"Hey, where are we?", one of the duo shouted down.
"In a hot air balloon", came the snarky answer.
"Fuck you!" was the reply! "I will park this thing in your ass if you don't tell us where we are, right now!"
"Alright alright, calm your tits balloon guy. You are in Cupertino, this is the Apple building"
"How romantic, do you got any free iPads you can throw up in to the basket?"
"iPhones have less drag when you throw them, you know, you should try it."
"WE DON'T THROW PRODUCTS AT CUSTOMERS ANYMORE AT APPLE."
"Okay but can you then maybe ask Steve Jobs to sign my phone?"
"Let me guess it's an andro .... how do you sign a phone it's not a fucking book, also he is dead."
"Oh, how did he die?"
"Do you want me to show you?"
"Did he die because somebody threw an iPad at him?"
This was of course the perfect moment for Terry to finally show his head over the edge of the basket and join the conversation, while looking at his friend he said:
"Apple keeps doctors away, Eric, that probably did not help either."
The Apple Engineer was now completely loosing it and you would too if you had work at Apple since 1977 and are trying to find some comfort in nicotine and fresh air and sunshine and suddenly you hear a voice coming from heaven and for a fraction of a second you think about life after Steve Jobs. "Hey where are we?" is a very scary thing to hear coming from heaven as an Apple engineer post-Jobs. Especially when you used to work on Apple maps.
"WE SURE AS HELL KEEP JOBNUTS AWAY SO FLY AWAY NOW OR WE WILL CALL THE FEDS AND DON'T HIT ANY POWER LINES, OUR MANAGERS THINK WE ARE COMPILING."
"That made no sense but okay and just so you know we where just trying to brighten up your day, so please don't call the FAA." --pulls burner--
And so with a smile on his face, because he finished that amazing exchange with a great rhyme and a world class pun, Eric idled up and they quickly gained altitude again. They took some time studying their map and after the wind picked up they concluded they where slowly drifting in the right direction, whatever that was. This satisfied them but both of them where a bit annoyed that neither had brought any cigarettes, would have been fun to try to use the burner to light them up and in California everything already causes cancer anyways.
"Fucking tech engineers hey."
"Not just tech engineers, Apple tech engineers."
"What's the difference?"
"It just sucks to be an Apple engineer. You never get any credit for good work, just crap when it does not work like how the grown ups want it to work."
"How do you know?"
"Oh I worked in a garage in Campbell for a while and a wiffie, had a lot of customers that worked in garages too. See the current problem with Apple is that they have a tendency now to fill up their products with unnecessary gimbits and take away from that what has always worked great"
"Like in this joke?"
"I was going to say Judaism."
"People will still read it, won't they?"
"No, I mean this joke."
"Don't ask me man, I am just a stranger in a hot air balloon trying to make his way back home and nobody calls me on the phone, not even Carly Rae Jepsen more like never baby."
"She is Canadian, it's long distance for her. But you are no stranger to me, Eric, if you know what I mean wink wink nudge nudge. And that nobody calls you on the phone is probably because of the implications and because there is not to much cell phone reception at 5000 feet."
"And you always forget to charge it."
"Okay, I get it Terry. I get it. Ssay no more, say no more."
'Anyway, so there is no punchline in this story?"
"Nope just a bunch of people that today finally lost their orientation, including me. Anybody want a beer?"
"Yeah okay." .
And so they sailed of in to new adventures, none the wiser but it killed some time. Alright I am done compiling. Back to work. Time to find out how many problems I have now. This is actually a coming out story. I am finally ready to let the world know I prefer emacs over vim. But you can't be straightforward about that in Silicon Valley. You have to use euphemistic language.
"Ask me if I am Jewish."