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08.26.04
The Canterbeaker Tales
Two Stories About Beaker

Story #1: Why Beaker Is Beaker.

As I mentioned yesterday, Beaker fishes with Nathan’s dad. Nathan also has a mom, who is also acts as barber for the three gentlemen.

Beaker has the thickest hair I’ve ever seen in my life. The body hair isn’t too bad – he has a hair chest, but it isn’t excessive and there aren’t any back hairs. Yet, I guess. Anyway, his head hair is so thick that sometimes, I’ll be looking deeply into his eyes, and will get distracted by a single hair GROWING OUT OF THE MIDDLE OF HIS FOREHEAD. Where no hair has any business sprouting. He will never have to worry about growing bald.

So. Thick hair.

Nathan’s mom will have fun with Beaker’s hair, and although it’s usually the same cut (short all over, maybe a little longer on top), she’s vary it up a little and experiment each time. It’s always subtle, but I can always tell.

About a year ago, he comes home after a haircut and asks what I think.

And I’m like, “Well, it looks nice.”

“You think?”

“Yeah.”

“Cool.”

“But…”

“Oh, no. What?”

“No, it’s not a bad thing. It’s just… Did she make it a little shorter on the sides? And a little longer on top?”

“Yeah, she did. Are you sure it’s okay?”

“No, it’s not bad. It’s just that… it makes your head look kind of long.”

“What?!”

“Yeah. Your head looks kind of long – LIKE BEAKER! You look like Beaker, from the Muppets! MEEPMEEP! MEEPMEEP!”

I meepmeeped at him for about a week after, and thus, an Internet Nickname was born.

My dad calls him Beaker, too. And I’ll still meep at him, every now and then.

Story #2: Another Reason Why Spam Is Bad.

As I believe that I have mentioned before, Beaker has never, ever, in his 31-year life, sent or received an email. First of all, he lives in the Keys. They still take things pretty slow on the island. Secondly, he’s a fisherman – he has never owned or worked with a computer, or needed to do so. He didn’t go to college, and I think his senior year of high school, they unveiled the FIRST COMPUTER purchase in the district, ever, to oohs and aahs from everyone else, and absolute indifference from Beaker. He doesn’t really care.

(When I told Rudey that, she said, “Oh my god! If I ever meet Beaker, the first thing I’m going to say to him is ‘Wow! You are The Boy Who Has Never Emailed! What’s it like to be you?’”)

A few months ago, we're at his Captain’s house, and I'm checking my hotmail. Beaker's kind of looking over my shoulder as I'm deleting dozens of spam messages, and I'm trying to explain what I'm doing.

Captain walks by and is like, "Yeah, Beaker - you get a lot of that garbage."

Beaker sits there quietly watching me for a few more seconds, while I check away. All of a sudden, he points to the screen, and in this really excited voice, exclaims, "Wait! What is that? 'Free Travel Offer!' Don't delete that, baby!"

It almost hurt my heart to have to turn to him and say, "Don't get your hopes up. It's all dirty, dirty lies."

He was just so EXCITED, having no reason to believe someone would send something bogus.

(Extra credit: once, when I told him I was going to email my friends something, he freaked out, thinking it'd be on my web page for all to see. Ever try to explain the difference between a web site and email to someone who has never used either? Not so easy.)
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