Code, nerd culture and humor from Greg Knauss.

So it's almost midnight and it's pitch black outside and Joanne and I are standing in the check-out line at Vons. I used to wonder why there were all-night supermarkets until I became a responsible adult and found that you can't get vegetables in a 7-11.

There's a store employee in front of us, buying what must be her weekly ration of hair supplies. She's got Big Hair, this store employee, and she must be scared of making it angry because she's got an entire array of various grooming products lined up as sacrifices on the belt.

The guy behind the register is teasing her.

"What's this?" he says, holding up a can.

"Hair spray."

"And this?"

"A different hair spray."

He laughs. "And this?"

"Hair gel."

"And this?"

"It stops fly-away hair."

I turn to Joanne. "Fly-away hair?" I say.

"Yeah," she says.

"Y'mean, like you're standing there when suddenly your hair leaps up off your head, stalks around on its spindly legs for a few seconds then skitters off into the air -- ffwwt ffwwt ffwwt?" I put my hands on my head, then flap them off.


"Fly-away hair. Imagine if you were just standing there, talking to somebody, when suddenly you got fly-away hair. 'What the hell was that?' 'Oh, don't worry. It always comes back for dinner.' And, hours later, it comes sailing back -- ffwwt ffwwt clomp!"

She just looks at me.

So do the cashier and the woman.

I need to get more sleep.

So I'm cranky and over-worked and under-slept and not at all ready to be amused by life, and I've been that way for a good long time now. Life, apparently, realizes this and has decided to take some of the subtlety out of its approach.

It's late -- again -- and I'm driving home after an exhausting day of not getting my project done -- again -- when one of those sleek new electric cars zooms by. It's a cool ice-blue and shaped like a torpedo and just about screams, "Out of my way, you fossil-fuel burning weenie; I'm on my way to the future!" The sunset-and-palmtree California license plate reads SMOG LES.

And it's strapped to the back of a ancient, smoke-belching flatbed truck, apparently on its way to wherever you can get those sleek new electric cars fixed.

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

Some of those things are software (like Romantimatic), 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 I'd love to hear from you!

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