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Positive Sinking

Naked Fat Cats Drinking Soda

By Akshay Patil

Features Editor

It’s amazing. I go through the normal course of my life and I encounter numerous people (many whom I know well, many whom I really don’t know that well) who tell me what I should write my column about.

I’ll be at a party and someone will say, “Hey, you know what you should write about?” and I go, “No, I don’t,” and then they tell me something and I forget it. Or maybe I’ll be at a dinner party (Ha! Like I go to dinner parties) and we’ll talk about naked people in cars spanking people not in cars with big fish... then someone will say, “I’ll bet you’ll turn this into a column” but I don’t.

What I inevitably do in these situations is tell the person to send e-mail to sinking@mit.edu because really, I won’t remember it any other way. My memory is horrible. So you can imagine the sorrow I feel when after a week chock-full of third-party suggestions, I sit down to write my column and discover that I haven’t received any sinking e-mails that week.

Not a single, solitary, lonely, abandoned, orphaned e-mail. Not one of you thought about poor Jimmy, with his broken leg and infantile osteoporosis who the doctors said had only a week to live, and all the little guy wanted was to read a new and funny “Positive Sinking” but you cold, heartless bastards wouldn’t do it for him, would you?

Noooo, you all sat around in your fat-cat dorm rooms and drank your high class soda with your pinky sticking out and played online Texas hold ’em for fake money because that’s the sort of person you are, not thinking about poor Timmy, or Jimmy, or whatever the hell his name was which doesn’t matter since he’s fictional anyways and it doesn’t change the fact that not once did your thoughts ever turn, for the slightest instance, in his poor, miserable direction.

Well, actually, that’s not totally true. I did receive the following e-mail:

Bravo Mr. Sinking Bravo.

-- Mr. Gupta (from a dark cubicle in

Mumbai, writing C++ code for a pittance and sending this email from an unsuspecting hotmail user’s email account that I hacked into. Hey, who wrote “your job is mine” on this wall?)

This just doesn’t inspire me, doesn’t get me going as much as something like naked people with fish does. So I sit here, and wonder what in the dickens to write about... Fish? Naked people? Indian programmers? Naked Indian programmers? Naked Indian programmers with fish? What the hell was I doing at this party? Why can’t I remember?

Well, I guess we’ll just have to wait ’til next week for something amusing to appear on these not so-hallowed pages of Das Tech. Maybe in the meantime I should start carrying around a reporter’s notebook -- you know, like the kind real reporters use? Where they write all sorts of important information concerning hard-hitting real news topics.

Except my notebook will probably have jumbles of meaningless words in it... things like “naked people with fish?” or “monkeys with finger polish?” But I still wouldn’t have e-mails to start off my columns with... to provide an anchor and tether for the long and arduous journey my brain takes through the dark and deep nonsensical world I find myself exploring every time I begin, what we here at “Positive Sinking” like to call, “the writing process.”

Do you have plans for world domination? Does your cat keep you up at night? Does it always rain on your parade or picnic? Try e-mailing sinking@mit.edu with some of your more interesting thoughts, musings, or business plans. Each e-mail sent comes with a free plastic bag and you can write it off for massive tax-deductions as a donation to the “Save Jimmy/Timmy/Whatever-his-name-was” fund. Bless you.