite puzzling to me. I think it probably has to do with a worldwide conspiracy of president Chavez (I like the guy, he's funny) in order to get world domination (at least it's something different than the usual american quest to dominate the planet).

Now something different: My sister is about to go into labour! Her "water just broke" and the baby should be here in 48 hours!!!! And then my little nephew finally won't get all the attention anymore (it's gonna be tough for him).

5:17 PM  
Anonymous bcanyon said...

I think "what is Jorge Rodriguez" and the fact that it's on a USPS tape dispenser, probably refers to some policy or procedure that the postal workers have to follow, and it's there as a reminder of some sort.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous JK said...

Jorge Rodriguez is not a person, but an anagram also known as
Rid Ogre Zero Jug
1. is to remind everyone that ogres, and other such beings like zombies and any other monster that will eat you, are to be watched out for, because they coudl attack at any moment! And it is best to always be prepared.
2. is also a reminder that no one has brought in the jug yet. The jug of course is a very wonderful very awesome Christmas cheer jug that every year is passed to a new person who must continue the tradition by bringing it back the next year, and handing it over to the new person. unfortunately this year it has seemed to dissapeaer, and everyone is getting quite anxious because it must return by Christmas or horrible things will happen.
So they taped the anagram (jorge Rodriguez) onto the tape dispencer in order to remind everyone who works ther about these very important points, while not making it obvious for anyone who happened to see it.
and that is the answer jorge rodriguez is a message that only a select few can understand.

5:58 PM  
Anonymous Kayli said...

Jorge Rodriguez is the name of an elite secret conspiracy of postal office workers. Under the terms of the conspiracy, members must agree to drop every package labeled "fragile" at least twice, stick a "this side up" label on upside down a minimum of once a day, and generally interfere with holiday cheer by NEVER DELIVERING BEFORE CHRISTMAS, EVEN WHEN THEY PROMISE SOMETHING WILL BE HERE BY THE 16TH AND THEN IT IS NOT!

These evil postal workers (you know, the more I think about it, they are probably zombies, or being controlled by the zombies) keep the name of their evil conspiracy taped to the tape dispenser (with a different kind of tape than the dispenser dispenses, I might add. This also has a sinister purpose I have not yet discovered, I'm sure) to remind them never to take pity on the poor people merely trying to spread cheer and presents at Christmas.

6:35 PM  
Anonymous Beth said...

Ohh I love 'White Christmas!'
Anyway, I guess that whoever put the tape on the side of an official USPS tape dispenser was probably trying to be smart and play a game with his friends of hide-and-seek jeopardy. They hide things, and questions and he has to find the answers. The hint was probably "He is the current vice-president of Venezuela" and the correct answer is "What is Jorge Rodriguez?" Although whoever wrote it, should've put "who", so they lost some money in their game. That's why they're working at an office, with tape dispensers.

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All right. I will not lie. I have no idea what a Jorge Rodriguez is. I'll go out on a limb and say he's human, though.

Um, anyway. I know for a fact that I'm going to be getting a whole lot of book store gift certificates for Christmas. I've got a few ideas of what to buy, but not nearly enough to quench the fire that is gift-certificate-mania. Have you read any really great books lately that you'd recommend?

7:44 PM  
OpenID nikkiriggs said...

Well, Maureen, First of all “What is Jorge Rodriguez?” is the correct response to the Jeopardy answer: This definition of this name is : a Salvadoran Football Player, a Mexican Football player, the Current Vice President of Venezuela, a football player for CF Pachuca, and a radio host and producer. So how did Jorge Rodriguez manage to make five different identities for himself? I do not know the answer to that. But it is very frightening. Apparently “What is Jorge Rodriguez?” was stuck to the side of the tape dispenser so that LOULS could send a message to the owner of this desk. Apparently LOULS, wants the truth to come out about Jorge Rodriguez! He hoped that the owner of the tape dispenser would become curious and investigate this amazing oversight.. Obviously LOULS stands for Love Opera Under Loud Speakers.. I don’t know who would use this name, but I think that’s the entire point isn’t it? Here is some crazy info on the five lives of Jorge Rodriguez:

Jorge Humberto Rodríguez
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jorge Rodríguez
Personal information
Full name Jorge Humberto Rodríguez Alvárez
Date of birth May 20, 1971 (1971-05-20) (age 36)

Place of birth La Union, El Salvador

Playing position midfielder/defender
Club information
Current club A.D. Isidro Metapán

Youth clubs
1989 C.D. Huracan
Senior clubs1
Years Club App (Gls)*
2007- A.D. Isidro Metapán
Club Deportivo FAS
Dallas Burn
C.D. Águila
Dallas Burn
C.D. Águila
Alianza F.C.
A.D. Isidro Metapán

116 (18)

National team2
1994-2005 El Salvador
1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only and
correct as of 26 April 2006.
2 National team caps and goals correct
as of 14 April 2006.
* Appearances (Goals)
Jorge Humberto "El Zarco" Rodríguez (Born May 20, 1971 in La Unión, El Salvador) is a Salvadoran professional soccer player.
Rodríguez has played professionally for Metapán and Club Deportivo FAS of Primera División de Fútbol Profesional in El Salvador, Dallas Burn (now FC Dallas) of Major League Soccer, and currently is with Alianza FC in his native country.

Jorge Rodríguez (footballer)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jorge Rodríguez
Personal information
Full name Jorge Rodríguez
Date of birth 18 April 1968 (1968-04-18) (age 39)

Place of birth Mexico

Playing position Midfielder

Senior clubs1
Years Club App (Gls)*

National team

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)
Jorge Rodríguez (born 18 April 1968) is a former Mexican football player who played for Toluca, as well as the Mexican national team. He played at the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

Jorge Rodríguez (politician)
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This article is part of the series:
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Dr. Jorge Rodríguez Gómez (b. November 9, 1965) is a Venezuelan politician and psychiatrist, and the current vice-president of Venezuela. He was born in Barquisimeto in 1965
On January 3, 2007 President Hugo Chávez announced that Rodríguez would be the next vice-president, replacing José Vicente Rangel.[1] He was sworn in on January 8, two days before Chávez's swearing in for his next term as president.[2] Rodríguez had previously been the chief of Venezuela's National Electoral Council . His father was a leader in the Socialist League and was tortured to death by police in the 1970s.[1]
Rodríguez studied medicine at the Central University of Venezuela (UCV); he was the president of the Federation of University Centers in 1988. After graduating, he studied psychiatry at the UCV and community clinical psychology at the Andrés Bello Catholic University.[1]

This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same human name. If an article link led you here, you may wish to change the link to point directly to the intended article.

8:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

So I just read your blog, and I missed the deadline by what, twenty minutes? NOT FAIR! Your blog page is hereby placed in my favorite links toolbar in Firefox, guaranteeing that I click on it at least once a day. That way, I never get to the awesome late.

I'll answer the question anyway. It has nothing to do with Jeopardy. If it did, it would say "who". The answer is pretty simple, really. Jorge Rodriguez in a fake person that mail is sent to. Whether it is an alias for the beautiful Maureen Johnson, or some other person, or just an unsolved mystery for the post office, Jorge Rodriguez is simply not real. Which is why it's on the tape dispenser. Where else are they gonna put it??

So I know I probably wont win, even though I'm obviously right. Now I have to read other's comments to see if they got it right.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Just a quick note- Bugsy there had by far the best answer. Even if it's not right, Kudos to the bunny.

9:15 PM  
OpenID melusina-snake said...

What is Jorge Rodriguez? Well, obviously, Jorge is one of those poor UPS worker elves. Many years ago, these elves used to help shoemakers create shoes. However, the evils of Reebok and Aerosols decided to rear their ugly heads, causing the elves to be out of a job! What were they to do? With nowhere else to turn to, they took on the only available job at the time: working nights for the United Parcel Service. They would spend all night checking boxes if they were properly sealed, using packing tape on the packages if they were not. This, unfortunately, caused many deaths among the elves; seeing as the tape was roughly the same size as they were, it was common for the tape to accidently get wrapped around the elves, causing them to suffocate to death. Jorge became upset with his monotonous life, as well as the demise of some of his closest friend. The worst part, though, was that nobody knew of this suffering! In this day and age, people did not believe in helper elves anymore. Desperate to tell the world of his existence, Jorge inscribed “What is Jorge Rodriguez?” on a piece of that malevolent packing tape and placed in on a tape dispenser. He hoped that this ambiguous statement would cause intrigue within the humans that worked in UPS during the day, prompting them to find out what Jorge was exactly and why he was writing on tape.

9:54 PM  
Blogger The Perilous T said...

I believe that Jorge Rodriguez himself came to that very post office, spotted the tape dispenser, and was suddenly overcome with an intense urge to deface the USPS's property. One of his many personalities (the Venezuelan politician, of one of the many football players, you pick)grabbed the a Sharpie and wrote that puzzling question. And he said "what?" instead of "who?" just to throw people off. Then Jorge and his many personalities receded back into the shadows, with the reassurance of knowing that the USPS will be unbelievably confuzzled by his question for years, months, or days to come.

Or maybe it was you, Maureen. Maybe you were the one who wrote on the tape dispenser, and you just wanted to see what interesting explanations we could come up with. Hmmm....

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Katie said...

The sensible side of my brain says "What is Jorge Rodriguez?" is what someone said and someone else thought was SO FUNNY it should be on the tape dispenser. The very un-sensible side says that the message is secret Zombie Code. That very message could tell the zombies when and where their [attempted] takeover is to begin!!

10:17 PM  
Blogger JohnC said...

Among the many employees at your local post office are two guys. One is named Jorge Rodriguez and the other we will call Mike. They do not know each other. Jorge knows that a common prank that postal employees like to play is to take an item off other people’s desks, package it up and mail the item off to random locations around the globe. Mike thinks that is a very funny prank. Jorge thinks it is a pain in the neck. Jorge, in an attempt to protect the most valuable item on a postal employee’s desk, placed a label containing his name on the side of his tape dispenser. Mike, while searching for items to mail, found the tape dispenser and wondered why it contained something called Jorge Rodriguez instead of regular tape. He attached another label over the first one which said, “What is Jorge Rodriguez”, hoping someone would clear up the mystery for him. He hopes it happens soon, because in the mean time, he has continued to take items off of other people’s desks, package them up, seal the boxes with Jorge Rodriguez and mail them off to random locations around the globe. He is concerned because he is starting to run out of Jorge Rodriguez and isn’t exactly sure where to get more.

10:21 PM  
Blogger Barratt Miller said...

Lil' Poxy just made my day.

As for "What is Jorge Rodriguez?", I think that Jorge Rodriguez is the secret name of the seductive Spanish-speaking checkout robot.

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Kiersten said...

Ok, so some people have said this is the name of 3 footballers, a politician, and the current vice-president of Venezuela.
Truth be told though, he is all of the above and more! All Usians (as Justine Larbalestier so cool-ly calls us) have heard of illegal aliens. Jorge Rodriguez is one of these, but not the kind that hop our borders. No, this illegal alien comes from another dimension entirely. He came here, running from the law in his own world, to seek a place to call his own. He has come to realize we are a weak society. He wishes to take over our world, starting with the USA. He is recruiting the paranormal outcasts of our world (and others) to aid him. Zombies, unicorns, vampires, and evil kitties bent on destruction alike are joining the fight as we speak. They make an odd bunch but all strive for the same goal: WORLD DOMINATION!!! And Jorge is the ringleader.
The reason “What is Jorge Rodriguez?” was written on the tape dispenser is because there is no better place to put a secret message than on a tape dispenser in a post office. Tons of people come in daily with letters, packages, and to deliver said items daily. The people would either not notice, notice and not care, or notice and try to find out who/what he is. They hope that one day someone can tell them Jorge’s secrets. Not much is known about Jorge, but perhaps with you getting the word out about him, we will soon know who/what he is and how to defeat him and his band of supernatural mercenaries.
Thank you for your aide to saving the world and good day.

10:52 PM  
Anonymous phases of the moon said...

wow! i'd almost completely forgotten about the contest. but i won! woo! i feel specials now. maureen johnson, you totally made my day.

now to pick which book i want. so very hard....probably devilish.

Bill O'Reilly For Kids. excuse me, i need to go hide in a closet and cry. or possibly begin a quest to burn every copy of that book. (not really, evesdropping goverment agent)

that is very high-rez photo for a phone. sorry, i notice these things. iPhone and it's many-pixeled evil...
What is Jorge Rodriguez. hmmm...he sounds a lot like a kid in my gym class. just kidding. he is obviously the evil warlock behind the plot wherein everyone working in the post offices are really human-lizard hybrids who weren't chosen for the human-lizard hybrids take over the presidency evil plot/outreach plan.
i really shouldn't enter though, but i'll keep that just to share with you all. post office officals move so slow because they are cold-blooded and the air conditioning is getting to them. always remember that.

12:15 AM  
Blogger Allie Beckaliciousness =) said...

well, i have a couple explanations.

Jorge is the name of my best friend's best friend. He is a balloon. He is amazing. I don't know his last name, but it could be Rodriguez! And the answer to the question: what is Jorge Rodriguez? is HE IS A BALLOOOOON =) you know, they could've been mailing out balloon bffs all over the world for the holidays.
video of Jorge and Annie, photography by ME: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbdlKRf6k20
I looked him up like everyone else who commented. Lots of football players (FOOOBALLL!) and some vice prez. Why would that be relevant? Who knows. Maybe they're mailing things to all the JRs of the world.


12:29 AM  
Anonymous guitar_geek said...

Based on these comments Jorge seems to be have many professions, so obviously he is a very talented person with many personalities! haha

12:47 AM  
Blogger Gia said...

Well Maureen,
OBVIOUSLY Mr. Tape Dispenser has been watching one too many episodes of jeopardy. And seeing as Mr. Tape Dispenser cannot speak, he's taken it upon himself to have one of the kindly employees write the answer to a Jeopardy question on the side of his...umm... body?

...Or perhaps Jorge Rodriguez lost his tape dispenser, and the employees have bad grammar...

Or maybe... (out or semi-realistic ideas)...


1:08 AM  
Blogger Shausto-la said...

well mj, let me tell you this in the form of a story.

So, one obnoxiously cold day, a local postal worker, also known as Freddy, awoke from a rather enjoyable dream of sunshine. Now, Freddy was a hungry man, but when he looked in his fridge and cupboards, there was nothing to eat! This depressed him, so although the windchill was like -400 degrees, he decided to make his way to the grocery store to buy something. There were rumors of a humongous snowstorm later, so he figured he might as well go now. After bundleing up in layers and layers of puffy jackets until he looked like the kid in A Christmas Story and couldnt move his arms. Finally, he made it to the store and began stuffing a basket with random cereals and bagels, still starving from having not eaten earlier. There was no way he was going home now without enough food to last him a good couple weeks in the goodly warmness of his own apartment. After suffiently filling his basket of foods, he wobbled over to the checkout lines, gaining strange looks from fellow shoppers from his clothing. Ignoring these, Freddy eyed the full checkout lines full of last minute shoppers trying to get ready for the storm. Freddy stepped off to the side where two machines sat long forgotten--two self checkout machines that were well known to have gone psycho a good couple years ago. As he pushed a random button, the machine started shrieking in a foreign lanugage, but Freddy didnt care. They never shrieked the correct item anyway. He wasnt paying much attention to what the self checkout machine was saying as he monotonously passes the canned veggies and soups under the scanner and thew them in his bag. As he picked up his final box of christmas themed Peeps Marshmallows and slid it under the red light, he heard the machine scream out "JORGE RODRIGUEZ". Startled freezing hungry and rather confused, poor Freddy made his way back to his appartment to eat his late breakfast/lunch, but couldnt stop thinking about what Jorge Rodriguez was supposed to mean. The next day at work, hoping one of his fellow workers would be able to help him, Freddy wrote down the famed message "WHAT IS JORGE RODRIGUEZ?" and taped it with that annoying tape that never comes off onto the tape dispenser on the main desk. Today, we still have no idea whether or not Freddy ever got his answer, but here's hoping another postal worker answered Freddy's plea for help.

1:11 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

The US postal service is a tricky crowd. They enjoy playing with your head, they enjoy it very much indeed!

Obviously (or perhaps too obviously) the tape dispenser is Jorge Rodriguez, and Mr.Rodriguez (along with the cunning US postal employees) is trying to make you label him a tape dispenser. He pans to become quite peeved when you do not indicate him by his proper name. He's rather tempermental after all.

1:36 AM  
Anonymous Bella said...

Okay. So. Someone saw the tape dispenser and the label and felt the sudden urge to write "WHAT IS JORGE RODRIGUEZ?" on it. Because they thought it would look cool.

2:12 AM  
OpenID edarra said...

Obviously Jorge Rodriguez is J.K.'s code name. She was discovered while trying to steal that English Christmas cake, and therefore had to change her name so as to be able to escape. Unfortunately, her pursuers, two thoroughly confused postal workers (which, obviously is only their undercover job...), then decided to do a follow-up investigation on this 'Jorge Rodrigues' character that had mysteriously taken the place of J.K. Rowling. Due to their present state of confusion, they were unable to write a grammatically correct question or find a better place to post their question.

On a related topic, I'd recommend against hiring these two investigators, as it is apparent that the slightest obstacle confuses them greatly and hinders their work. Not that you need an investigator... (or do you?)

2:21 AM  
Anonymous JK said...

Ok so I just called Robert, the guy at Cooper Station - the guy with the tape dispencer and he says that he is still wondering what Jorge Rodriguez is. Jorge is the guy with the pony tail who works at window 7 and he may not be human. He's way too nice to be human. It has become a phenomenon around the station because when you post mail at window 7 you don't get a transaction you get an experience. (Roberts words exactly)! so... yeah. hope thats right.

2:27 AM  
Anonymous Danica said...

So...you're saying I need to get a Spanish robot to increase Cheer Levels?

2:41 AM  
OpenID tehrussian said...

Ah. Good old Jorge. I was wondering when someone was going to ask about that. You see, I was visiting New York a few weeks ago when I witnessed a Very Strange Occurence. My tour guide (Dirty Joe is a native New Yorker... he lives on the street and panhandles for cash. He also has a dog named Margaret, and an imaginary friend, Randolph. But that's a different story) needed to stop by the post office, so I came along.

I was standing off to the side (it's dangerous for midwesterners to get in the middle of busy New Yorkers, such as the ones at the post office, when it happened. A small figure dressed all in black (including a hat with a wide brim, and dark sunglasses) snuck inside and inbetween the irritated New Yorkers. She (I could tell it was a she from the long blond hair escaping the hat)snuck right up to the front desk, and then pulled something out of her pocket. I found this interesting, so I paid close attention. The thing she pulled from her pocket looked like a slip of paper. Looking around, the woman reached out, grabbed the tape dispensor, and stuck the paper on. Then, she put the tape back, turned around, and snuck back towards the door. She would have gotten away if she hadn't turned around in the doorway. But she did, and her glasses slipped a little, and... IT WAS JK ROWLING!!!! Well, I, as a huge fan, was shocked. But I had heard you could meet anyone in New York. Jo saw that I saw her, and turned and ran out the door. I followed, but when I got outside, she was gone. Like she had Disapparated, or something.

But that's not all! Disappointed, I went back inside to wait for Dirty Joe. A few minutes later, I see another, different dark shape slip into the post office. I watched the figure (this time wearing a ski mask and long, black parka) make its way up to the front desk, and covertly grab the tape dispensor. Just as covertly, he pulled a Secert Agent-like camera out of his pocket and took a picture of the tape dispensor before putting it back into place and starting to (still covertly) back out of the post office. It was a lucky coincidence for me that, on his way out, the man stumbled slightly, and his hat caught on a (very tall) man's watch. As they tried to untangle themselves, the ski-mask came up. Who was it? Why, who else but PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH!!!! After untangling himself, Bush sprinted out of the post office, and I saw no more dark figures that day. But, really, two were enough.

So what is Jorge Rodriguez, you ask? Why it is a plot between JK Rowling and George W Bush to build a magic school right here in the US. "Jorge Rodriguez" is obviously a code that has something to do with the project. Hopefully, the school will be done before the new president come to power next year. But all the ten year olds out there might just get a very exciting surprise on their eleventh birthday next year...

2:42 AM  
Anonymous cardiganweather said...

I have come to the conclusion thats it's JK Rowlings way of keeping in contact with you. She's leaving clues everywhere, so when you find out what Jorge Rodriguez is , JK will leave another one. All the while, she will be plotting getting away you from your house just so she can break in to try and steal your food. Watch your back. She's coming.
Which is scary.

2:45 AM  
Anonymous cardiganweather said...

I think I'm going to be un-cheerful for a day now. :(

2:50 AM  
Anonymous katie said...

I think it's part of a joke. Like the question is What is Jorge Rodriguez and if you peel the tape off, you find the answer.

Or...It could be an inside joke with the workers there.

2:51 AM  
Blogger Regen said...

Jorge Rodriguez is the name for enlightenment. Some very wise UPS worker has achieved enlightenment, and he has named it JORGE RODRIGUEZ! while he was meditating in his cubicle/station/seat/whatever they have at the UPS office, a coworker overheard him chanting "Jorge Rodriguez...Jorge Rodriguez...Jorge Rodriguez.." When said coworker asked our wise friend who Jorge Rodriguez was, he answered "It's a complicated thing to explain." Rather than offend this enlightened being by asking others what Jorge Rodriguez was aloud, he wrote it on a label and stuck it on the office tape dispenser. And that is what Jorge Rodriguez is.

I think.

3:04 AM  
Anonymous Becky said...

What is Jorge Rodriguez? Why Jorge Rodriguez is, of course, the tape dispenser! (I mean, doesn't everyone name objects after people? I do. My laptop for example is King Henry IX since well, King Henry XIII my previous laptop decided to behead himself. But we won't get into that...) You see, Jorge Rodriguez is also el Zarco, which in spanish (apparently) means light blue. And as we see, Jorge the tape dispenser is sitting on his legacy - a light blue countertop next to a bottle of tasty light blue ER.

So is it really a trick question? I think not. I think it's the tape dispenser's call for help - he is having an identity crisis. As there are millions of Jorge Rodriguezes out there, he is currently frantically trying to find out who and what he really is. Incidentally if I were there, I would have been able to tell him. Too bad you didn't invite me to the Post Office with you. Now poor Jorge the tape dispenser must wait until the next Jorge Rodriguez self-help session.

3:20 AM  
Anonymous oboefae said...

The person who wrote on the tape dispenser was obviously a disgruntled UPS worker and closet grammar freak who was watching Jeopardy. For him (or her) it went this way:
ANSWER: The current Vice President of Venezuela.
WORKER THINKING: Who is Jorge Rodriguez?
EVERY SINGLE CONTESTANT: What is Jorge Rodriguez?
WORKER: No! No, Jorge Rodriguez is not a what! He's a who! A who, I tell you!
The UPS worker wanted to share this with friends, but had no paper and instead had to write the terribly worded question on a tape dispenser.

3:25 AM  
Anonymous krazykatie said...

I googled the name jorge rodriguez, but, as we all know, googling one thing can lead to many others. so I have decided to go against google (who said he was a foreign football player/politician/vice president/radio host) and come up with my own idea. Jorge Rodriguez is a super human/zombie. :D
And he is using the tape dispenser as subliminal messaging........

3:32 AM  
Blogger nurin said...

According to yahoo, Jorge Rodriguez has done and is a whole bunch of very accomplished things.

But. I think that instead, he really is...one of Santa's Elfs!!! And the reason why his name is on the post office's tape dispenser is because Jorge is always going into the post office to mail people presents and the staff is beginning to wonder exactly who/what this Jorge is!

(Now they know, and we do too.)

3:39 AM  
Anonymous j_d_murphy said...

maureen, obviously, this is a blatant attempt to cheat at guessing the answers on jepordy. All post office employees are jepordy fanatics, therefore, all post office conflicts are solved by high-stakes jepordy guessing competitions. Most post-office employees are the workers of satan, so it isn't too suprising that one of them would cheat. There is always the chance that this cheating was done by a non-satan employee who is trying to win at jepordy for the price of his soul.---- J. D. Murphy

4:06 AM  
Anonymous Nuwon Wearspants said...

Jorge is the secret name of Free Monkey and the syphillis (spelling??) microbe when they are in a trenchcoat and spreading holiday cheer.

I'm sure of it.

4:24 AM  
Anonymous Bobina said...

In response to your question:

"What is Jorge Rodriguez?" is obviously the answer to the Jeopardy question: "The name of a Salvadoran football player, Mexican football play, current Vice President of Venezuela, footballer for CF Pachua and radio host/producer."

The story BEHIND the Jeopardy answer taped on tape dispenser is very interesting. There was once a young lad who always wanted to be on Jeopardy. Let's say his name was Theo. Theo always watched Jeopardy and was constantly shooting off questions to anyone he passed by, whether it be family member, teacher or random business man on the street.

He wanted to be the BEST of all Jeopardy contestants. So, it is only logical that he was always quizzing himself from one of the many encyclopedias he kept in his room. Now, as you can imagine, carrying one around all the time would get pretty exhausting, so little Theo devised a way to study on the go.

He wrote every person/place/thing on a piece of paper. Then, as he walked around town, he would tape one of this pieces of paper here and there. This way, he would be able to quiz himself without the hassle where ever he went. Including (but not restricted to) the supermarket, school, bathroom stalls, and the backsides of bus benches.

So, coming back to the tape dispenser: one day little Theo was mailing yet another letter asking the producers of Jeopardy to allow children under ten be on the show, when he decided it was time to tape up another fact-let. Thus is how the question "What is Jorge Rodriguez?" got taped onto a tape dispenser at the post office.

Even today, if you look closely around the East Village, you can still spot the occasional "What is Benny Andersson?" taped to a telephone pole.

4:35 AM  
OpenID mylittlepwny said...

I have two suspicious suspicions about the tape dispenser.
The first is that an employee at the East Village post office was wondering this to himself (My gut is telling me it is a him because of his very forceful WHAT and yes, it knows women can be forceful too, but in this case the WHAT just feels manly)(My gut is not a chauvinist.) (If it were I'd totally put in for a new one, because I'm a girl and there would bound to be disagreements.) while he was alone in the office one night, and after realizing his cell phone was dead and not knowing anyone's number by heart (cell phones do this to a person), and not feeling right to google anything not work related while at work, he jotted it down urgently and stuck the question to the tape dispenser, knowing it's a very popular piece of machinery in the office and that someone will have to see it by the time he comes in to work the next day and tell him what he is so desperately pondering.
The reason he used WHAT is still unknown.
It's possible, however, that he meant to add WITH only ran out of room.

The second is that you have stumbled across an elaborate and dangerous Scavenger Hunt, and this tape dispenser is a Crucial Next Clue.
I suggest solving the riddle of WHAT IS JORGE RODRIGUEZ? and getting in on the action.

But I don't know.
I could be wrong.

4:50 AM  
Blogger Marissa said...

Jorge Rodriguez is obviously the name of the introspective, philosophical tape dispenser, best friend of Louis the Fan.

5:30 AM  
Anonymous laurenzo said...

What is Jorge Rodriguez?

Well, m'dear, the answer for that is quite simple.

Jorge Rodriguez is a name. :]

But since I don't feel all too comfortable with that oh-ha-ha-she's-so-funny reply, I'm going to take another guess.

Jorge Rodriguez is a small, furry animal that has adopted one of the employees (not the other way around). Said employee was perplexed by the fact that a small, furry animal would take residence in his/her home, and even MORE perplexed as to what the creature was. (He/she had named the creature by now, after the first name that he/she saw). They told his/her co-workers about it, and proceeded to write the question on a tape dispenser.

Or, if you're looking for a less elaborate explanation, Jorge Rodriguez is a riddle. Or a question, rather, used to confuse various people. :D

5:36 AM  
Anonymous jellybean said...

What is Jorge Rodriguez?

Let me tell you a story. My in-laws once received a package addressed to them in the following way: surname, city, province. No full name, no street, no postal code. I hear you laughing. Clearly, that was a long time ago.

I think that "What is Jorge Rodriguez?" is a reminder that putting just a name on a package isn't enough - you need the full address.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Oh Maureen! You have no idea how much I need Suite Scarlett! Without this book, I very well may die. You could give me all the presents in the world, and I would rather have Scarlett. <3 Sorry for the melodramatics... I /am/ a theatre nerdfighter..

Well, unfourtunately for me, theatre will not help me here, and I am not very good at guessing things. But I am of course giving this a shot. You know, it strikes me as odd that the initials for Jorge Rodriguez are JR. Why? You may be asking this question. Well, MJ, I'll tell you why. In the spoken-phonetic alphabet, JR stands for Juliet & Romeo. Romeo and Juliet may very well be the most famous play ever written by the possibly most famous playwrite in the world, William Shakespeare. If you do not know what this play entails, I suggest you get your butt out of your computer chair and read it. Anyway, for those of you who do not know, Romeo and Juliet entails the story of young but tragically forbidden love. The only conclusion you can draw from this is that Jorge Rodriguez symbolizes young but tragically forbidden love. LOVE I TELL YOU. Hrmm, I guess theatre really did help me in the end. I don't know if my guess is correct of not. I hope beyond hope that it is, but if it isn't, I would still love it if you somehow responded to my feeble attempts.

Also, the other I wanted to discuss with you was the response videos to your last video. I still want to make one of those! I'm just lazy and haven't finished it yettt. :( Are you closing the chance to recieve your super special nerdfighting gift? Or can I still make a response? Thanks, and I love you!

6:49 AM  
OpenID italianeyes83 said...

OMG thanks for posting a picture from White Christmas, my favorite holiday movie. My Cheer just went up 10 million points (plus I'm out of school for the holidays!)
Lots of people want an ARC but I, too, will offer my own explanation.

I was not very surprised to see you picture of the suspicious tape dispenser. In fact, I happen to know the explanation.
You see we just happen to be in the midst of the longest running World Wide Office Supply War in history. The ballpoint pens, paper clips, and scissors are waging war against the paper weights, rulers, and tape dispensers. The war started because of a perceived slight against the paper clips. Fifty years later the two sides have still not reconciled. "What is Jorge Rodriguez?" is, of course, secret code. I happen to know how to read the tape dispensers' codes. "What is Jorge Rodriguez?" is code for "Zombies are coming!" What we need to be worried about is the eminent arrival of the zombies.

That was a long comment...I'm really very sleep deprived at the moment.
Merry Christmas!

7:12 AM  
OpenID xoxodory said...

I am thinking that the people in the post office got incredibly bored a day or two ago, so they decided to play again. Each worker chose an object and had to name their object. They then had to write clues and a question (that included their object's name) on a sticker. Whoever they gave the tape and clues to would stick the sticker on the item they thought was correct. A person who we will call 'Layna' picked her object and named is Jorge Rodriguez. She then wrote the question 'Who is Jorge Rodriguez' on a sticker and set it off to the side while she wrote a set of clues. The clues were

Jorge is near something green, but not something bright purple.
Jorge is sitting on a desk, but not a black desk.
Jorge is near something sticky, but the sticky item is not a sticker.

She picked up her things and found her friend (who we will call Rafe) and gave him the clues and the tape.
"Go find Jorge!" she told him. He started running around the post office looking for green things on desks near sticky things. He spotted the bottle and the tape and exclaimed, "I've done it! But which is Jorge?" He looked near the bottle and saw two things that could be Jorge: the tape dispenser and the bottle containing the blue liquid. He guessed that Jorge was the tape dispenser and stuck the sticker on it. He then went to find Layna, but she had gone! You see, she was hungry and wanted a brownie, so she went down to the nearest bakery. Rafe desperately wanted to know if he was correct about Jorge, so he left the tape on the tape dispenser and waited for her to return to tell him if he was correct or not. Layna had not returned when you arrived, Maureen, so the tape was still there.

(Later on, after you left, it was discovered that Jorge was actually the bottle containing the blue liquid. Poor Rafe had answered incorrectly!)

8:12 AM  
Blogger Joanna said...

jk: If you are not already a librarian, then you should definitely become one! You were sharp enough to go straight to the source to get the information; I know librarians with masters degrees and years of training who don't think to do that. You rock!

8:59 AM  
Blogger marrije said...

Danny Kaye!!! I had sort of forgotten about him. How could I? Since he is, obviously, immediate cheer itself incarnate. Hurrah for Danny Kaye.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

What is Jorge Rodriguez? What ISN'T Jorge Rodriguez?!

Okay, okay, just kidding. Of course, everybody knows that Jorge Rodriguez is the insider slang term for the USPS crime ring (founded by the aforementioned Venezuelan politician) that steals Christmas presents and then just claims they are "late". They also sell Santa letters under the table to people in Fiji, because people in Fiji have a fad going on about Santa Claus, and they pay nicely. The question is written on a USPS tape dispenser because the government currently has a spy working at that office to try to learn about the inner workings of Jorge Rodriguez, and he thought that the tape dispenser might encourage his fellow employees to "spill".

3:12 PM  
Anonymous jk said...

Oh, thanks Joanna, but I actually go the idea from the nerdfighters scavenger hunt. The clue that was in teh bookstore, and no one could get to it. they called the bookstore to ask about it. So I decided to call the post office Maureen had put that she went to the East Village post office so i googled that found the adress went to google map, and found the phone number. I got my mom to make the actually call though cause i'm like insanely shy, and she ended up talking to the guy who acctually had tape dispencer on his desk. so really it was the nerdighters not me. otherwise i wouldn't have thought of it.

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Marlena said...

Ah, Maureen, if you only knew what consequences your publishing that picture of the tape dispenser might have!
Now that the trouble has begun, I feel confident that I can tell you the story, as I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

When you stumbled upon that tape dispenser with the words "What is Jorge Rodriguez?" on it, you thought it was amusing, but, alas, it is far from amusing. For you see that question was not, as some have suggested, a recipient, or a worker. It was, of course, a secret message, one which unveils everything that the Postal Service has been trying to hide from the public for years.
Jorge Rodriguez, the soccer playing Venezuelan Vice President, is a zombie. Through my investigations, I have found that he and his fellow soccer playing Venezuelan zombies, in cahoots with the USPS, have hatched a dire plot to control our mail. Do not blame the USPS too much, though, their motives were simply to get rid of all of the different colored stamps. They had been annoyed by them for decades, and when Jorge and his minions promised them plain stamps, they let him have free reign in their databases. However, one unsuspecting mailman came across a secret email from Jorge, laying out their real plan, and mentioning that they were zombies. He rushed to his closest mailman friend and said, "Jorge Rodriguez is a-" but then their boss came over, so they quickly resumed taping up a box. His friend wrote "What is Jorge Rodriguez?" on a piece of tape, then stuck it to the side of the tape dispenser, and passed it to the unlucky mailman. When he turned to his friend, though, he was gone. And a few minutes later, the second man had vanished. You barely missed witnessing their kidnappings. I am afraid there is no hope for them now.

So, Maureen, this goes far beyond the realm of a book contest. This message you found threatens the fate of the entire universe, and we thank you for revealing it to the world when I was too frightened to.

Who am I, you ask? I am a mailman. I am a detective. I will watch them for as long as I can. And when they strike, I will warn you that the Soccer Playing Venezuelan Zombie War...has begun.

9:00 PM  
Blogger Jordyn said...

"What is Jorge Rodriguez?"
Okay. Obviously Jorge Rodriguez is code for something.
I THINK THE COPY PLACE IS A COVER FOR A SPY ORGANIZATION and the password that lets them know you too are a member of the organization is the answer to the question.
I don't know the answer though. I'm not a member of that particular spy organization. All I know is the backstory. HOPE THAT HELPS.

12:09 AM  
Anonymous Wurdz said...

LOL! MJ, thank you for the totally legitimate and awesomely cheer-filled photo of Danny Kaye! I love it and I feel the Cheer filling me as I type this! Which means I have become "Me - now with Cheer filling!"

1:00 AM  
Anonymous meg said...

Maybe it's like a Jeopardy question in that when you use the tape you're supposed to ask yourself, "who does this belong to?" and the correct answer is "what is jorge rodriguez?"
or it could be a code, in which case i cannot help you. i am not a code-breaking nerdfighter.

4:47 AM  

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