It's probably findable on Archive.org, and it's possible our departed overlord has backups somewheres, but I don't think he'd care to dig for them.
It was brilliant, freaking brilliant, a banter-fest morphing into a piece of performance art crossed with that famous tandem story by Rebeca and Gary (of which there are lots of redactions online, mostly adding obscenities and/or favoring Gary or Rebecca; the link above is, by my Redaktiongeschichte, the most original and funniest version), with Dale and I each one-upping each other in our war over the urban/rural ratio of New Jersey, then finally directly co-opting one another's identities in completely different ways.
It is one of the most perfect things that has ever happened to me.
And here is another.
Bear with me. I must first introduce you to my friend N. This is worth it, I promise.
To get an idea of N, start with See-Threepio. Thin, polite, veddy proper, clipped Oxonian accent (mother English, father Irish), a little fastidious, nervous laugh. Smart, knowledgeable, a bottomless pit of information (reference librarian). Anglican convert to Catholicism; an important person in my and Suz's assimilation to the Church.
That's a bit of a caricature, but it'll do for the story.
One day N was driving with a friend near our apartment in Philadelphia, and they decided to stop by. He hadn't called, and we didn't know he was coming, but of course we wouldn't have minded the imposition -- and he knew that, but even so he felt a bit awkward about arriving uninvited and unannounced at a friend's house, and all the more with a friend in tow.
As the two of them came up the walk to our apartment door, N's discomfort increased. As it happens, N's extended family includes Jehovah's Witnesses, and the picture of the two of them approaching our unsuspecting door apparently seemed to him an uncomfortably similar picture to a pair of JWs cold-calling on the neighbors.
So, when I opened the door, N decided to defuse the perceived tension with a joke, and said brightly,
"Hi! We're from your local Kingdom Hall, and we'd like to talk to you about living forever in paradise on earth!"
I cannot describe to you the surreal, world-shattering effect this speech had on me. For a moment, I simply didn't know what to think. Obviously I knew N hadn't left the Church to join the J-Dubs, but beyond that I was simply paralyzed by cognitive dissonance.
He wouldn't -- he of all people. And anyway, he couldn't -- the slider shades were drawn; the living room wasn't visible from the walk. Why...? How...?
And then it slowly dawned on me that it was merely an accident, and all I could get out was,
And then I turned around, sat back down,
went back to the conversation I was having with the two Jehovah's Witnesses on my living room couch.
N and his friend stood at the door in utter silence, as motionless as Swiss Guards. As the J-Dubs rose to leave, there was hand-shaking at the door between our two groups of guests; one of the J-Dubs even made a joke about always being glad to meet someone from another Kingdom Hall, while N smiled robotically and laughed his nervous laugh.
The moment the door was closed he collapsed on the floor with a wail of abject abasement.
I swear I am not making this up.
Edited by SDG, 22 September 2009 - 10:57 AM.