Thursday, May 29, 2008

Time Machine's and White-Socked Ninja's

With 2 of my friends finally moving to Gmail accounts this week, I decided to click the "oldest" button in my "All Mail" section to see how long I'd been a member. Turns out my 4 year Gmail Anniversary will arrive on June 16th. In that time I've never deleted anything, leaving a little over 6000 e-mails essentially tracking the last 4 years of my life. Looking back at those early email threads is like having my own little time machine back into 2004, which feels like a lifetime ago now. A lot has changed for me since then. I've married, purchased a home, purchased a dog, changed jobs, and exited my 20's.

But my favorite part was seeing the first email I ever sent from the account. It is an email to my long-time friend Jeremy Maxom with an attachment describing the sacred teachings of the White-Socked Ninja Clan, a clan whose actions the two of us have been tracking since high school. This document was listed as highly-classified, but the time has come for the public to be aware. So, with little fanfare but much significance, I present...

Sacred Teachings of the White-Socked Ninja

Within this document are details of a clan, a clan which has existed, surprisingly, for ages, or at least 10 years. Few have knowledge of the White-Socked Ninja, but those who do are wise to respect and honor the fierce irony that members of the clan must face. For a White-Socked Ninja is as his name implies: a ninja, skillfully trained, deadly and swift, cunning and agile, heard of often, yet never seen… from the ankles up.

You see, a White-Socked Ninja, much like your run-of-the-mill, everyday ninja, is above all else a man of stealth. Clothed all in black, a ninja can stalk the night like no other. But a White-Socked Ninja must adhere to the number 1 rule of the clan: White tube-socks must be worn, and visible, at all times. Although quite comfortable and stylish, this requirement has been the undoing of more than 1 White-Socked Ninja. In fact, it has foiled 100% of all missions the clan has attempted.

The exact date of inception for the clan is unknown, and some members have been known to claim it has been around for centuries. However, historians and clan co-founders have narrowed the likely date to sometime in 1993. The clan was borne out of a growing distaste for the normal ninja clans of its time. Tired of the outrageousness of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, yet bored of the non-distinct look of most other ninja clans (often derided by WSN members as being “effective but boring”), clan founders decided that a subtle yet cool ninja clan was “where it’s at”.

A uniform was quickly decided upon. Not wanting to stray too far from tradition, black was chosen as the predominant color. It was also noted by one co-founder that “black is slimming”. To maximize effectiveness in the field, while maintaining cool-non-vanilla Flava, the trim color could not be above the waist. When one co-founder noted that white tube socks could be easily acquired for low prices at many convenient locations in the metro area, the decision was unanimous and the White-Socked Ninjas were born.


“Stealth Is Important, But So Are Style And Affordability.”

Rules & Regulations

  1. White Tube-socks must be worn, and visible, at all times. These replace the standard two-toed ninja booties most trainees are familiar with.
  2. All other Standard Ninja Rules, as dictated by the International Consortium of Ninjadom, apply unless in direct conflict with rule 1.

Methods of Sneakiness

  1. Missions should be attempted during night-time hours if at all possible.
  2. Approach targets from any angle that is not the front.
  3. No chewing gum.
  4. Know your surroundings. Grass and carpet are good. Hardwood floors and bubble-wrap are bad.
  5. When in doubt, do what a cat would do, unless the cat would purr.

The Mission That Almost Succeeded

The lights were low that fateful night,
When white-socked ninjas approached the site.
The clouds hung low and children shivered,
For soon the strike would be delivered.

The quarry lay so still and quiet,
This was the perfect night to try it!
So up the fence the members shimmied
And through the door that one guy jimmied.

The group that night it counted four:
The first guy stayed to guard the door.
The second one was stationed outside,
Because he’d borrowed his grannies’ ride.

If things went poorly, as they often did,
And if the members could not be hid,
Then slam the car into drive he would
And they’d peel out of this neighborhood.

The two that continued had their orders;
Divide the quarry into quarters.
So up the stairs they softly stepped
And down a corridor they quickly crept.

And through a door, and there they were:
Their target in sight, of that we’re sure.
But what came next is somewhat muddy,
Like a story from your drunk friend Buddy.

In most accounts, someone screamed,
The jig was up, or so it seemed.
“Honey, honey, there’s someone here!”
“Where?!? Oh where? Pray tell me dear!”

”I’m not quite certain, it’s oh so dark,
But I saw a flash, a white-ish spark.
It was low to the ground, say ankle high
Please dear believe me, I wouldn’t lie!”

Later that night in a secret place,
Where a secret leader secretly paced,
The group of four softly entered
And faced their leader front and center.

“We failed again sir” said one member
“Our fourth failure since December”
The leader shook his head and sighed
“What happened this time, that no one died?”

“Same as always, like hands on clocks,
Despite our skill they saw our socks”

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