Our New Office Passtime Is Messin' with the Guy Who Plays Majestic

2001-08-16

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Yeah, it's great. Frank just got involved in Majestic, that new "conspiracy" game from EA where it's like an adventure game, but it sends you instant-messages or emails or even calls your cell phone. Frank said he got into the game cuz "it's so cool -- it blurs the edge between gaming and reality." Lately we've taken it upon ourselves to blur it even more.

We owe it all to Marcus for kicking it off. He was going to take two weeks off of work to vacation in Mexico for his anniversary -- he told everyone not to tell Frank he would be gone. The day he left he sent an email to Frank explaining that he had just started playing Majestic, and he was really onto something. When he didn't show up for work the next day we all pretended we didn't know where he was. "I dunno Frank -- he's just gone and disappeared without any warning!" "Who was the last to hear from him?" "What was he up to?"

Frank just got really pale.

Then Crenshaw tipped the waiter at our local Chinese restaurant $20 bucks to lean over and whisper to Frank in the middle of lunch. "The crane strikes swiftest with one leg upright," he whispered. Then: "Don't ... order ... the Kung Pao chicken..." He looked side to side and scurried off.

When he wasn't looking, Reggie swapped his fortune cookie with one that said "Douglas Matthews dies tonight." Frank hardly touched his food.

Our quest to freak out Frank has become a game of one-upsmanship that gets more and more elaborate with each stunt. Harry went into the building across from ours with a laser pointer and beamed it through Frank's window one day, putting a bright red dot on his wall, creeping toward his head. I never saw someone hit the dirt so fast! Since then Frank's blocked his window with a bookshelf, and now sits facing the entrance to his office with his back to the wall.

Murray keeps calling Missy the receptionist whenever Frank is hanging out in the lobby. "Is Frank there?" Murray asks in a gravelly voice. "Why yes, he's right here!" she answers, loud enough for Frank to hear. Then Murray hangs up on her. "Hello...? Hello...?" she asks. Cold beads of sweat run down Frank's face whenever that happens. One time he requested the rest of the day off, right then and there.

We all pooled our money together when we heard Frank was going to be at the ballgame one night. In the middle of the seventh inning stretch the Goodyear Blimp broadcast: "WE'RE ON TO YOU, FRANK SIMPSON." For a few extra bucks we got the popcorn guy to go up to his seat and say, "Frank?" then, after looking around suspiciously, he handed Frank a free bag of popcorn and winked. Frank stared at it for an hour, not sure if he should eat it.

While that was happening, a bunch of us were out in the parking lot lifting up Frank's car and turning it around so that it faced the other direction when he got back.

Then we bought him a ticket for a Thursday afternoon train to Portland and mailed it to him in an unmarked envelope. He took off work early and we haven't seen him since. Later tonight Marcus is going to call Frank's cell phone from his vacation spot in Mexico and scream "GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE FRANK!" while his wife bangs a pot on the ground and his Mexican buddies set off a bunch of firecrackers.

Victim Pic Small Meanwhile, we're rifling through everything in Frank's office, just enough to make it look rummaged though while he was away.

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