Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Strange things

Last night I was sitting out on our front step after dinner enjoyng the rest of my glass of wine, and two strange things happened.

First, off to the right somewhere, somebody laughed maniacally. It was a man's laugh, entirely deranged, and went on and on and on. (If you have a Mac, you can hear more or less what I heard if you do this: Go to System Preferences, select Speech, select Text to Speech, then for the Voice choose Hysterical. Then open TextEdit, type HA HA HA HA HA , highlight it, and hit F1. Turn your speakers up, but not too far up.)

A few minutes later, off to the left, in an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT HOUSE, someone else laughed maniacally. It was a woman's laugh, entirely deranged, and went on and on and on. (There is no woman's voice on the Mac that sounds anything like it.)

As I was sitting there wondering if our neighbourhood had suddenly been hit by laughing gas and wondering why it had skipped our place, a van pulled up across the road. Someone got out of the van – I couldn't see who – crossed the road, and dropped something in our letterbox. Whoever it was then got back into the van and drove off.

I checked the letterbox. There was a flyer for an expensive restaurant. Why had this flyer been delivered only to us?

The laughter had stopped. Everything was quiet except a few cicadas and one lonely-sounding frog. It was peaceful and cool. A cool August night? That's spooky even without maniacal laughter and mysterious restaurant flyer deliveries.

It turned out the restaurant flyer had been delivered only to us because the owner of a camera shop near here knows the owner of the restaurant, which he recommends, and had promised to let us know where it was. I guess that must have been the camera shop guy on his way home from work.

The demented laughter, on the other hand, is still a mystery.

In other news, this is my new favourite cartoon: Estimation. It made me laugh. (Because Macs do that, too.)


Lia said...

I love xckd. Thanks for reminding me of that.

Lia said...


Darn those typos.

Keera Ann Fox said...

You made me go try something on my Mac that I hadn't tried before.

Badaunt said...

Keera: Did it give you a surprise? I once used that voice on an obscene caller who had been calling DAILY and annoying us, and he never called back.

(Actually I think he never called back because I spooked him by asking him politely to wait a moment please - I didn't have it ready when he called and needed a moment to set it up.)

Keera Ann Fox said...

Actually, it made me laugh. I really love your suggestion to play it for annoying callers, though. Helpful hint, that!