Friday, January 19, 2007

Another favorite and one they actually enjoy: The Madmartigans

In a somewhat recent conversation, a Tom Lee-like minded friend disclosed that he got his job when a stranger/danger man walked into the old Rosslyn Egghead Software where he was stocking shelves and offered him new IT employment on the spot. His company was just realizing they needed their own dedicated server-nerd and figured what better place to headhunt than at a place that specialized in King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella. He didn’t bother talking to the manager or help department, he just hired the first person he saw. My friend still has the job and makes lots of money and is also my resident expert of GenOne GI Joe and Transformer toys.

This incredible revelation got me to thinking about whatever happened to zany old Egghead Software. But this only led to a second revelation that what happened was pretty boring – Egghead recently went bankrupt after it was announced that their customers’ credit card information got hacked. However, I like this description on Wikipedia:

The stock plummeted and the company, led by the unknowing, drifted off to bankruptcy court, sinking lower until it became a mere banner ad on Amazon. The glory days of personalized service, knowing your customers’ names, try-before-you-buy sales, and old fashioned values were gone. Business 2.0 won.

And what is also not boring is what I found out about the history of the word "egghead". Did you know that we can thank Richard Nixon for its current definition? Before Tricky Dick came along egghead was only applied to people who were either bald or stupid or both. It was only after he referred to Adlai Stevenson and his Democratic supports as "eggheads" did its modern characterization as an anti-intellectual slight seep into modern society. (Reaching its pinnacle with Vincent Price’s performance as Egghead in the Batman TV series.)

Of course Nixon did not invent the term, he merely honed it into my favorite taunt of the IT department (after the Poindexters, the Bilboes, the Wicket W Warwicks and the Shazbots.) In fact, the original version of Elmer Fudd in the late 30’s was called Egghead. But it didn’t take hold until Nixon took the ol’ slaphead Adlai to task for looking so nerdly. This subsequent anti-smartypants attitude is also the reason the Reds almost beat us to the moon.

Added bonus! Teddy Roosevelt used the term pussyfoot so often he is also mistakenly given credit for its invention.

5 comments:

tom said...

are you talking about somebody named HT, by any chance?

(probably not. there are a lot of Transformers experts out there.)

the Nabob said...

That depends. Is HT his name or his initials? Because I know guys who are both. One is actually my go to Star Wars expert (not Transformer) and I doubt it's the other because i don't think he has ever used a computer.

So probably not.

tom said...

The one I'm thinking of played in a prominent Arlington ska band (and now plays in the Redskins band). My former roommate Jon used to work with him, and I was once in a computer class with him at the career center.

I think he's vaguely affiliated with the Legwarmers, too, which is what made me think he might have the overdeveloped sense of 80s nostalgia that's essential to any true Transformers aficionado.

The Governess said...

oh, that affiliation isn't vague, my friend. it's full-fledged.

tom said...

Ah, ok. At the point when I knew about it, I think the only things he was doing for the LW were web work and pining in secret.