I have, completely unintentionally, perpetrated a systematic abuse on an innocent stranger.
Last week I was sending a follow-up email (with the dragon password) to people who rsvp’ed to Fairytale Poker, to which (despite being specifically uninvited) Dolin responded. As I started to type “Dolin” into the cc field of the email, the auto-fill function pulled up the address gdolin@[———].com, which displayed with the name “Guthrie Dolin.” I do not know any Guthrie Dolin, so instead selected the entry below that one, for Greg Dolin <greg.dolin@[——–].com>. I was concerned, however, as to why this strange name came up in my auto-fill. I looked over some of the past poker emails, and sure enough, gdolin@[——–].com was there. I must have typed it in by hand once thinking it was Greg Dolin, and then lost track of it being buried in the long list, along with the real Dolin.
Which means that some random dude named Guthrie Dolin has been receiving poker emails for… months? Years? Of course, he has never come to poker; every week I specifically call out, per what now seems like a rather tragically ironic running joke, that Dolin is not invited. And that’s on a mild week. I often say things like Dolin is a douchebag, or don’t ever talk to Dolin, or Dolin lives in a rank-smelling hole under a bridge. All the while, poor Guthrie lives in a bizarrely cruel world in which every week he gets an invitation to a mysterious party, only to be singled out, berated, and uninvited.
Mr. Guthrie Dolin, in the unlikely event that you are still reading these emails despite what appears to be their persistent and inexplicable hostility towards you, I would like to apologize. I don’t know you, and am completely unqualified to call you a douchebag or any of the other mean things I have said. Because you have never replied to a poker email, I don’t know if your feelings have been hurt or if you have been affected by this unfortunate misunderstanding in any way, but I am sorry. I’m sure you are a wonderful person. If you are ever in the Washington DC area, I’ll buy you a drink. You know where I live.
For everyone else, poker tonight will be at [——–]. First hand is dealt at 8pm sharp. $10 buy-in cash game. Bring booze. RSVP.
Greg Dolin is a douche nozzle and is not invited.
Guthrie Dolin actually is also not invited, but that’s because this game is for current and former judicial clerks of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (and their guests), and not because of anything personal. Again, sorry.
It has come to my attention that 20 or so new clerks were added to this listserv in advance of last week’s poker invite, and many were confused and terrified by the belligerent ramblings of a crazy stranger in what was sold to them as a friendly social gathering of patent nerds. To these sensitive souls, I humbly apologize. I didn’t know it was your first time. I should have been gentler…
Once upon a time, there was a magical kingdom filled with lawyers who thought they could transform into scientists and engineers by waving their enchanted pen-wands. The kingdom was ruled by a ferocious Chief who loved making up new and confusing rules to keep the common folk on their toes. The Chief was always traveling to far-away lands, but he had a court of lords and ladies who helped him resolve disputes among the merchants, and plenty of clerks to do the court’s bidding.
One day the clerks convened in a brownstone cottage to chat about what it was like serving their respective lords and ladies, and how they felt about the latest changes to the kingdom rules. Despite being royalty, clerks only received the pittance of a peasant’s pay, and served for the false promise of large treasures when their clerkship was completed. They decided that just griping wasn’t much fun, so they drank some magic potion and added card tricks to the festivities. The clerks enjoyed their special tryst so much, that they decided to reconvene twice a fortnight, at the midpoint of each week. They designated a scribe to remind everyone of each meeting and its time and location, as clerks can be very forgetful.
They immediately regretted their selection of scribe.
Rather than convey the simple information commensurate with her job duties, the scribe would imbue her messages with strange themes and bury the important logistics under asinine commentary on current events learned from a rather disreputable town crier.
For instance, one of CNN’s top stories today covered a 41-year-old Ohio woman who legally changed her first name from Shelia to Sexy. She is now Sexy Crabtree. “I’ve always hated Sheila” she told CNN. “Now I am free from that ugly name.” Two comments. (1) Shelia is a fine name. (2) Her last name is still CRABTREE. This was a terrible decision, Shelia. You have used your newfound freedom to brand yourself with imagery of pubic lice.
Although sometimes amusing, these messages mostly filled all of the clerks with woe. But they still needed the reminder of their special gathering, and no one else wanted to take on scribe duties, so the weekly rantings continued. This week, the clerks are gathering at [——–] when the clock strikes 8. Only those clerks that respond to this message will be given the secret password that pacifies the dragon who guards the door to the meeting house.
Sir Dolin the Douchebag is not invited.