It occurred to me that it is Friday afternoon and I do not feel like working any more this week. Maybe I will handle a couple of production issues and call it a day. I would work on my main project, but I ran into the minor snag where a critical table I need for my next report does not exist. It must exist somewhere, but it does not exist in our test or production databases. This sounds like a job for our DBAs, and I would not feel right dumping something like this on them on a Friday afternoon.
So I am not doing an more work today because I am a conscientious person.
On another front, atara has been leaning on me to write another Plonqmas story. She offered up some suggestions, and one of them tickled an idea in the back of my mind that I might run with.
Plonq took it as a good sign that the main terminal did not spontaneously burst into flames as he strode in the front entrance. The airport was alive with Yuletide decorations, all bearing inoffensive messages like, "Have a Joyous Festive Season" and "Happy Holidays". He paused in the entryway to take in the visual cacophony of fake trees, streamers, and all manners of shallow, festive glitz. Christmas muzak could just be heard over the shriek of infants, indignant cries of overbooked passengers and the constant roar of jet engines.
Lest a blithe traveller be lulled into a misplaced sense of holiday cheer by the atmosphere, the airport authorities had made sure to leave visible cues that the terminal was not a place for joy. Virtually every pillar bore a large poster showing a lion in uniform holding up a hand in the universal "stop right there" sign, barring passage to a small, sack-laden weasel Santa. Above the picture it read, "All packages must be inspected at security." Below it read, "Yes, even Santa's."
The snow leopard snorted derisively at the poster, partly out of disrespect for what he saw as pointless security theatre, and partly because they had badly misrepresented Santa in the posters. He assumed that they had done so to avoid legal problems. Plonq did not blame them for that as he had first hand experience with Santa's legal team. He had also met the real Saint Nick, and the latter was not a weasel, but a very large polar bear who had a very mean left-hook when sufficiently provoked.
The feline did not come to the airport by chance, but in response to a leaflet he had been handed while sampling free foodstuffs at the mall. The colourful brochure was festooned with pictures of candy canes and holly, and real glitter that invariably showed up in ones fur for weeks after handling it. In bold, silver letters it across the front it shouted, Visit Mom for Christmas! and in slightly smaller print below that it bore the cringe-worthy legend, Yule Love Our Stupidly Low Fares!
The brochure was careful to point out that they could not guarantee whose mom you would visit for Christmas, since that could vary at the time of ticket purchase, but they promised that there would likely be a living, breathing individual at the end of your flight with whom you could spend the holiday. Most of the second page was filled with the usual fine-print disclaimers about Ebola, SARS, political upheaval, death, forced labour camps and all the other things one might expect when flying to an unknown destination.
Plonq tried to read all of the warnings, but his eye kept getting drawn back to the fare listed on the first page; it was stupidly cheap.
"I'll be... somewhere for Christmas," he purred in an off-key mewl as he clutched the brochure to his fuzzy chest and trundled off in search of the ticket kiosk.