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Positive Sinking

Bigger, Better, Fewer Calories

By Akshay Patil
COLUMNIST

Well readers, let me commend you on the cornucopia of e-mails you have sent since I started whining about lack of love. As the end of the term draws near, I feel obliged to use as many of these e-mails as possible with hopes that y’all will send many more during the holiday break and IAP.

Hey Akshay!

How you doing? I was surfing around and read one of your columns [“Chew on This,” Sept. 26]. I could not hold my tongue after reading, “That’s why all of us should learn to speak with a Canadian accent... just do it, eh?” Cuz there ain’t no Canadian accent !!!! :)

-- Michelle

Yes there is. You know, I know it, the American people know it. Stop denying it, you hoser, and just accept it, eh? That’s what it’s all aboot.

On a more serious note, anyone who has engaged me in conversation when I’m in a quirky mood will attest that I, myself, say “eh” regularly.

It’s a wonderful... sound? And I’m not even from Canadia! Though I have been there... is it infectious? Trust them wily Canadians to come up with a virulent language. Remember kids, always wash your hands after handling Canadians -- don’t argue with me, it’s for your own safety.

hello mr sin king,

I have decided that your e-mail food palate will benefit from e-mail cake.

so here you are. [CAKE]

since rambling seems to be the newest sport you aught to start training for the olimpics.

personally i see it as more of an art form, so congratulations on the most creative and funny series of ramblings or column I have ever read.

i suggest a black tea with your e-mail cake.

oh, and you aught to wipe the icing off your face.

-- from lady

You’ve been reading other columns? But I thought I was the only one! How COULD you!? And all this time I thought you were loyal, giving, understanding, considerate, tangible, and sitting.

As for Olympic sport -- this weekly training business has been great. My fingers have never been in better shape. And since I don’t get paid, I’m still an amateur. Not much of a spectator sport, though.

I’m going to have to pass on the black tea... I’m not much of a tea drinker really. Blame my genes, the taste, or the drugs, but I’ve never really been a sipper of coffee or tea. The only tea-like substance I enjoy drinking is chai, and Indian chai at that. Did you know that chai is not in my word processor’s dictionary? I know that because the damn thing keeps adding a little squiggly thing under the word and I’m too lazy to reach over to the mouse to right click and tell it to add the word to “standard.dic.”

Ah crap, now it’s underlining “standard.dic.” I can’t win, I just can’t win.

Anyways, as I was saying about chai with little squiggles, it seems strange that my genes should decide to assert beverage favoritism as opposed to all sorts of Indian traits I could have. For example: I am not hairy. This may shock you, but I’m not. So many of my Indian friends grow full-length beards over the course of an hour, but it takes me a week of non-shaving to get people commenting, “Hey, you’re looking kind of scruffy there.”

I don’t know if this is a blessing or a curse. On one hand, I can get away with looking clean-shaven for up to three days without any effort on my part. On the other, I just can’t grow anything. It would take me close to a year to grow a goatee; two years for a beard. I think that’s tragic.

Well, as opposed to launching on a long diatribe about facial hair, let’s pick the e-mail behind door three.

“A simple pole in a complex plane?” It’s nice to know that my countless hours of writing tutorial notes is being used as an attempt at humor (not a particularly wonderful attempt, but your heart’s in it, and I suppose that’s what counts).

And now for something completely different: what are your thoughts on the holiday season; do they fall on the “positive” or the “sinking” side of the column? Have any amusing stories you can share?

For instance, was your mother ever so busy on Thanksgiving that she confused you with the turkey and tried to stick you in the oven? Don’t laugh, it can happen.

Sign me as...

-- Traumatized for life

Hey man, I was watching “Ruddigore” the day after, and I heard some guy tell the joke to his friends behind me. “Don’t blame me, I read it in The Tech.” Yeah, like that’s an excuse. That’s like quoting something from the Classifieds and then excusing yourself with “But it was in the New York Times.”

And if you thought the pole joke was bad, take refuge in the fact that the title to that column (“A Bit Off”) is part of the punchline for another geeky joke that I spared you, the reader.

I have to say the holiday season falls primarily into the “positive” side of the column. It gives me an excuse to not worry about work or the future, enjoy the fam, and get amazing deals on electronics at Fry’s. You know what I’m talking about: hard drives at CRAZY low prices.

Oh my, something that good just HAS to be fattening. The standing in line part sucks though. It’s like Disneyland/world but in an electronics store. Maybe they should add people wandering around dressed up like cartoon characters -- yeah, that’d probably take our minds off of how much time we spend in line to just to have sixty seconds of exhilarating cashier fun.

It has come to my attention that quite a few of your published e-mail queries seem to be written by people who live on your floor. How do you respond to this?

-- The guy next door

At least I can pronounce “California.”

Do you miss those days when people really meant it when they said, “I need someone who is able to take care of these funds in a secure private account?” I know I do. That’s why I’m urging you, the e-mail sending citizens of this great nation, to send e-mail to sinking@mit.edu about absolutely anything mildly amusing. If I had come up with an alternative to “mildly” that began with the letter “a,” I could have turned that final clause into some killer alliteration. But I didn’t, because the matter before us is a serious one that warrants the fullest attention and utmost resolve. So please, for your children’s children’s children.