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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!

I’ll Just Keep On Trying, Till I Run Out of Certs

A further follow-up to the awesomely nerdy cruise I went on last week:

Aperture Labs turret

The missus and I came back with a handful of souvenirs — T-shirts (based on this design by xkcd author, cruise participant and domestic ball pit owner Randall Munroe, jealous much?), beach towels, sunburn, and the like — but my very most favorite freebie came in my goodie bag upon boarding, and it looks something exactly like the picture to the right:

That’s right; it’s an authentic Aperture Science Laboratories sentry turret.

Well, that is to say a model of an authentic Aperture Science Laboratories sentry turret. If it were a real Aperture Science Laboratories sentry turret, it would be much bigger, obviously. Also, it would be shooting at me. And there would be the promise of cake, only no cake would actually be forthcoming,

(If none of this makes any damned sense to you, this web page might help you. Or you could just grin and bear it for another paragraph or two; the references are just about done.)

I decided to take my turret to work, the better to make people insanely jealous because they don’t have an Aperture Science Laboratories sentry turret — or a Wheatley model, if that’s how they prefer their tea and biscuits — of their own. I’ve found this to be a gross miscalculation, because no one at my office seems to know what it actually is. Or what it’s a model of. Or why anyone would want a model of such a thing.

This puts a rather enormous damper on the jealousy they might otherwise feel, as you can imagine. Ignorance is bliss; the heart cannot want what the heart does not know about. Penis envy only occurs in those who know how handy they can be.

(Just for instance; it’s a common example. I’m just saying — these things are like little fleshy Swiss Army knives. It’s completely understandable.)

But if you’ve never been exposed (ahem!) to some amazing and wonderful thing, then you have no idea how jealous you ought to be. And you have incredibly disappointing conversations with those who believe you should be quite jealous of such a thing. And who may have brought theirs to the office and slapped it on their desk for all to see, for just that reason.

(I should probably be clear that we’re talking about the turret again now, and not the penis. Definitely not the penis. The HR department has made that very specifically clear.)

So how do those disappointing conversations go? Much like this:

Coworker: Hey, I need you to- what’s that thing on your desk?

Me: That, friend, is an authentic Aperture Science Laboratories sentry turret.

Coworker: An Aper… wha?

Me: That’s right! I mean, of course, it’s really just a model of a-

Coworker: So what does it do?

Me: Do?

Coworker: Yeah. What does an Aper-thingamabob do, anyway?

Me: Well, the sensor light comes on, like this.

Coworker: Oh. So it’s a nightlight?

Me: Not exactly. I mean, the light’s not that bright. Plus, it’s pretty terrifying…

Coworker: Hrm. Anything else?

Me: Sure! You press this button, and it talks. See?

Turret: I don’t hate you.

Coworker: What does it mean, it doesn’t hate me? Was it talking smack about me earlier?

Me: No, it’s just a… catchphrase. I’ll try again.

Turret: Preparing to dispense product.

Coworker: So what’s it, like a Pez dispenser? Gimme a Pez.

Me: No, it’s not-

Coworker: Seriously, make it gimme a Pez.

Me: It doesn’t do that. It’s-

Turret: Goodbye.

Coworker: Is that thing trying to get rid of me now?

Me: No, I just accidentally hit the button. Just-

Coworker: So is it going to give me a Pez, or not?

Me: I… no. Look, I might have a Certs in my jacket, if you want.

Turret: Are you still there?

Coworker: Oh, that’s it! Screw you, and your faulty Pez machine. I’m out of here!

Me: Wait! I didn’t mean to-

Turret: I don’t hate you.

Coworker: Well, that makes one of us. Assholes! *SLAM*

It’s times like these I wish I had my weighted companion cube around to comfort me.

(Yeah, I lied. The references are actually pretty thick all the way through.

Just be GlaDOS it’s almost over.)

So no one else around seems to realize just how awesome this little talking turret model is. And now there are a bunch of people mad at me, and who won’t even come back into my office any more — no matter how many Pez I promise them. So much for Aperture-style positive feedback. Maybe I’ll find someone else to help me.

Maybe Black Mesa?…

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