Thu, 20 Aug 2009

Operation PANTS

Debian has shown, once again, how a strong community of friends and workmates it is. Here's a success story, not related to our common duties as Debian Developers. This has nothing to do with packages, mailing lists, PO files or britney runs. This is all about pants, and the ties that bind them.

Let's introduce this story a little. Four years ago, if memory serves right, I had the pleasure to host Clint in my flat when he visited València for a few days. When he eventually left to go back to NYC, I was at work so I couldn't help him check he had packed everything in his bag. It took me weeks to realise he had left his yellow pyjama pants hanging behind the door of the bathroom I never use. I couldn't help making fun about his kidnapped pyjamas on IRC, and unfortunately this has kept going for years. I would go shopping for new speedos with my mom, and wear the pants during the shopping trip, when I needed to sample some jamón ibérico, I would always wear them. When I required lounging in the sun, his pants were a constant companion. The pants became more to me than just pants I found hanging on the bathroom hook. They became a private confidant, metalic objects would fly out of people's hands and stick themselves to the pants. I once went outside in the middle of the night, wearing only the pants, everyone who I passed in the street got a sunburn. The pants radiated joy, they cooked eggs just by standing near them, weekly they would push out perfectly formed flan that I would enjoy while wearing the pants. People's monitors would self-degauss when I walked by. I no longer shaved yaks, they simply were shaved seeing me in these pants. The pants were magical. They are so soft, I think they are made out of a combination of baby's bottoms, astroturf, handlotion, cotton candy, and hair from the hide of the mystical Softasaurus, a beast so soft that if you were to look at it your eyes would soften in their sockets. I am pretty sure that the Torta del Casar from Cáceres is made from the milk of the Softasaurus. As you can imagine, I became attached to these pants, we lived together, we went out together, I would always tell Clint about it of course, but we developed our own special relationship. My girlfriend became jealous.

Of course, I took care of keeping the trousers in a safe place and I always meant to return them to Clint, if I were to meet him again. I did not want to return them, because they were my precious. But if someone came from the US who could bring them back I vowed to hand them over to them to act as a proxy. However, even if it was my best intention, somehow I kept forgetting about it when friends flew to NYC. My idea was to get them posted to Clint by someone in the city, as a nice way of returning the pyjamas... but the pants held some kind of power over me, and it never happened, I don't understand what happened.

On July 23, I went to Debconf 9 in Cáceres. In the very last moment before leaving, the pants called out to me from the small shrine I kept them in, "take me to my leader!" I could see them glimmering in the candle light, somewhat obscured by the incense I burn there, they were pulsating, I became afraid and knew that maybe I had gone too far. Clearly, it was time to return them, and so Operation PANTS officially started!

During Debconf, the pants began to exert some kind of bizarre magical influence over the attendees. They were afflicted by a mania that frantically lit up their eyes, they sparkled in freakish ways. They would get cold sweats, and shake uncontrollably. Someone puked on the printer, a host of carrion birds circled above the venue and the security guard began carrying handcuffs and a billy club. People would drool on their OpenMokos and emit soft moo'ing sounds. They talked in hurried and hushed tones while always looking at me suspiciously. Something was clearly exerting a strong force. As an example, on the day that Launchpad was released with a Free Software licence, people were crying and hugging each other in the halls. It was like the ring to Gollum, but this was pants, one pair to rule them all. More than once, while someone was eyeing me askance, another Debconf attendee would grab hold of the pants and yank them from my body, laughing maniacally. I would be left naked, without my glorious pants, and it was then, crestfallen and forlorn, that I finally realised that I had hit rock-bottom. I was addicted to these pants, and it was only when I lost them did I know how powerful of an influence they had on my life. I needed help, I was addicted to pants.

I found Micah, and we began to stage interventions to free people from the powerful grasp of the pants. We would find someone, huddling in the corner with the pants, bloodshot eyes, typically with jaundice or some other malnourishment, dried drool on their chin, etc. who was doing some unholy thing with the pants. We would then use the camera flash to temporary blind them by saturating their fully dilated pupils and in that moment, we could take back the pants. We could only touch them with rubber gloves, for fear we would be tainted. Luckily, there were many cameras around, and there is evidence of our interventions that can be used to rebate denials of these happenings. Be careful, for you will find there fellow Debianistas in compromising states, at embarrassing lows in their life, you may find yourself and remember how horrible your pants addiction was, it is an unholy sight. For some this addiction was as if Hell itself opened up began spewing out MORE hells, until the universe, the cosmos and all dimensions were infinite hells stacked on top of each other and they were each individually oozing some ghastly fluid.

Micah took the pants back to NYC, in a hermetically sealed bag, illegally transporting them across international borders. Something happened along the way, Micah could not resist one last chance with the pants. So on a warm summer night in NYC, he took them to meet their rightful owner. Everything was going well. He and his handler (Karl Fogel) met Clint at a nice, quiet restaurant in the Village. They ordered food, and things were proceeding nicely, but suddenly Micah was overcome with a desire he could not withstand. This was his last chance, just one more taste of the pants! What could possibly go wrong, he just had to visit the bathroom for a quick change into the pants, and then he could give them back. He got up, under the auspices of cleansing his hands, went to the bathroom and put on the PANTS. He stood there, shivering in bliss. He exclaimed, too loudly, "They are SO SOFT!". It was too late, he could not take them off. He left the bathroom, with them on. He returned to the table, and Clint DID NOT NOTICE!

Micah was overcome with guilt and said, "Look what I got from Jordi!" Clint still did not notice, the pants were somehow camouflaged from Clint's gaze. Micah, was forced to vigorously point to the pants he was wearing and say, "Its your pants!"...

... at which point Clint noticed...

... and Micah was forced to take them off in the restaurant.

   ― Plot and execution by jordi, micah, nattie, pabs & all the people addicted to the PANTS!