So, anyway, it was Vendor Day earlier this week. (I forgot to get a card! Again!) I went downstairs to get the standard required information about whatever thing they were there to display, but once the pitch was over I was all about scooping up all that free stuff. I made off with a pen, a small keychain, and...a box! A mystery box, no less! So I eagerly snatched it up, grabbed a baby carrot off the vegetable tray they brought to balance out the four chocolate chunk cookies I also grabbed, and ran upstairs to open my gift like it was Upside Down Christmas Morning.
I open it up and--it's a mini Magic 8 ball! On a keychain! Sweet!
So this was awesome. This is the sort of thing that gainful employment was specifically made for: not for salary, not for pride in one's work, not even for the satisfaction of a job well done. No, it's made for waiting years to have some random guy in a staff shirt show up with a miniature version of a toy you didn't have when you were a kid because you were too old by the time it came out. I was ecstatic. And it was like some sort of Mayan Prophecy: I had, in fact, been asking myself existential questions all morning long while running reports. Why am I here? What am I doing? When will Excel stop being such a little bitch?
And here it was, a modern-day Oracle, small enough to fit in a pocket, awaiting whatever pondering I chose to ask it.
I won't lie; the decision to make this Magic 8 Ball a keychain puzzled me. Who would need that in their pocket? Are people walking to their house, fumbling around in the dark trying to get into their garage, and suddenly have a burning need to ask, "Should I go for that big promotion at work? I should ask my keychain."
Anyway, I held the tiny ball in my hands and gave it a vigorous shake. I eagerly asked a question. (I hain't tellin'. That's bad juju.) And this is the answer I got:
Wait, what? Let's try this again: I asked a different question. Maybe I didn't phrase it right the first time.
WHAT IS THIS NONSENSE? You're #1? Is this a Little League game? I hoped those didn't count as questions.
Son of a dammit.
I kept going, out of sheer curiosity. How far does this little ball of low societal standards go?
Was the Fake Magic 8 Ball making a pass at me?
Either I just got hit on by a Chinese-made promotional gadget, or else it turned into the partner on a 1970's television detective series.
That's some positive reinforcement. At least that's how I remember most of my dates growing up going.
I didn't get a Magic 8 Ball. I got some weird bastardized dime-store version of a Magic 8 Ball that just gave random snippets of false positive reinforcement, like a shitty fortune cookie that you don't get the benefit of eating afterwards. I get enough false positive enforcement just from my regular human interaction, like "That haircut looks nice" and "You most certainly don't look like a horse licking peanut butter out of his teeth when you eat spaghetti." Here I was hoping that all of life's questions would be answered, but instead I got a series of primary-school everyone-gets-a-reward microsized pep talks filtered through some gross blue syrup.
And so I basically chucked it in the back of my drawer. If I can't get answers, nobody else will, either. I'll do everything I can to make sure no one's life-questions will ever be answered.
Oh, Magic Self-Esteem Ball, you are one sarcastic jerkhole.