Thursday, February 05, 2009

Evita Peron, Call On Line Two

Yes, I'm a belly button singer.

If you have kids, or got really drunk in college, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. Lift your shirt up, use one hand to make your belly button open and close like a mouth, and sing away. Since your belly button already looks like a tiny mouth, it's comedy gold.

Outies, I don't know what to tell you. Sorry.

Maybe you've done this yourself. Maybe you fancy yourself the Pavarotti of belly button singers.
I bet you've never sang "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" through your belly button, though. This evening. Not that I, um, know anyone who did that.

Believe it or not, I have another story about "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina." I was on a huge project once at my old company--several hundred people and an absolute supertanker of consultants.

The consultant for our area was an incredibly smart, funny guy. He was Belgian, and while he spoke English extremely well, he had a very heavy accent. His name was Danny.

All the consultants on this project were making huge money, because we were installing an enterprise software package that about two hundred people in the world actually understood, and he was one of them.

Since this was planned to be a 3-5 year project, we all got to be friends, and occasionally Danny would talk about how he was looking forward to retiring early (he was only in his mid 30's at the time). With what he was getting paid, he only needed to work for a few more years to be set for life.

I have no idea why, but Danny sometimes sang in his cube, and he didn't sing well. He used to sing "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina," and seeing a short, pale, bald guy sing a song about Evita Peron was completely outstanding, particularly because he was always completely off-key.

So you know what happens with every expensive 3-5 year project at a major corporation--right in the middle, a new CIO comes in who doesn't know dick and doesn't want anything to do with a major project that isn't his, so he cancels it and starts over. That's what happened to this project, and it meant that all the consultants were let go.

On Danny's last day, I went to his cube to commiserate for a few minutes. I said that I was sorry to see him go, and that I hoped he still retired young. He smiled, looked at me and sang:
Don't cry for me, Dell Computer.
I'll still get r-ich.
It will take long-er."

In perfect pitch.

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