Nope, I'm not here and won't be back until August 2nd. It's highly
likely that as you're reading this, I will have just emerged from a brisk,
ocean swim, cool droplets of salt water still clinging to my heaving chest. I
firmly stroke my soaked hair back away from my eyes, my rippling biceps pumped
full of blood from the vigorous swim. The salt still stings my eyes as torrents
of water gush through my ears and nostrils, numbing my usually-acute senses.
Slowly, salt water, warmed and stained by its brief voyage through my cranium,
deliberately oozes from each orifice and streams down my neck like rivers of
molten lava, only wetter.
My hair glistens and sparkles in the intense sunlight, painted pure gold
by the sun god himself. Majestically, my athletic legs carry me to my towel,
which anxiously awaits my embrace on the steaming hot sand. But much
to the towel's surprise, I instead hurl my body upon it, turning to expose my
massive upper torso to the scorching heat, my eyelids pressed tightly together.
There I lay so vulnerable...so innocent...and the towel still rigid with
My body tingles as the sun bakes every pore, my brain focused on the
smells and muffled sounds of the beach. A radio in the distance is playing
songs I remember from High School, awakening sensations and feelings in that
young, high school athlete. My brain, now mature and sophisticated, quickly
realizes that all future daydreams such as this might possibly take place from
a prison cell...and immediately switches to thoughts of the Red Sox. I drift
off into a hypnotic state, paralyzed like a victim of an alien abduction, and,
coincidentally, resembling a Red Sox batter with an 0-2 count, looking at a
fast ball right down the middle of the plate.
Children are laughing and playing. They must not be MY children. And
no wonder. They are cooking food on my grotesquely overdeveloped shoulders
which, now hideously sunburned, are radiating sufficient heat to melt the
polar ice caps. I'm intrigued and impressed by the childrens' ingenuity, who
are using the gargantuan sun blisters to hold the food in place.
The waves are crashing nearby, blending into the numerous conversations
which I can hear ever so clearly. Someone is weighing the pros and cons of a
sex-change operation. Another is describing details of recent hemorrhoid
Suddenly, I'm distracted by a pregnant woman in a thong bathing suit.
A voracious horsefly seizes the opportunity to make its assault, tearing a huge
chunk of flesh from my tender inner thigh. My hand springs like a cobra,
clutching the gorged fly and squeezing the very life from its puny body as I
laugh maniacally with satisfaction. Wary glances from strangers seem to be
questioning my sanity. How dare they? Bwah ha ha ha!!!
Several distinct odors waft across my flared nostrils in the sea breeze,
blended with the disarray of the gene pool in West Virginia. As with the
analysis of a fine wine, my brain works to decipher each component of the
aroma. Cigarette smoke mingles with suntan lotion and the mellow, smoky, and
yet somewhat fruity stench of decomposing seaweed, shellfish, and crustaceans.
I reach into the cooler for an ice cold beer. The bottle sweats
profusely in the noonday sun, much like the scene at a Miami Weight Watchers
meeting in July. Sand sticks to the neck and mouth of the bottle as it
approaches my lips and then crunches noticeably between my teeth. I swallow
huge gulps of the icy cold liquid which travels instantly to my lower
intestine, rumbling violently like a thunderstorm in the Texas Panhandle. I
suddenly realize my horrible oversight, not taking care of nature's business
before leaving for the beach, a mistake now haunting me in the noonday sun.
As cramps stab and slash at my insides like Jason from Friday the 13th,
inconspicuously, and with the deftness of a KGB agent, I measure wind speed
and direction. A small group of elderly foreigners are sitting downwind
as I hatch my evil plot. With the precision of an F16 fighter pilot, I unleash
my weapons of mass destruction. The mother all gas clouds drifts like a
laser-guided missile towards its unsuspecting prey. As the first victims begin
reeling with terror, my face displays an expression of utmost innocence, like
that of a newborn child. No one suspects. One by one, the elderly victims fall
helplessly like Digital stock, deprived of their life-sustaining oxygen.
Sorry about that. A postal worker with a gun to my head made me type
all that in! In my absence, Richard (STAR::) Sayde should be able to answer
questions on Debug Tools or CSPL. Unfortunately, he'll be on vacation for part
of the time too. You could also try Anne McElearney (EVMS::RIX), Burns
(SKYLAB::) Fisher, or Jim (EVMS::) Goddard.
Richard will also be acting moderator of STAR::EXTENDED-VAX and
STAR::CSPL. So send those membership requests/problems his way or try the
others mentioned above if Richard's not available.
Keep the company afloat until I return from vacation.