Welcome to the 3/29/97 edition of the Online Murphy TimesTM where we chronicle the continuing adventures of that intrepid Murphy Family© as they climb every mountain, and ford every stream.
NEWS FLASH: The latest addition to the extended Murphy Family© has arrived:
Oh, if you're one of those people who just look at the pictures and don't actually read this thing (you know who you are), please leave now. The text of this page is completely original, if highly derivative, but the pictures are pretty much swiped from convenient sources (i.e. other web pages). So if it's pictures you're after, go hit our Links page and check under art. Now that we just got rid of the under 30 crowd, please put your glasses on and enjoy the highly select (as determined by how few people read this page) prose below, which undergoes constant improvement from edition to edition.
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After minimal response to our request for outside submissions, our editorial board has decided to make up stories about friends and relatives to include in this newsletter. So, if you email us something better than what we can come up with (I must warn you, after years of reading science fiction, our imagination is pretty darn fertile) before the next edition, whenever that is, we will include it. If not, well, see you in court.
NEWS FLASH: First flight of SLAM ER is successful! Years of work pay off for Kevin as the missile he has been working on actually works! And to think, there are those who say that the Age of Miracles and Wonders has passed.
In this edition (Stardate 1997.03) we find the Murphy Fearless Leader listening to music, the Other Murphy Fearless Leader seeing the sights, and the Fruit of the Murphy Loins squinty eyed and unhappy.
I was picked to perform a valuable public service recently, through a very scientific method - the phone call. Some of you consider market research people to be pests, I look at them as easy money. I was paid forty smackers to provide my opinion on music (two hours). In the past, I've been paid fifty greenbacks to provide my opinion on a one stop shopping service on AOL (30 minutes), and seventy five big ones to provide my opinion on TV commercials and magazine ads for Texas tourism (one hour). The crazy thing is, I'm happy to provide my opinion for free. As long as you can stand to listen. Heck, I even take the time to issue The Online Murphy TimesTM just so everbody knows what I'm thinking. Anyway, it's a great system. I sit by the phone, and they call me up trying to qualify me for some study by asking a few questions. Usually, I don't qualify, or they've already filled the quota for people like me (hard to believe, I know). Sometimes, they keep calling back and I start changing my answers trying to qualify. When I do qualify, they're always so happy (I think they must get paid by the number of people they qualify), we set up an appointment, I work my magic, and there's a plain white envelope stuffed with filthy lucre waiting for me. I'll offer one tip - Arbitron and Gallup are pikers. If you're not in it for the money, don't waste your time with them.
As I was saying, I did a survey on music. There were forty of us at a hotel meeting room. The moderator told us that we were selected based on the radio stations we listened to so that we all had approximately the same taste in music. When I looked around the room, it was a greying and paunchy crowd. I figured there was some mistake, but forty dollars is forty dollars. They had a great sound system set up and I had high hopes of kicking back and listening to good music for two hours. When the moderator told us we had to answer two questions for each song on a little computer, I was sitting pretty. When he told us we would hear only 5 to 7 seconds of a song, I got a sinking feeling. When he put a cassette tape in a old, dinky tape player like the one my mother recorded college lectures on in the sixties, I felt had. For the first 4 songs, they stoped the tape and reviewed the questions: how much did I like the song, and how tired was I of hearing it. After that, it was just one after another. At first it was kind of fun, as they were all songs I liked; but soon, it was not so fun. Did I like it, or did I REALLY like it. Hurry up, the next song is coming. The amazing thing was how fast we all (based on everyone's reactions) could recognize the song - most in less than a second. They played 450 songs, I recognized most of them, I liked most of them, and I was still tired of songs that were overplayed 15 years ago. I hope you won't be still tired of me in 15 years.
A plague swept through the household recently. Kyle brought pink eye (conjunctivitis) home from the sitter's and then Erin and The Murphy Fearless Leader were also afflicted. It shouldn't be called pink eye, it should be called green gooey gunk eye. The Other Fearless leader's quick thinking and quicker call to the doctor caught Kyle's ggg eye at an early stage, which was good since not much medicine actually reached Kyle's eye. Have you ever tried to put drops in a two year old's eye? It takes nerves of steel, a steady hand, a cool head, fast reflexes, and stone ears. To be honest, we were quickly reduced to putting the drops on his closed eye and hoping some would get in when he opened them. The only time we could reliably put a drop directly in his eye was a couple hours after he went asleep. I would sneek into his room, position the bottle above his eye, and quick as a flash pull back the eyelid and squeeze the bottle. I had a two to three second window of opportunity before the lid would slam shut and his arms come up to block me. I would then leave the room and come back in a little while to do the other eye, but this time I had maybe a second to get the job done before he would stop me. The morning provided another shot at him, but after the first day, he would put his hands over his eyes as soon as I entered the room, without opening his eyes or changing his breathing. Apparently, his sixth sense worked first thing in the morning, before the rest of him did, but it was sound asleep earlier.
Putting eye drops in a six year old's eye is much easier, although still not a piece of cake. The first time, I had no trouble; but as time went on, it was harder and harder until Erin refused and would only let her mother do it. How I hated to relinquish that job! I suppose the drops were more gentle that way. Putting drops in a thirtyfive year old's eye is easy peasy, especially since I've put my finger in my eye twice a day, every day with my daily-ware contacts for the last five years. Once after I put them in at work, a teammate (that's what we call each other at the Very Large Corporation of America) thought I wasn't bearing up well under the strain, but I reassured him that it was medicine streaming down my cheeks, and not tears. It's nice to know some one cares every now and then, so I suppose it was worth a little discomfort.