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Work is So Strange by Lincøln

January 3rd, 2008 10:44 PM

INSTRUCTIONS: Describe in some detail the strangest thing that happened to you at work in the past week. If you don't work, describe the strangest thing that happened to you during a leisure activity.

I work hanging christmas lights on rich people's houses.

After a day's work.

And now that the season's over, we are taking them down. Being rich enough to afford what we charge to put up lights is a bit of a problem. You get weird being that rich. Sometimes. Now these people aren't stupid rich like these people are, they're just wealthy enough to be able to afford million dollar homes.

Three days ago, we were taking down the house of a couple we have always known to be really weird, but I think she took the cake this day. There were a lot of airplanes flying over all day long. Like five F-15s in formation, and a B-17 Flying Fortress, and six World War I byplanes, in formation. It felt like fleet week in San Francisco. As I was talking to the woman, three Cesnas flew over in formation. I said "Must be an air show coming up soon." to which she replied "Oh, no. Those planes are here to protect us. (yes she italicized "protect" when she said it) I kind of stared at her to see if I could get any kind of vibe that she was joking. She was not. I replied "I don't think those planes are protecting anybody." To which she said "Yes they are." "I don't think they're in fighting condition, they're a bit old." I was trying to be soothing and rational. Then she busted out the whammy "They're protecting us from the white stuff." I stared at her for a few more seconds, and seeing no sign from her, got creeped out by the amazing amount of crazy and just turned and walked away and up on the roof to hide.

But I'm not here to tell you about that. I'm not here to tell you about the woman at the very next house when retelling her the story, she admitted that her brother wears tin foil on his head because he's convinced that "they" are out to get him. He believes he has microchips in his head, implanted by "them". To keep track of him. Now she was telling us the story because we were relating stories of crazy and she was sharing hers, except that the thing about her brother she said which makes him crazy, wasn't the tin foil or the chips, it was that he thought he was important enough to keep tabs on. Hmm. But I'm not here to tell you about her either.

I'm also not here to tell you about the house we went to today only to find it burned down. It was completely gutted, the windows all broken out, black stains above all of the windows and doors. But every single Christmas light is fine. So we took the lights down like nothing was abnormal. But I'm not here to tell you about that either.

I'm here to tell you about Harrison Ford. We put Christmas lights on his house. I'm sure it's no big shock to tell you all that he's a big huge pot head. When he came up to greet us, I almost got a contact high. And the shit he smokes is really good shit. I hang around theater folks, so I know from my weed smells, and his shit is GOOD. But I guess he can afford it, huh? But he was really nice and cool. As was his wife. Such cool people. And he is so famous that people camp out in front of his house. Which is why I'm not going to say where it is or anything about it and I won't be posting any photos I took of the property or of him because I didn't take any. I want to respect his desire for privacy when at home. And speaking of private, he has the most amazing and crazy security system I have ever seen. So many cameras, all discretely hidden of course. There were also motion and heat sensors every few feet around the property. Really a crazy amount of security. All of that and humans. Now just meeting him can go on my list of strangest things that happened to me all week, but I think he did a few things that I thought topped my list, number one was the $100 tip he gave me and every person on my crew. But I think the strangest was when we were trying to find out if there'd be power down in front by the gates so we could put lights on the gate some time, we found an electrical plate on the wall. No outlet, just a plate, so he asks for my leatherman, and jumps into the rose bushes and counterbalancing himself with his leg on a tree behind him, leans in and takes the cover off and starts pulling the wires out to see if there's anything we can use in there to get power. I told him I could do it, and he ignored me. He was willing and capable to be rummaging through an electrical box all by himself. Probably one of the most famous people in the world. Jamming a leatherman into an electrical box. At least he left climbing up on his 45° pitched roofs to us.

- smaller

This guy

This guy

After a day's work.

After a day's work.

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17 comment(s)

A contact high and a $100 tip, is Harrison Ford cool or what?
posted by susy derkins on January 3rd, 2008 11:01 PM

Harrison Ford was a carpenter before being Han Solo. He is an electrician too, it seems. Maybe he even understands the mystery of intact Christmas lights on a burned down house, which had gotten my vote already.

(no subject) +1
posted by Lincøln on January 3rd, 2008 11:05 PM

He was a carpenter, you're right. And there's a legend that he built the stairs in my theater. And standing right there next to the man, I forgot to ask him about the stairs.


(no subject)
posted by anna one on January 3rd, 2008 11:08 PM

You have an awesome job.

(no subject)
posted by Charlie Fish on January 4th, 2008 2:17 AM

How do you get paid outside the Christmas season?

Once again, I wonder why I am working an office job for a public transport agency. Weirdest thing that happened to me today was... er...


(no subject)
posted by Lincøln on January 4th, 2008 2:21 AM

When it's not winter I make plays for money, and if nobody's buying I fall back to being a handyman and carpenter. So one could argue that Harrison and I have very similar skill sets. Maybe we'll have similar career paths?

(no subject)
posted by rongo rongo on January 4th, 2008 5:14 AM

I like how you included stories of weird rich people but that the super strange part was that there's a rich person who's got normal-person niceness and skills.

(no subject)
posted by Loki on January 4th, 2008 7:08 AM

Until I saw your Lux completion, I had no idea hanging Christmas lights on rich people's houses was a job one could have.

Now, if you had asked me, "how do you think all those lights on rich people's houses come to be there," I probably would have discovered the existence of such a job. But, the thought had never occurred to me.

Sounds like fun. At least the part after the rich people go back inside and leave you alone to hang lights.

(no subject)
posted by Lincøln on January 4th, 2008 7:21 AM

Sometimes they don't go inside. Sometimes they just stand out front and hover and don't say anything and silently watch everything you do.

(no subject)
posted by Jellybean of Thark on January 4th, 2008 8:18 AM

Dude! You forgot to ask about the shitty stairs and ladder that almost makes it to the floor?

He was dressed like Indy when he snatched your leatherman, right?

(no subject)
posted by Lincøln on January 4th, 2008 8:33 AM

There's a chance I'll be going back again this year. There's one more thing he wants us to do, if we do I'll ask him and let you know.

(no subject)
posted by miss understanding on January 4th, 2008 8:57 AM

That's a neat job. You are certainly a Lincoln of all trades!

I really love the way you told the story by building it up with the crazy ones you were not here to tell us about.

(no subject)
posted by Burn Unit on January 5th, 2008 12:34 AM

A good friend worked out in theater and movies in CA back in the 70s and met Harrison Ford during his carpenter days--like at a party, or several parties--and he would tell this guy, and other people at the party "Call me Raoul." It was a joke, but he was insistently joking about it. So, I think you should ask him about that.

Also, invite him to the game. Shoot, I bet our player community would be welcoming of famous people. They could come and join us, do some creative shit without a bunch of pressure, and we'd hide their identities. Like Harrison Ford could sign up as Raoul and we'd all know it was him but we wouldn't tell anybody. We'd give him nicknames and occasionally do masquerades where we'd all change our player photos to various HF characters from his 50 movies or whatever, but we'd never tell the gossip magazines "Oh I play this online game with Harrison Ford." It'd be a safe place. What's the worst he could do? Say, "no thanks"? Invite him!

I hear Julia Roberts plays Halo. All those movie people probably love the online games.

(no subject)
posted by Lincøln on January 5th, 2008 12:38 AM

I'll totally ask him to play.
And I'll ask him about Raoul.
If I see him again this year.

(no subject)
posted by anna one on January 5th, 2008 12:53 AM

How do we know that these famous people you speak of aren't already playing the game... under false identities such as Jill Preston, perhaps?

Oooh... I'm calling TMZ.

My name is Mandy Patinkin. ~Waldo
posted by Waldo Cheerio on March 4th, 2009 11:35 PM

There may well be people of some notoriety amongst us. Statistically unlikely, but a much better chance than pulling people off the street, I should think.

Also, Lincoln is in a lot of ways like a Pre-Star Wars Ford come to think of it... I can imagine a guy like Ford envying Lincoln in some ways. I would love to go barefoot for years at a time, but my chosen profession makes that an impossibility for the foreseeable future. Living with heat sensors and a known face comes with sacrifices too; people won't usually hand you their leatherman for instance.

Did you work for him again? The season has again come and gone...

(no subject) +1
posted by Lincøln on March 5th, 2009 2:39 AM

I did work for him again, and was ready to talk to him about it and had an SFØ business card to hand to him, but apparently he's a pretty busy guy and I didn't get to see him (or Calista) once. I guess we just have to wait for next year.

(no subject)
posted by Ben Yamiin on June 22nd, 2009 10:17 AM

why had i not seen this before?