austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

I'm not like everybody else

While my participation in the NCAA pool saw me go, once again, to utter mediocrity, things worked out a bit better in the office pool. I actually ended up in a three-way tie for first place, in a scoring system based entirely on how many outcomes you got right, without bonus points for calling upsets right. I'm pleased, naturally, even if it is producing a wave of people asking me my secret to untangling college basketball. A big part of it is while I was filling out brackets I mistook Butler and Baylor and gave Butler a pretty good sentimental-based show before running across Baylor in another quadrant, so, thanks, chefmongoose, sort of. The winnings aren't bad, even split with two other people, either. Also the e-mail showing the final standings in the pool listed the winners from all the past office pools, going back to 1988, and revealing that there wasn't a pool in 2009 or 2008, which is probably why I don't remember seeing one then.

Yet there remain subtle reminders that I think differently from my co-workers. One was in the wave of Girl Scout Cookie orders which came in recently. The orders were placed months ago to increase the chance we'd forget we had anything coming to us, but people seemed to be getting a reasonable number of cookies in and leaving a fair sampling of them open for snacking. I didn't get mine, and figured it was just because the Cookie Distribution Point was the first floor and I work on the third and if I had the chance to talk with the guy bringing them in for his Scout Girl I'd get that straightened out. I mentioned at lunch that I hadn't got any yet, but it'll surely be sorted out eventually.

This alarmed one of the people who overheard it, who promised to look into the cookies and report back. The next day came an e-mail from another person --- not the cookie distributor, naturally --- saying that I didn't receive any because I hadn't ordered any. That seemed arguably out of character, but I suppose it satisfies the mystery of why I didn't get any cookies. But I got asked by several first- and second-floor people over the next few days whether I had heard the cookie mystery's solution. I may be wrong but I get the impression the whole office is thinking more about my cookie purchasing than I am. It's a little unsettling.

Trivia: Cassini's map of France sold in 1756 at the rate of four livres per sheet, or 500 livres for the entire map. This was about the salary of a village schoolteacher or annual income of a successful farmer. Source: The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography, Graham Robb.

Currently Reading: The Lie Detectors: The History Of An American Obsession, Ken Alder. I think I had just forgotten William Moulton Marston's role in the creation of the lie detector, but it feels like a surprise even when it's in hindsight really ... if not obvious, at least in character. Oh, and multiple lie-detector inventors ``screening'' potential girlfriends by hooking them up and asking if they're in love? That's less ``romantic'' and more ``creepy Superdickery cover''. Glad to clear this up for you.


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