Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Giggles

Ever get the giggles? You know, where you just can't stop laughing? My dad is famous for contracting the giggles while driving cross country with his best friend to his own wedding. Neither one of them could stop and he and his best friend, who was also his best man, giggled all the way through the wedding much to the dismay of the clergyman conducting the ceremony.

Today was one of those days.

First, let me put things in context. I'm in India working with various customers this week. India is an interesting place. Among other more interesting differences, the safety standards that are in place in the US occasionally don't exist here. For example, a few billboards fell down onto people on the ground earlier this week.

As I was presenting at one customer's site, we kept hearing large booms. Not just kind of 'loud' booms, no, these booms were shaking the entire building we were in. On our first break in the presentation, I asked what was going on. Another building was being built next door and the booms were the blast of dynamite being used to break up large boulders. My mind was split three ways between focusing on the presentation, wanting to open the blinds and watch the blasting, (much more interesting than my presentation), and wondering how thick the walls were and how well contained the blasts were.

The presentation went well and in due course we were wrapping up and getting ready to go. I was speaking with the manager of the group. He thanked me for coming to India to present and started telling me of their future plans. And then I heard it.

"Plllrrrrubububbbbt"

"Ahh shit Dude!" I thought, "No, no, actually don't!"

"Plbplbplb...blblblttt"

"Ah no... ohhhh, maybe you already did"

The manager continued talking, not missing a beat.

"BlatBlateeeBluut"

He launched into their efforts to upgrade their methodology and an uncotrollably huge grin crossed my face.

And here everyone had been concerned about all the Indian food affecting MY stomach!

"SplututuBlurrrt," and then faintly, "Ahhhh"

Now I'm about to burst out laughing. The manager seems to think I'm very impressed with what they are doing.

"OK, OK, I'm sorry," I said before I burst into laughter, that would have appeared to be over their current mode of operation. "Where is that noise coming from?"

"What noise?"

"Spluuurtblubblub," "oooohh"

"That!"

One of the engineers across the table grabbed a remote and pushed a button. Suddenly the video conferencing flat screen at the back of the room lit up. We could see an engineer in a room somewhere else rummaging through his computer case, (artifical vynil cowhide). The case was sitting next to the teleconferencing microphone on his table. As he found each thing he was looking for he sighed in relief.

The enitre room on our side burst out lauging. Who knew that computer cases could be so expressive when used without proper precautions?

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