Friday, August 27, 2010

You are not alone

Last night, my company held a house party to inaugurate our new community office next door. Lots of people showed up and it was a great, great shindig.

Rewind to early May. Emboldened by the Jello experiment, I had tried something new: a mad lib for our neighbors. It was a line from Green Eggs and Ham:

I waited a few days, bleakly watching dozens of windows for signs of life.


Disappointed, and tired of not being able to see the world, I took it all down after a few days.

Fast-forward to 2pm yesterday, when we decided to invite those self-same neighbors to our company party, again via window-messaging service.

Up went the signs: House party, 11th floor, 6:30pm.

Our office manager balked. What if they thought we were stalking them? I persisted. We might be opening our doors to the crisp design-firm employees directly opposite to show up and complain about our mocking their assistant's target-motif shirt by drawing a target of our own and posting it on our window one day. (He hasn't worn the shirt since.)

But we might also be opening the door to the lovely folks behind Bill Cosby's Jello-endorsing, window-brightening smile.

It was worth a shot.

At 6:30pm, and I arrive at the party after a long and tiring day involving the muck that is semantic web, a delicious new spec, and a dash home to walk my dog. When I get there, my coworkers rush at me in excitement - look who it is! It's the Jello guy from across the street!

Indeed it was: James, textile printer and lover of Jello. Hi, James!

The best part? James did, back in May, prepare a response for the mad lib. Somewhere in his dark office there are a noun, an animal, a food and a name printed out and ready to post. If I had only waited a little while longer, they would have made it to his window.