Thursday, November 4, 2010

On being a Cyborg

One thing I really dislike about Andrew's deployment is my increasing paranoia. I hate being home alone at night -- every noise makes me jump and I sleep with a camping hatchet. While I think a lot of women can relate to this "left-alone-to-fend-for-myself" fear, I may have taken things to a new level.

Over the last few years, I have become obsessed with the notion of cyborgs. Not so much cyborgs like Darth Vader or Data (Star Wars and Star Trek [Next Generation] if you are unfamiliar with these allusions), but the cyborgs that can take over other people's bodies and the rest of the world doesn't know it. In fact, this idea has become a popular theme in recent fiction, such as John Locke and Mad-Eye Moody (LOST and Harry Potter if you are equally unfamiliar with these allusions) -- just to name a few.

However, there is a more pertinent example from my childhood that really started all of this. It involves one Carl Winslow of Family Matters.


It wasn't a cyborg episode per se, but a valuable one nonetheless. As you probably know, Carl is/was a cop. In fact, he worked with the same partner his whole career (or so I remember). In the climax of this particular episode, Carl had been trying to capture some thug/hoodlum/bank robber. When he arrived back at his office after unsuccessfully trying to locate the man-at-large, he suspected something was amiss in his office. His "partner," was in the other room behind a closed door and Carl decided to ask him a series of questions to make sure everything was ok. After what seemed like an innocent enough interaction, Carl finally said, "alright, I'll see you tomorrow." To which the man responded, "alright then." At this point Carl suddenly turns and karate-kicks down the door. The suspected criminal had actually broken into the office and had tied up Carl's partner and was holding the detained partner at knife (gun?) point and forcing to him to answer through the door. And how did Carl know something wasn't right? -- because for the last however many years, anytime Carl said, "I'll see you tomorrow" to his partner, the man always responded, "not if I see you first."

Bam. Just like that, cyborg crisis averted with a little shared, inside knowledge. I've realized how important it is to have some catch phrase or inside question to ask the "person" just to be sure. What if one of you suddenly showed up at my door? How could I be sure it was you and not a robot or someone just dressed to look like you? What could Dumbledore have asked Mad-Eye Moody that would have solved so many problems (because you never know who's been taking Polyjuice Potion) in The Goblet of Fire?

Therefore, I have come up with a series of cyborg-proof questions for my friends. If you cannot properly answer your question(s), I have reason to doubt your humanity and must dub you indeed, a cybernetic organism. I don't claim these questions to be easy, but you must rack your human memories to come up with an accurate semblance of an answer.

Kendra: When we were little and shared a room, we would often argue over who would get the last word at night. What word, if said early on, cemented your right to have the final say of the night? Bonus Question: What did you say your name was when you were little?

Kari: In college, when we were super bored one weekend, we made collages from magazines that included our "perfect" lives. Who was I married to? Who were you married to? Bonus Question: What club did we think would be so super awesome to visit that turned out to be a total bust?

Sarah Officer: Name two ways I tried to secretly stop you and Amy from snoring at night. Bonus question: name all four ways.

Sarah Whaley Johnson: What tried to kill us while we were praying on the roof in Jamaica? Bonus Question: What opera did you, me, Karyn and Holly see together where everyone feel asleep before intermission?

Karyn: What mythical creature did you claim to see multiple times in the field by your house? Bonus question: What is my brother's real name?

KeriAnn: What letters or phrases did we spray paint on the sheds of the Corban soccer fields? Bonus Question: What stranger bit your shoulder at a soccer game?

Sharaya: When we "stalked" boys in high school, what song was on our essential soundtrack?

Amanda Brown: What did my strange hippie neighbor name her equally strange daughter who was "too cool for school" towards me at the pool the summer you lived with us?

Rachel Brown:  What sappy Christian romance novel did we discover be had both read multiple times?

Elizabeth Brown: How did I almost get us killed by a street gang in Spain?

Aunt Kathy: What was the first dessert I ever brought to your house in order to make a good impression?

Carmen: Where did we go shopping the first time we officially met?

Kayla J: What book did I actually want to read for the Finer Things Club before (unfortunately) suggesting we all read Angela's Ashes?

Jenny: What animal seems to be a recurring theme in our "how to be a graduate student" class?

Sarah Y.: What Whitney Houston song did we dance to on several occasions which really just included us jumping up and down and skipping around for the entire duration of the song? Bonus Question: When someone defaced my 7th grade science book, what innocuous word did I spell from the profaned letters?

Mandy: Which author did you pretend not to know the name of during an extremely annoying game of 20 questions?

Audrey: When we carpooled to Medford together, you took a freeway corner a little too fast and I dumped something all over your car. What was it?

Mom and Dad: You never read this blog because you don't know how to use the internet. Cyborgs wouldn't find your minds super helpful in their technological quests. I love you anyways.

Andrew: You can't have a cyborg question because you're already part cyborg and we both know you don't have the greatest memory anyway. I'm going to have to come up with a different safety plan for us. Not to mention, I know you would never let a cyborg take over your body anyway.

Good luck. Feel free to question my own humanity, although it is clear no cyborg could have accomplished this list in his or her own doing. I hope you take this forum seriously and come up with a cyborg game plan of your own and post it next to your fire safety plan. Picard would be proud.



Kari said...

oh lyndsey...i seriously LOVE your posts.

here are the answers to my questions:
you married brett favre
i married david carr
we tried to go to the Flamingo

Kari said...

wait, maybe it wasn't david carr. i may need to rethink that one. but i'm pretty sure the other answers are right. how can i not even remember my own fake husband?

Carmen said...

While I do believe that you truly did write this post (and not some new type of espionage cyborg) I cannot in good conscience leave my answer to the question here. If a cyborg is worth his salt, he'll have read your blog for identity clues.

Instead, if in the future, one or both of us suspects that the other may be somewhat less-than-self, you can ask me that question. Then I will ask you a question about the same car ride: what word did you use that made me realize our mutual obsession over the English language. On a count to three, we'll both say the appropriate answer at the same time.

Have your karate kick ready. I've always believed that I'm good cyborg material.

Karyn Guido said...

I didn't "claim" to see anything on the farm near your house. What I absolutely did see was a unicorn.

And sorry to tell you that your brother's name really is Tommy (Thomas) and you've got it wrong, thinking it is Ryan.

Here is an easy pass for you: when those strangers tried to enter our apartment in Salem, what was my surprising reaction?

PS, remember how Captain Picard really DID become a cyborg, when the Borg took him over?

Audrey said...

Ha! I miss you more with every post. You threw (intentionally, I'm sure) Fun Dip all over my car. Also, thank you for the HP references. My favorite is when Mr. & Mrs. Weasley communicate through their door in front of Harry with their cyborg questions. I love them.

spanglified said...

i think it was "wings of dawn." or in my case, "alas del alba." though i believe there are probably several sappy romance novels we both share in our past. oh francine rivers...

Sarah Yags said...

I am hyperventilating right now. Seriously. Every time I think of your attempt to alter the name in that book so that Mrs. Whatserface wouldn't know who had damaged it I get overwhelmed with this uncontrollable fit of laughter. And don't pretend like you tried to make that word incomprehensible, you actually thought that by altering Lyndsey Hawk to Budgsey Bawk you had cleverly put her off your tail and that she'd be searching out this mysterious Budgsey to pay the damage fees. If my memory serves, you were trying to convince me that this was a total reasonable name. Oh Budgsey, no cyborg could come close to replicating you.

P.S. I still listen to that song and dance around my house in the identical manner. And then my heart hurts a little because the person I really want to dance with lives in Georgia. Love you.

Officer said...

LOVE this post....though I still don't believe that I snored in college. Justin says I don't! What the heck. To make me stop snoring you
1) would short sheet me
2) throw a capful of water at me
3) throw socks at me that you strangly kept under your pillow just incase your feet got cold and
4) you would cough really loud
What a great roomate you were! haha. Missing you!

lyndsey said...

Kari (if that's your real name...),

You answered one out of three questions correctly. Not sure what to make of that. As my cyborgless mind recalls, you married Paul Walker and we wanted to go to the Tropicana. Who are you?

Sarah Officer -- I'm actually really surprised you remembered all of that. Let's not forget that I often threw crumpled-up post-it notes at you and I would also swing that giant stuffed bear at anyone it could reach.

Rachel -- correct, except the author was Lori Wick. But who can be expected to remember Christian fiction writers?

Sarah Yags -- why not just admit you defaced my book and let Budgsey off the hook?

Karyn, Carmen and Audrey -- touché.

Kendra said...

How long would be actually go for before one of us said it?
Sadly... I do not remember what I called myself as a child.
I miss you and just like everyone else I miss your humor. thank you for writing a blog worth reading

Kari said...

who the heck is paul walker? obviously i have a horrible memory. i do remember lots of other things though. like you throwing spaghetti on our ceiling, me making sure you weren't going to rub my winter candy apple lotion all over your WHOLE body, and us taking pictures by sherwood while he was talking on his cell phone at the athletic banquet awards dinner. did i redeem myself at all?

KeriAnn said...

uh-oh. You are going to have to question my humanity now. (maybe now I have an excuse for not calling since I heard of Andrew's deployment?). I don't remember what we spray painted on the shed. It could have been any number of things, namely something along the lines of "Down w/ servant leadership! We're really here for the sarcasm and free food." but i have a sense it was something shorter or maybe an acronym. did we use the words S.L.U.T. (Servant-Leadership equals Ultimate Loss) or BOOB or POOP in some form or another? something edifying, I'm sure, us rebellious Jesus lovin' freaks. My memory fails. But I do remember feeling a tinge of fear accompanied with copious amounts of giddy joy and happiness (if that's not human, I don't know what is.)

On the other hand, oF course I do remember that it was your very own MOTHER who bit me in Portland at a Concordia game. It's a fond memory from which I wondered about your origin in a new way.

Amanda said...

NINJA! Hahaha yeah the lady who i witnessed starting an affair...awkward memories. I guess you never know what you'll find at a swimming pool.
Right back at you: when Joe and I were dating, which movie did we compete with you and Andrew to watch? You threatened to sit BETWEEN us at the theater if we happened to go with you gusys, which we didn't. (We won, by the way.)

SarahJohnson27 said...

a scary bird, and clearly I do not remember which opera because I fell asleep...but are you sure Karyn and Holly were there, wasn't Josh Crain there???
And your question kitty, is who did we see in front of us when you and Andrew came to Outward church with Darren and I one time?

lyndsey said...

KeriAnn -- disappointing but close. We obviously painted "LOTR 4EVER" and "Taters" on the shed. I would know because I saw it every day of soccer season for the next two years. I'm sure you put it out of your mind because you were just trying to be a good coach. Sort of like the time we drove some jeep I had to go get coffee from the Human Bean in Ashland instead of staying at the hotel with everyone else. Score.

Amanda -- You win. I lose. Ninja is the best kids' name ever. Except for all the other names that are actually better than it.

Sarah Whaley Johnson -- We went to two operas. We went to see one with Andrew and Josh...which was some equally boring Shakespeare play (Macbeth?). But then the four of us girls also went out on Halloween and got all dressed up to see Cinderella maybe? Remember?

And I definitely saw that guy from my Group Power class who would literally throw the weights into the air every time he did a clean and press. He was throwing his hands up for God much in the same way. How could I forget.