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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA



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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

The Keys to My Job

If there’s anything I hate worse than blindly stumbling like an idiot into some embarrassing and unfortunate situation, it’s stumbling like an idiot into something stupid when I can clearly see it coming. That’s just about where I am right now. I’m standing on the railroad tracks. I’m watching the train barrel towards me. And I don’t seem too interested in getting the hell out of the way. Chugga chugga chug.

Here’s the deal. My job has changed a bit recently, with me shuttling back and forth between two offices. In two different buildings. Roughly three miles apart. So it’s to my advantage to be able to work pretty much anywhere — on the road, on the go, even on the john.

No. Especially on the john. Some of my best project notes have been written on two-ply Charmin. If I could keep my legs from falling asleep, I’d start having status meetings in there, too. The afternoon ones, anyway.

“To maintain my maximum mobility, I’ve reconfigured my laptop computer as a lean, mean, high-powered instrument of getting shit accomplished.”

To maintain my maximum mobility, I’ve reconfigured my laptop computer as a lean, mean, high-powered instrument of getting shit accomplished. All the frivolous, time-wasting games — gone. The file-sharing gizmos — deleted. The piles and piles of softcore women’s billiard league pinup pics — wiped clean. All that’s left is a light, sweet LINUX base, a few rich and creamy development tools as frosting, and an a la mode of cold, delicious intranet applications.

Well, those and the forty-seven gigs of obscure 80s band MP3s. I call those ‘sprinkles’.

The point is, I’m carrying my laptop around a lot more lately. And I’m whipping it out in a lot of strange places, which I sometimes need to vacate for a while — to get lunch, say, or attend a meeting. Or find more Charmin. So when that happens, I need a safe place to stash the machine, so some jackhole doesn’t swoop in behind me and steal it. That means locking it up in a desk drawer. And taking the key with me.

Therein lies the problem.

These aren’t my keys, so they’re not on my keyring. But they’re shiny, and pretty, and fun to play with. So instead of dropping them in my pocket, I jingle them and toss them in the air and twiddle them around my finger. Which means, sooner or later, I’m going to lose them.

It’s inevitable, really. I’ll fumble them down a sewer or accidentally fling them into a moving convertible, and they’ll be gone. And I’ll be left standing there, keyless, with my laptop computer in a perfectly safe, secure, intruder-repellant location that I have no way to access myself.

It’s going to happen. I know it’s coming. I can even see the look that’ll be on my face — the horror, the disgust, the anger. And that sneery, awful glimmer of ‘I told me so!‘ from the part of my brain that knows better, and is regularly and soundly ignored. The train is a-comin’. All aboard the Assbag Express.

I guess it’s better than having the stupid computer stolen. But I’m not at all looking forward to walking into my boss’ office and explaining why I can’t finish my project. Or reply to his emails. Or play him any more Oingo Boingo tunes. Damn, am I going to be in trouble. Sometimes I think ‘Dead Man’s Party’ is the only reason he keeps me around, as it is. Ouch.

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