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Wife Unit Snark

January 23, 2009 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: The Wife Unit  7 Comments

I am mostly Snark and Sarcasm, which is a nice way of saying I mostly talk before thinking. This gets me into trouble. This method of my personality does have its advantages, however. For example, I keep nothing bottled up inside. It just goes, for good or ill.

The Wife Unit, on the other hand, saves her Snark for a devastating knockout blow.

Let me give you an example.

Like any healthy man, I have a fine appreciation for the female form. We all know my vaguely Uncle Pervy fascination with baristas, mainly because they are young and cute and nubile and pretty. What is there not to like? You can also give them money, and they will give you coffee in return! Amazing! They are so cute, I just want to nibble on them nom nom nom nom… oh wait, sorry. Back to the post.

On a recent family trip, I am driving the mini-van.

Now I hate the mini-van, but for various esoteric reasons concerning Washington State laws and pistols (one stored in my pistol case in my luggage), I need to drive from the hotel to the Grandparents’ house. Along the way, we stop at the local drive-through coffee shack.

Now it takes a very punchy barista to flirt with a man with his wife in the car, so the coffee exchange is pleasant and business-like, as it should be. I have some tact. Mostly.

Then across the shack, in the other coffee window, a Rescue vehicle pulls up. Mr. Fireman is all smiles.

No wonder—it was like the dinner bell at Mr. Happy’s Rottweiler Puppy Ranch. No sooner did he roll down the window them FOOM! Instant chatty baristas, both of whom made every effort to impress and be friendly. Swear to God, and I am not making this up, their breasts grow larger, their cheeks flush, their voices go lower, and their eyelashes get longer (bat bat bat).

At some point, they remember that I had indeed ordered coffee for my spouse and me, so I get about thirty seconds of attention with my coffee before being abandoned for Mr. Buff Handsome.

As we are pulling away, the Wife Unit is all a-grin.

“What?” I ask.

“Flirting denied!”

“Hey now.”

“Older man Flirt FAIL.”


“Burly guy in Fire Truck, One. Daddy in mini-van, Zero!”

“Quit it!”

“You want to come back in a half an hour when he is gone?”


“He he he.”


If I could just talk to the cleaning people into lending me some Drain-O, I can complete the car bomb before Erika goes home

December 04, 2008 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: The Craft  2 Comments

This flew around the internet for awhile and lives on some archives. At some point, someone changed some of the spelling and grammar (for example, changing taser to laser). But as far as I can tell, below is the original version with an intro that some unknown person wrote. Everything beyond the email header is me.

To provide a small amount of context, the Charlotte office would sometimes cover for the Bellevue office on the West Coast, which is why we were all working from 10ish to 9.

For you coffee lovers, enjoy.


In October 1992, the ABU support team in Bellevue sent care packages of Starbuck’s coffee, chocolate covered coffee beans, and Frangos to the North Carolina and Texas ABU teams. This is one NC engineer’s account of what happened next….

From: Anthony Pacheco
Subject: Thanks for the Care Package!
Date: Thursday, October 29, 1992 11:35AM


I say, the care package you sent was a big hit here, thanks! Below is a chronological description of the care package consumption:

Sometime before Friday: The Care package arrives. I resist all temptation to open the package and consume an entire box of Frangos. Very impressive.

Friday 9:45 AM: I arrive early to work and open the care package that was hidden under my desk. I ‘m amazed at all the good stuff in side, but somewhat disappointed to find that there were two boxes of Frango (or what ever they are calling them now) chocolate mints: I could have eaten a box and nobody would have known. Oh well. I make a pot of coffee using the robust Yukon blend, and eat three or four chocolate covered expresso beans. I send a message to NCABU announcing the goodies.

10:00 AM: The pot of coffee is gone and ErikaPh, my manager, makes another, which of course I have to sample. All the items are a big hit with everybody so far, except the chocolate covered espresso beans, which are only popular with the real coffee fans (who absolutely love them). Not letting a good thing go to waste, I have a couple more, a mint or two, and start on my second cup of coffee. I notice Erika actually drank two cups from this pot, and I start to wonder how I could approach my manager about making sure she leaves enough coffee for the rest of the queue.

10:10 AM: The pot of coffee is out again so HarveyY makes another. I of course must sample the Cafe Verona blend and indulge in a few more chocolate covered espresso beans. Erika again drinks two more cups of coffee. I frown but say nothing and in my depression eat another Frango chocolate mint.

10:30 AM: There has been a single cup of coffee left for some time, and not to let it go to waste, I drink it.

11:00 AM: KevinCo sees the empty coffee pot so he makes another, and then fills my cup under protest. Erika again drops by and fills her mug, and pilfers some chocolate covered espresso beans. For some strange reason, my typing speed has increased from, 25 WPM to 60 WPM,

11:45 AM: For some (unknown) reason, I feel agitated. To bleed of all the excess energy coming from nowhere, I do 92 pushups while helping a University of Oregon grad student with Excel. Out the window I notice Erika is on her second lap running around the building. After all that exercise, I feel thirsty, so I drink another cup of coffee and for a snack down a few more chocolate covered espresso beans.

12:10 PM: I now notice that there are people dropping by my cube that usually don’t, in fact, I’ve seen the entire queue come by and sample some goodies. I try to chat, but for some reason people seem interested in just sampling the various yummy Frangos and the chocolate-almond mocha’s. Erika stops by for more coffee and we exchange unpleasantries. I don’t recall the exact conversation, but I do remember the phrases “useless stingy middle-manager” and “whinny engineer”. For therapy I eat a few more chocolate covered espresso beans and try to look up how to make a car bomb on Internet’s rec.pursuits.anarchy.

1:00 PM: I skip lunch, but do drink another cup of coffee and make another pot by request. Getting bored, I pick up the Charlotte phone book and start dialing people at random, asking if they need any help with Excel. Erika comes by for another cup of coffee. I miss her with the stapler, but she wings me a good one with one of those cube coat hooks.

2:00 PM: The entire queue, I believe, is wired with caffeine and sugar. I, being a Seattle native, am immune to these effects. MikeNa is 10 minutes into teaching his 2nd impromptu aerobics class. It is very interesting to watch engineers do jumping jacks while holding their Aspect phones.

3:00 PM: HarveyY has built a small shrine for the coffee pot in the empty cube next to me, and the low humming has started to get on my nerves: “Huummmmm [sip] Hummmm [sip] Hummmmm [sip].” Some people, I swear.

3:30 PM: The Starbucks Guatemalan blend has been polished off, and a fight has ensued in the hallway on whether to ration the chocolate covered espresso beans for later or continue with the consumption. Hastily, I build a taser pistol out of my MS Mouse card and the power supply from my Mac II CI, and the fight quickly ends. MikeNa shows up and drags the unconscious rebels back to their desks.

4:00 PM: If I could just talk to the cleaning people into lending me some Drain-O, I can complete the car bomb before Erika goes home. The coffee pot is empty again so of course I make another. Nice guy that I am, I drink a cup to sample the brew and deem it Most Excellent. I have a couple of Frango mints to compensate for skipping lunch.

5:00 PM: KevinCo informs me that Erika has been slipping by in camouflage spandex to siphon off coffee with a long straw. I thank him for this valuable intelligence information. In a time-honored Seattle Male Bonding Ritual, we eat 5 chocolate covered espresso beans each.

6:15 PM: I send mail to the entire queue announcing a fresh pot of coffee (after drinking a cup first) and await Erika to sneak by with glee.

6:20 PM: I caught Erika red-handed. I dodge the pen she tried to stab me with, and landed a good blow to her left kidney. As she is crawling back to her desk I hear her mumble something about “time to write a review”.

6:25 PM I panic and in desperation, log on to the mail server with a VTP connection. I hack my way into Erika’s Xenix mail spool file and quickly write, in the Xenix Borne C Shell, a program that will send an email message every 30 seconds using Erika’s email name. I address it to the only people on campus at the time, Corporate Security, and title the message, “I Want Bill Gate’s Love Child!”. I “cc” ingate! and ingate! just for giggles and grins.

7:30 PM: Two security guards show up, one drags Erika away and the other starts packing her desk. I laugh hideously at her shrieks of protest, and in celebration jump in my girl friend’s sports car and drive around the Charlotte Coliseum several times at 120 MPH.

8:00 PM: I’m feeling really tired. KevinCo points out that there still an entire box of chocolate covered espresso beans left. Not wanting them to go to waste, we each eat half a box.

9:00 PM After successfully typing my 3rd impromptu novel while helping Betty from Orlando with a data consolidation, MikeNa announces that the queue has been shut off. After the phone call I drink 14 complementary beers, and for some unknown reason, still couldn’t get to sleep that night.