Code, nerd culture and humor from Greg Knauss.

So my roommate Larry is driving home from work the other night and he pulls up next to a woman who, and he swears this is true, was checkin' him out.

And so, fill with the confidence that only complete self-delusion can provide, he shouts, "What's your number?" over to her. She yells something back, and he scribbles it down on a piece of paper, not quite sure that he heard it right. She speeds off, directly into the speed trap just over the hill.

Larry waves as he drives by. The charmer.

The next day, he gets to work and dials the number and then phones me right up.

"Call her," he says. "You'll get a machine, but call her."

OK. So I dial the number.

The machine picks up part way through the first ring. A lush, romantic Elton John starts playing, and after a bit, this:

"Hi, this is Holly. Thank you so much for calling. If you could leave me your name, number and a brief message I'll call you back as soon as possible. If this is an old friend, thank you so much for keeping in touch. If this is a new friend, I look forward to meeting you. God bless."

And a beep.

I call Larry back, and he says, "Hooker."

I say, "Phone sex."

Some sort of professional girl, we agree.

"But at least," I say, "this explains why she gave you her number."

Hi there! My name's GREG KNAUSS and I like to make things.

Some of those things are software (like Romantimatic and Buzz Clock), Web sites (like the Webby-nominated Metababy and The American People) and stories (for Web sites like Suck and Fray, print magazines like Worth and Macworld, and books like "Things I Learned About My Dad" and "Rainy Day Fun and Games for Toddler and Total Bastard").

My e-mail address is greg@eod.com. I'd love to hear from you!

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