Susan Lambert (my boss), Kevin Ambrose, and Terry Mayer had some fun with me while on my job rotation to California during five weeks in February 1996. They conjured up a guy from Human Resources named Gerald Stanley who e-mailed me an invitation to be fêted along with others for my contributions to educating the new engineering staff in the Vienna office. There was even a gold watch to be given at the banquet! Terry had set up a fake phone extension, a fake e-mail box and everything else that would make me believe that ``Gerald'' was real. The conspirators were all set to let me show up at a hotel, in a suit and tie, only to discover that there was no banquet, no Gerald, no nothing. How sick ...
Only thing is, Susan was too nice to pull the thing off and Kevin and Terry had told the whole world about it anyway, so it fell apart, but not before a lot of people had a good laugh at my gullibility. The next day I got an e-mail from ``Gerald'' informing me that he had perished in a tragic tater tot accident.
This has to be one of the greatest jokes of all time. I wish I had thought of it. While Terry was away at training, someone came in to his office, stole the Buzz Lightyear doll next to his monitor, and left the following ransom note:
The instructions were Fed-Ex'ed the next day:
Here's what was waiting for Terry in the stall:
Well, Terry missed his ``payment'' so the kidnappers sent him this note and picture:
What followed is probably the funniest part of this whole thing. Terry had failed to deliver the goods once more and so the kidnappers sent Buzz's gloved hand with red magic marker stains over the wrist (looking like blood) to Terry in a box. Here's the note that was attached:
Well, Terry finally delivered the goods. The kidnappers then made the following demand:
OK, this is where I get involved. Kevin saw Terry bring in a Barbie doll, instantly swiped it, and brought it to me. For good measure, he took Terry's Woody doll, too. We still had no idea who had kidnapped Buzz, but we knew Terry would be up a creek without a paddle when the kidnappers were disappointed:
Things were getting desperate for poor Terry. He asked Jim Davis, the sales rep for FBI, to produce the following profile of the kidnapper (Funny how 80% of it describes me, even though I hadn't kidnapped Buzz!):
From tmayer@opal Mon May 20 13:32 EDT 1996 Date: Mon, 20 May 1996 13:32:09 -0400 From: tmayer@opal (Terry Mayer - AFO DSE Vienna VA) To: stumps@opal Subject: kidnapper Cc: chrism@opal, jdavis@opal, dmichel@opal, ppilcher@opal, mdye@opal, ericp@opal, schlos@opal, Vicki_Mayer_at_CTA__SPACE@smtplink.cta.com Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-Md5: +Bvnod5u4xnJ72tH3UQ6cw== All, I have asked the FBI to step in and help put an end to Buzz's pain and suffering. I will not be led around on a leash. I have a profile and I will be searching for the guilty person. My revenge has no bounds! First the Unknown Subject is someone that knows you well, too well. *Definately the UNSUB is white male between the ages of 25-35yrs Old *Very Smart, works in the High tech industry, maybe an engineer or software type *Could well be High IQ, has become disenchanted with Job/Career or with you *Well educated, May have attended UVA, VA Tech or Maryland *Orderly, detail freak, hates it when things do not go to plan, Anal Retentive *Tendancy toward violence, Most likely a loner, single or divorced, acting alone *First time offender, but has studied his Modus Operandi, *Will get better with each crime, *You have talked to the UNSUB, he is watching, very polished in his responses *May even recommend list of other suspects, This person gets off on your reaction, this is part of the fantasy, when you do not conform, he becomes angry and violent. *You represent a threat to the UNSUB, maybe jealous of your inteligence or authority. You have wronged the UNSUB in the past. This event has triggered a chain of events, regressing the UNSUB to his childhood *The selection of Buzz indicates the UNSUB has a problem with authority figures (or action Figures, we're not sure on that one). *Buzz represents a father figure that the UNSUB is now dominating and acting out his frustration on. The UNSUB Father was a cop, Judge or Former EDS employee. *The UNSUB has a deep rooted fear of inadequacy and has had several failed relations with other close friends and Dolls. He has an unhealthy affection for dolls, in fact, he loves his "Woody". As a child he played too much with his Stretch Armstong, resulting in hair growth in the palm of his hand. Now it's too late, harmless child's play with Mrs. Beasely, Raggitty Anne, Dapper Dan and others has led to the hard Stuff. Now his fantasies are not being satisfied by Buzz and he'll move up to the Stephen Segal, Arnold Swartzenager and Pamela Lee's Barb Wire (both action figure and Inflatable "pool toy") How did this happen? His sister or mother made fun of his love for dolls as a child and has scorned him. When we find this man, we will find someone with a large collection of Barbie dolls, all perfectly kept, also a large collection of GI Joes, they will be mutilated and destroyed. Your military back round suggest that you are GI Joe. The UNSUB has now begun to mutilate Buzz and will continue unless you do exactly what is asked of you. *This person Drives a Saturn or a conservative car, maybe an old car like a VW bug, very frugal, lives in remote area with few possesions other than the needed articles to maintain his clean cut corporate image. Rarely wears suits and complains when he does. This person may have full facial hair, or Clean Cut, well groomed in either case, the UNSUB will definately change. Look for anyone that begins to grow facial hair or shaves it all off. You have a great deal of power over this persons emotions and he hates it. He will react to your clues and try to alter your ideas towards his true ID. He will issue a full documentation set for his motives, well thought out, rationalizations to his crimes, but still deeply rooted in childhood anxieties. A Manifesto and list of demands will be forth coming. Buzz is not the target, you are! Buzz is either badly disfigured or "Some assembley will be required" when his remains are found. You may have to count to "Infinite and Beyond" for an accurate total. The UNSUB fits the same profile and may be the same person as the "PENN STATE MUGGER". The UNSUB will up the ante. He will use his knowledge of computers to begin to attack the systems and Networks, Sudden crashes and unexplained failures will occur, all leading to an ultimate confrentation with you. The UNSUB will be the one that assist you in the recovery of these events. We Have dubbed him the UNIMAYER
Meanwhile, Kevin and I sent Terry an e-mail from "The Shadow" demanding that if Terry ever wanted to see Barbie so that he could ever see Buzz again, he was to wear a Washington Redskins T-shirt on Tuesday (Terry being a psychopathic Cowboys fan and Redskin hater). He failed so we had to warn him. We were going to tell him that we were raping Barbie three times a day and forcing Woody to watch, but he would have known it was us, only because there is no one else in our office that sick. Just for grins, we added a fake signature from our new TRW refugee, Dave Cox, to bring him into the war, kinda like Saddam Hussein firing missiles into Israel:
From firstname.lastname@example.org Fri Jun 7 13:55 EDT 1996 From: email@example.com Date: Fri, 7 Jun 1996 13:44:44 -0400 Mime-Version: 1.0 X-Status: X-UID: 42 Mr. Mayer, You did not wear the Washington Redskins shirt on Tuesday as you were instructed to do. Barbie is in severe pain! Woody is a stiff! You are to wear a Washington Redskins shirt on Monday or these two are history! Do not try to locate us or we will destroy these two and along with them your hopes of ever retrieving Buzz! The Copy Cat Kidnappers -- /\ Dave Cox \\ \ Systems Engineer \ \\ / Sun Microsystems Computer Corporation / \/ / / 2650 Park Tower Drive / / \//\ Suite 400 \//\ / / Vienna, VA 22180 USA / / /\ / / \\ \ Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org \ \\ Phone: (703) 204-4222 \/ FAX: (703) 204-4786
The Buzz kidnappers were not idle, however. They sent this puzzle of Buzz in pieces to persuade Terry to deliver Barbie, not knowing that I had her:
It was right about now that one afternoon, at the end of the day, two people, one of whom I had never met, came looking for me in my cube hollering about how I had Barbie. They found out because I had told Calvin Fox at a party a couple of days earlier and he knew who the Buzz kidnappers were: Donna Coleman and Judy May from SunService. Donna wanted to get Terry back for the garbage he had given her for the Cowboys/Steelers tête-à-tête at the Super Bowl that year. After genuflecting at the two of them for the most brilliant joke I had ever seen, we decided to join forces and become the ``Alliance'':
From email@example.com Mon Jun 10 17:28 EDT 1996 Date: Mon, 10 Jun 1996 17:17:22 -0400 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (The Shadow) Subject: You Blew It (Like a Runny Nose) Mr Mayer: You failed again to wear the Redskins shirt today. The Copy Cat kidnappers have teamed up with the abductors of Buzz Lightyear to form the "Get Terry" club. Stand by for further instructions and do not disappoint us again, stupid! The Alliance
We decided to forge an e-mail to all 350 people in the building on Terry's behalf, begging for the dolls back, because we knew Terry would never do it himself, pride being the most crippling deadly sin:
From tmayer@opal Mon Jun 10 17:48 EDT 1996 Date: Mon, 10 Jun 1996 17:47:10 -0400 From: tmayer@opal (Terry Mayer - AFO DSE Vienna VA) Subject: Please Return My Dolls :-( All, Alright, enough is enough. I've lost my Buzz, I've lost my Barbie, and worst yet, I've lost my Woody. I have been so lonely I had to buy a dog last week. Please please can I have my dolls back! Terry :-(
Terry saw the fake e-mail the next morning and, after sifting through over 40 other e-mails from people expressing sympathy for the loss of his ``woody'', he sent the following message to everyone in the building:
From tmayer@opal Tue Jun 11 09:56 EDT 1996 Date: Tue, 11 Jun 1996 09:55:25 -0400 From: tmayer@opal (Terry Mayer - AFO DSE Vienna VA) To: local@opal Subject: little boy Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-MD5: BOvZF7JjBiinG3+eDYqs7A== All, It is apparent that I'm the victim of a truly cruel and thoughtless joke. True that these dolls were stolen! However not from me but from my children. They were going to be birthday gifts for my 4 year son Cody. I have tried to explain where his prizes went but you know 4 year olds. I have managed to get the nightmares stopped, but his endless crying is tearing me apart. If anyone has information leading to the identity of the person or persons that felt the need to emotionally destroy a little boy. I would be very grateful. Thank you for my son. Terry
As with all of Terry's plans to elicit sympathy, it blew up right in his face:
From michelem@opal Tue Jun 11 10:29 EDT 1996 Date: Tue, 11 Jun 1996 10:28:51 -0400 From: michelem@opal (Michele Mullins - Commercial SE-Sun-Vienna VA) To: tmayer@opal, local@opal Subject: Re: little boy Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-MD5: sAAk+oXf2FGjC03b3K8loQ== Terry, I'm impressed. How liberated of you to give your 4 year old boy a Barbie for his birthday. Woody and Buzz, all little boys want, and probably have by now (except for yours of course). But a Barbie! Way to go! -Michele
How about this one:
From mikeg@onyx-4 Tue Jun 11 10:29 EDT 1996 Date: Tue, 11 Jun 1996 10:26:50 -0400 From: mikeg@onyx-4 (Mike Grove - Federal S.E. Vienna Va.) To: local@opal Subject: Re: little boy Thoughtless ?!?!?!?!? You have your little boy playing with dolls. I'm ashamed. Put a golf club in his hands or a baseball glove, a copy of Playboy or a cigar, something other than a freaking doll. No wonder this country is going to hell in a hand bag. Come talk to me about this tragedy Terry. ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Mike Grove Systems Engineer Special Programs District SMCC, mike.grove@East.Sun.COM x24262, (703)204-4262 /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
I naturally had to give the knife a twist myself:
From jmeyer@onyx Tue Jun 11 10:43 EDT 1996 Date: Tue, 11 Jun 1996 10:42:23 -0400 From: jmeyer@onyx (John Meyer - SE Sun Vienna VA) To: local@opal Subject: Re: little boy Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-MD5: EaRb97IcbFvWFpeCEpi/JA== Everyone -- Terry has told me that Cody's tutu and leotards are getting old and raggedy and that he can't save up enough of his allowance to continue his ballet lessons. Maybe we should start a collection in the fourth floor kitchen, next to the bagels. John
By this time, Donna, Judy, Kevin, and I were having more fun than humans should be allowed to have, so we decided to call it quits and give Terry some hints as to where he could find the dolls. Donna and Judy had Buzz hanging by the neck in a closet on the fifth floor and I had Barbie and Woody in a disk array stashed away in the loaner pool.
From email@example.com Tue Jun 11 18:16 EDT 1996 Date: Tue, 11 Jun 1996 18:14:39 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (The Shadow) Subject: The Alliance Rests Mr Mayer: The Alliance is finally at peace. The Copy Cat Kidnappers and the original abductors of Buzz are now satisfied. The day you spent today, as a public fool, has made the "Get Terry" organization no longer necessary. Never have we seen you so degraded, so completely and openly humiliated, as we have today. How can you possibly bear the 40-odd e-mails you received about your woody? And the note you sent about Cody that so totally backfired and blew up in your face? We feel that you have suffered enough. Therefore, here are some hints for the recovery of Barbie and Woody: first of all, they were never stolen, they were just on loan. And we are sure that when you find them there will be array of sunshine in your worthless, humiliated life. Wait a second ... what's that? ... oh yeah, Gerald says to say we're even. The Copy Cat Kidnappers formerly of "The Alliance"