If you were a police officer would you strive to distance yourself from common sterotypes? Or would you just get on with your job and enjoy what it has to offer, including the coffee and doughnuts? It looks like these nine motorcycle police and one cruiser-enabled police officer at Eastern Market thought the latter.
As Charles and I were sitting around the table finishing Father's Day dinner, my brother-in-law mentioned to Sarah that she should clear the table and straighten things up to get ready for when her teacher arrived to join us all for dessert.
The effect of this news was immediate. Sarah didn't move. She sat there with her head in her hands dreading the arrival of her despised teacher and moaning about the unjustice of her situation. Then it dawned on her that her father was pulling her leg. Chuckling, a very satisfied Pat got up from the table to make coffee for everyone. Meanwhile Sarah lamented that she'd been teased.
Charles to the rescue. He told Sarah that she needed to get back at Pat by pulling his leg. Charles' 7 year old disciple sat with rapt attention as he walked through various tips for creating believable lies including,
"Really good lies are mostly true. You need to come up with something that your victim will find completely believable and then slip your lie in. You need to be careful with your timing so it sounds natural."
The 10 minute lesson over, Sarah went off to play with her sister. Pat arrived with coffee and dessert and the conversation moved on to something new. A few minutes later Sarah burst into the dining room.
"Daddy! Daddy! Come quick! Megan's pulled all the toilet paper off the roll in the bathroom! She was playing in the bathroom and I stopped her." Pat stormed off in the direction of the bathroom shouting, "Megan! How many times do I have to tell you not to play in the bathroom!"
No sooner had he left when he came walking back with a smile growing on his face. Sarah couldn't contain herself and she burst out laughing. "You got me. You got me good." acknowledged Pat with a grin.
Sometimes, albeit rarely, I feel like I'm a Washington Insider. It might be because I'm hip with the latest details on obscure congressional conference committee procedings that my connected Hill Staffer neighbor has talked about. Or it's because I've spotted a Senator or Congressman at a local restaurant or ATM. Or even more rare, I've made an NPR personality sighting - like the time we saw Nina Totenburg at the opera or Daniel Shorr at the theater.
Today I had a real Washington Insider experience. I was at a women's political networking cocktail party (my connected political consultant neighbor invited me). FYI: you know it is serious when the invitation has small print that says,
In accordance with Federal Law
and the House and Senate Rules,
food & refreshments served
at the reception will be of nominal value.
I met lots of smart, savvy, and well-connected women. Being the lone person from the world of Web-based Software I soon found myself explaining SecondLife and World of Warcraft to some Department of Homeland Security folks. Here is an exerpt from our conversation.
Homeland Securty Staffer #1: There is this software called SecondLife that allows you to walk around and talk to people in a computer game.
Homeland Security Staffer #2: Why would I want to do that?
Me: Well there are a number of scenarios where you might find virtual worlds like SecondLife useful. [I touched on examples of simulations and educational scenarios. I mentioned the different strengths of each application and how they're used for skill-building, networking, commerce and other activities].
HSS #1: Just imagine, we could re-build an exact replica of Capitol Hill in SecondLife and then run [terrorist scenarios] over and over with different parameters and outcomes.
HSS #2: If we can do it in SecondLife then why are we spending millions and millions of taxpayer dollars building our own system to do this?
How better to spend a weekend afternoon than sitting in the screened-in porch enjoying a cool beverage, reading a good book and watching the world go by? Bliss. If only we had a screened-in porch!
Instead I've improvised using a 10 foot diameter patio umbrella and mosquito netting and set up this contraption in our back yard. Last year Charles christened my tent Simla, the name of the region the in the Himalayan foothills where British Army Officers and families retreated to in during the unforgiving Indian summers.
Yesterday I dragged Simla out of storage and set her up in the backyard. Simla's footprint takes over most of the backyard which doesn't leave Gemma much room to wander. But oh well. I am looking forward to my weekend escapes to mosquito-free Simla this summer!