Friday, February 16, 2007

One Wedding and a Vampire

NBC has aired two episodes of The Office since last I blogged about the best half hour of comedy on television. In that time, Michael Scott sank to new levels of social retardation, Jim has pulled even more elaborate pranks on Dwight than before, and everyone else in the office has had a share of embarrassing moments.

Pam and Roy Phyllis and Vance of Vance Refrigeration’s wedding was a smashing success. If by success I mean that Michael horrifies the bride, offends the groom, and embarrasses his employees, a poor uncle with dementia and Michael Scott (not the same person) were thrown out, and Pam watches her wedding dream pass before her eyes, then yes, it was a smashing success!

A couple people have pointed out to me that Michael’s latest forays into public humiliation have been a little over the top. I don’t think so. Look at the poor blighter’s history. He peed all over himself and threw the rings in a queen-sized hissy fit at his mom’s wedding. I think everyone was fortunate that Mr. Scott didn’t piddle himself as Phyllis’s dad did the miracle walk down the aisle.

As funny as the wedding scenes were, the highlight of the show for me was Jim’s Pavlovian experiment with Dwight. The entire sequence took place during the opening scene and consisted of Jim triggering the error chime on his computer and then offering Dwight a mint. By the end of the scene, Jim had triggered the chime and watched in amusement as Dwight held out his hand for the mint, only to become baffled when Jim asked him what he was doing.

“I don’t know, my mouth tastes so bad all of a sudden. ::smack:: ::smack:: ::smack::”

Classic Jim!

His wedding crasher prank was amusing, but it did result in poor Uncle Al’s expulsion and Michael Scott’s redemption, so it was more of an intricate plot device than anything. Was anyone else creeped out by how quickly Pam got back with Roy?

The next episode will forever be known to me as “The Joss Whedon Episode” simply for the fact that Joss Whedon didn’t think it should be known as that and I’m a contrary @$%&. In “The Joss Whedon Episode” Dwight discovers that the office is the current home of a deadly vampire bat! Naturally, there is no reason to assume it’s a vampire bat until Jim shows signs of vampirism after a bite that mysteriously disappears.

As Jon pointed out, what truly drives the funny is Jim’s steadily worsening symptoms and Karen’s wooden delivery of her lines.

“Tch! Ow! That bread is white hot!”

“But Jim. This. Garlic bread. Is cold.”

By the end, Dwight is so convinced that Jim has fallen to the Powers of Dark that he has armed himself with a Creed-manufactured wooden stake.

God speed, Jim, God speed.

Christmas Joy of Software Development

Software development is like Christmas.

I don’t mean that in the joy-to-the-world, open-the-presents-under-the-tree, goodwill-to-man kinda way. I mean in the mall Santa hauling one kid after another onto his lap as the harried short person in the elf costume shooed all of the eager kids from one end to the next and can’t I please have the Omnibot 2000? I’ve been super good all year! Why is Santa’s lap warm and wet? Did that last kid pee on Santa? Oh man, please tell me it was the last kid that peed on Santa. I don’t think Santa brings Omnibot 2000s to kids that pee on him.

Christmas Dreams Dashed on the Rocks of Reality

Um, back to topic

Let me explain. The customer is like the eager kid bouncing up and down in excitement on Santa’s knee. The kid rattles off a stream of things he wants as Santa listens patiently and smiles.

“And I want this, and that, and one of those, and another one of those, and five of these, and…”

He pats the kid on the head and sends him on his way with a candy cane. I know what you’re thinking; Santa must be the software developer. Oh no, that would be fun, because then the developer would have the power of Santa to reward or deny the eager kid his requests. Nope, the developer is Santa’s workshop elf. Santa’s lone workshop elf. You see, the elf doesn’t get to tell Santa that the toys he wants him to make are beyond reason. Santa tells him to make the toy and expects results come Christmastime. Did I mention that Christmas is two days away? And that there’s only one elf? Yeah, software development is like that.

Join me next week as I explain how raising kids is like being a Keebler elf!