February 26, 2013
(Kohl's/Kohl's) Also, this was what came up when we hacked their phones!
(Kohl’s/Kohl’s) We would hack their phones, but we are pretty sure this is what would come up.

Hackers from China have penetrated our defenses, and we are vulnerable! They have gotten into all of Washington’s most carefully guarded systems. Everybody who’s ANYBODY has been hacked by the Chinese– “law firms, think tanks, news organizations, human rights groups, contractors, congressional offices, embassies and federal agencies,” as The Post reported. They are seeking to get to the bottom of what makes Washington tick – and, more important, what makes us go cuckoo every hour on the hour.

“Chinese intelligence services [are] eager to understand how Washington works. Hackers often are searching for the unseen forces that might explain how the administration approaches an issue, experts say, with many Chinese officials presuming that reports by think tanks or news organizations are secretly the work of government officials — much as they would be in Beijing,” The Post noted.

I feel almost sorry for them.  I don’t even read my office e-mail, and it is often important.

I wonder what they’ve gotten out of it.

Fortunately, I managed to hack into their own correspondence, using only the power of my imagination, the same way NASA plans to visit space after the sequester kicks in. Here’s what I discovered.

Dear CCP: To Whom It May Concern

I am appending my notes to the e-mails that I have scanned.

I have located the pattern and scheme that lies at the heart of all Washington, and it is just as dubious as any watcher of House of Cards would expect.

Deep waters.

From: Carol

To: ALLOFFICE

Subject: Bathroom

Could someone claim the item covered in tinfoil that has been left in the third-floor women’s restroom?

Thanks. Anita went in there earlier to remove it, but she thinks it moved and someone needs to take responsibility.

Clearly some sort of code for a coordinated, state-sponsored effort. Who is this Anita? Could be an acronym.

From: Th1sisalm0starealemail@yahoo.com

Subject: ENLARGEMENT TIPSSSS!!!

[Message unreadable.]

Tips surprisingly unilluminating.

From: Facebook

Subject: [Some Person You Haven't Seen Since Middle School] has tagged you in a post

Hi Alexandra
[Some Person You Haven't Seen Since Middle School] has tagged you in a post!

From: Facebook

Subject: DO YOU MISS US YET?

Hi ALEXANDRA

SOMEONE HAS COMMENTED ON YOUR FACEBOOK STATUS.

From: Creepy, Clingy Facebook

Subject: Why Weren’t You On Facebook This Weekend? We Have Updates For You

Hi Alexandra, you haven’t been on Facebook in three days and we were worried and just wanted to check in.

PLEASE DON’T LEAVE IF YOU EVER LEAVE WE HAVE NO BUSINESS MODEL

ALL YOUR FRIENDS ARE HERE. DON’T MAKE US HURT THEM.

Typical Facebook!

From: A Freind

Subject: These words make chicks horny.

WATCH THIS VIDEO

Video surprisingly unilluminating.

From: Peter in Management

Subject: The Powerpoint

Dave, did you attach the Powerpoint?

——-

Save money and consider the environment before printing this email.

 

From: Dave

Subject: Re: The Powerpoint

Pete,

Whoops! Attached now!

From: Peter in Management

Subject: Re: Re: The Powerpoint

Dave,

Question about the third slide: is this transition really necessary?

————-

Save money and consider the environment before printing this email.

 

From: Dave

Subject: Re: Re: Re: The Powerpoint

Pete,

Have changed all the “Wipe”s to “Honeycomb,” as per your request.

 

From: Peter in Management

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Powerpoint

Dave,

How do we feel about throwing in some “pans” and “ferris wheel.” I like “ferris wheel.”

——–

Save money and consider the environment before printing this email.

From: Dave

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re The Powerpoint

Pete,

Sure. Do you have any notes about the content of the slides?

From: Peter in Management

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Powerpoint

Dave,

How about a checkerboard dissolve?

——-

Save money and consider the environment before printing this email.

“A RainBow is Just A Smiling Cloud”

*-Daniel Boone*

Note: Without a doubt, this Powerpoint is code for some weapon of great destructive power. These wipes and dissolves probably refer to suppression of some kind.

 

From: Your Mother

Subject: Something Susan Told Me At Work

Interesting if true:
Susan says someone has been going around the neighborhood preying on vulnerable women as they get out of cars. Don’t ever get out of your car. That is the point when women are most vulnerable, and strangers with umbrellas will approach you asking for the time. BUT THEY DON’T REALLY WANT THE TIME.

Hope all is well,

Mom

PS THEY ARE NOT COPS, Susan also said. Interesting if true.

Must investigate further.

From: Person You Hoped To Deter By Giving Him Your Work Email Address

Subject: great seeing you!

Want to catch a Wes Anderson movie soon? He’s such a gifted cineaste!

Looks like he’s not getting a second date.

From: Your Grandmother

Subject: FWD: FWD: FWD: Barack O’BLAMMO

——————————————

————————————WHO

———-is————————-HE???

REALLY??????????

IS THIS THE MAN YOU WANT RUNING YOUR COUNTRY?

READ THIS FLYER AND HAVE YOUR mind OPENED.

[Unable to open attachment.]

Not sure what this is. Seems subversive. Comes from an elderly relative and no doubt is a message worthy of serious consideration. Possibly in code? Spelling would suggest as much.

From: Office Friend April

Subject: COFFEE NOW

<The subject area is blank.>

From: Office Friend April

Subject: COFFEE. NOW.

From: Office Friend April

Subject: COOOOFFFFFEEEEE

The amount of time these workers seem to devote to coffee-getting is substantial and seems likely to be code for something more productive.

From: IT

Subject: ALERT

There will be a mysterious outage of all the computers on the third and fourth floors between 12:03 and 2:07 this afternoon. Also, do not try to print anything.

From: IT

To: ALLOFFICE

Subject: Re: Alert

Correction: There will be a mysterious outage from 12:03 to 5:07 this afternoon. Apologies for any inconvenience.

From: Jeff

To: ALLOFFICE

Subject: Re: Re: Alert

IT: when is the outage? Why isn’t my computer working? Can I print?

 

From: IT

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Alert

To: ALLOFFICE

Everyone: Please do not print.

There is something mysterious in the printer. We think it might be a badger.

 

From: Jeff

To: ALLOFFICE

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Alert

I just sent something to the printer but it’s not printing.

 

From: IT

To: ALLOFFICE

Subject: Badger

Please avoid the fourth floor printing area if at all possible, as someone has unleashed a badger through carelessly printing in direct defiance of our instructions.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

 

From: Carol

To: ALLOFFICE

Subject: HELP!

Printer not working. Computer not working. Badger bit me in the foot. Is IT on this?

 

From: Skeevy Carl

To: Carol, ALLOFFICE

Subject: Re: HELP!

Hey there, you rabid fox, I bet I can inoculate you in my office!

 

From: Skeevy Carl

To: ALLOFFICE

Subject: Please ignore last email

Did not mean to reply all.

Unilluminating exchange, no doubt meant to throw off anyone reading over these missives.

General Notes: 

Everyone seems freakishly loyal. Frequently, billionaires from other countries offer them vast sums of money – openly! In e-mails! – and yet they do nothing. They delete the e-mails. They stay at their present places of employment.

All seem to be getting e-mails from the same source, a mysterious entity known as Groupon, which seems to coordinate their movements, telling them where to eat and when, urging them to lose weight and obtain facials, and even occasionally pushing sky-diving — perhaps for the disgraced who are looking for a dignified exit?

Look, hackers, if you are capable of extracting any larger plan and meaning from my work e-mail, you are welcome to it. If you see one, it’ll really be news. People are far more often incompetent than malevolent.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.