20 apríl 2009

Bútur úr Cryptonomicon, aftur

A few days later he was talking to this oral surgeon, who was indeed young and conspicuously bright and had more in common with other brilliant people Randy had known--mostly hackers--than he did with other oral surgeons. He drove a pickup truck and kept fresh copies of TURING magazine in his waiting room. He had a beard, and a staff of nurses and other female acolytes who were all permanently aflutter over his brilliantness and followed him around steering him away from large obstacles and reminding him to eat lunch. This guy did not blanch when he saw Randy's Mercato-roentgeno-gram on his light box. He actually lifted his chin up off his hand and stood a little straighter and spake not for several minutes. His head moved minutely every so often as he animadverted on a different corner of the coordinate plane, and admired the exquisitely grotesque situation of each tooth--its paleolithic heft and its long gnarled roots trailing off into parts of his head never charted by anatomists.

When he finally turned to face Randy, he had this priest-like aura about him, a kind of holy ecstasy, a feeling of cosmic symmetry revealed, as if Randy's jaw, and his brilliant oral-surgery brain, had been carved out by the architect of the Universe fifteen billion years ago specifically so that they could run into each other, here and now, in front of this light box. He did not say anything like, "Randy let me just show you how close the roots of this one tooth are to the bundle of nerves that distinguishes you from a marmoset," or "My schedule is incredibly full and I was thinking of going into the real estate business anyway," or "Just a second while I call my lawyer." He didn't even say anything like, "Wow, those suckers are really in deep." The young brilliant oral surgeon just said, "Okay," stood there awkwardly for a few moments, and then walked out of the room in a display of social ineptness that totally cemented Randy's faith in him. One of his minions eventually had Randy sign a legal disclaimer stipulating that it was perfectly all right if the oral surgeon decided to feed Randy's entire body into a log chipper, but this, for once, seemed like just a formality and not the opening round in an inevitable Bleak House-like litigational saga.

And so finally the big day came, and Randy took care to enjoy his breakfast because he knew that, considering the nerve damage he was about to incur, this might be the last time in his life that he would be able to taste food, or even chew it. The oral surgeon's minions all looked at Randy in awe when he actually walked in the door of their office, like My god he actually showed up! then flew reassuringly into action. Randy sat down in the chair and they gave him an injection and then the oral surgeon came in and asked him what, if anything, was the difference between Windows 95 and Windows NT. "This is one of these conversations the sole purpose of which is to make it obvious when I have lost consciousness, isn't it?" Randy said. "Actually, there is a secondary purpose, which is that I am considering making the jump and wanted to get some of your thoughts about that," the oral surgeon said.

"Well," said Randy, "I have a lot more experience with UNIX than with NT, but from what I've seen, it appears that NT is really a decent enough operating system, and certainly more of a serious effort than Windows." He paused to draw breath and then noticed that suddenly everything was different. The oral surgeon and his minions were still there and occupying roughly the same positions in his field of vision as they had been when he started to utter this sentence, but now the oral surgeon's glasses were askew and the lenses misted with blood, and his face was all sweaty, and his mask flecked with tiny bits of stuff that very much looked like it had come from pretty far down in Randy's body, and the air in the room was murky with aerosolized bone, and his nurses were limp and haggard and looked like they could use makeovers, face-lifts, and weeks at the beach. Randy's chest and lap, and the floor, were littered with bloody wads and hastily torn-open medical supply wrappers. The back of his head was sore from being battered against the head-rest by the recoil of the young brilliant oral surgeon's cranial jack-hammer. When he tried to finish his sentence ("so if you're willing to pay the premium I think the switch to NT would be very well advised") he noticed that his mouth was jammed full of something that prevented speech. The oral surgeon pulled his mask down off his face and scratched his sweat-soaked beard. He was staring not at Randy but at a point very far away. He heaved a big, slow sigh. His hands were shaking.

"What day is it?" Randy mumbled through cotton.

"As I told you before," the brilliant young oral surgeon said, "we charge for wisdom tooth extractions on a sliding scale, depending on the degree of difficulty." He paused for a moment, groping for words. "In your case I'm afraid that we will be charging you the maximum on all four." Then he got up and shambled out of the room, weighed down, Randy thought, not so much by the stress of his job as by the knowledge that no one was ever going to give him a Nobel prize for what he had just accomplished.

Ég var að lesa þetta rétt í þessu og langaði að skrifa hérna inn, en þessi heiðursmaður var búinn að líma þetta á sína vefsíðu - og meira til. Smellið á gaurinn til að lesa aðdragandann.


2 ummæli:

Nafnlaus sagði...

jésús hvað þetta er fínt,
ég þarf eiginlega að taka lesarann á þennan bókarara
en hann er þykkari en mannsævi þessi doðrantur.

Björninn sagði...

Ég gefst iðulega upp á bókum sem eru lengri en tomma en nú finnst mér að þessi mætti halda áfram miklu lengur. Tékkaðu á henni maður.