R. Fink | A bunker with a view

The Packet Rat'commentary

The Packet Rat


WITH SUMMER coming, gas prices soaring and mass transit accommodations becoming more snug each day, the Rat is lobbying for additional ways to telecommute to make it through the madness.

Considering the government's official support for telecommuting, getting the OK from management isn't his big challenge.

The real hurdle is at home ' with three children who'll be off from school, there's a new class of madness the Rat must deal with before he can even think about escaping from the so-called rat race.

So the whiskered one has set out to build the perfect home workspace where he can secure himself from the maelstrom sure to surround him all summer.

This will be a water balloonfree zone where he can be serious, get work done and perhaps enjoy an hour or two of a massively multiplayer online game without someone interrupting him.

The wirebiter's dream home office would be the kind of room Carl Icahn might want to lock Microsoft and Yahoo execs into while negotiating a merger.

In other words, he's building his own private Guantanamo ' except with better broadband.

'First, I need a good, sturdy door,' he told his wife as they went into the local lumber megastore. 'And some soundproof tiles. And maybe one of those noise cancellers.'

'For what?' Mrs. Rat asked. 'I thought we were just going to get a few things for your office, not build an aggressive interrogation room.'

'No, you've got that backward. I'm building an aggressive anti-interrogation room,' the Rat replied. 'Do you remember last summer? 'Dad, can you get me some ice cream? Dad, can you fix the XBox? Dad, can you drive me to the mall?' It's almost as bad as dealing with certain middle managers I know.'

'Wouldn't it just be cheaper to send the kids away for the whole summer than to build a safe room to keep them out?' his wife asked, rolling her eyes as he started browsing electronic keycode locks.

'Are you kidding?' He held up a deadbolt lock suitable for containing wild animals. 'The money we'd spend on gas to get the kids to camp would be enough for us to build each of them a cell.'

The Rat tucked the lock under one arm and strode toward the next aisle. 'Now, for the steel door frames.'


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