Ask Peter

While I was at my last job, I had my own office for about nine years.   All of the accounting offices were located in the plant, so we all had privacy and our own little cubby hole. The costing person was in the first office; the controller had the middle office, and my office was on the end.   I was comfortable being away from the president and some of the other top management people because the was a lot of conflict going on all the time.  So, many days I kept a low profile and did my job the best I could and stayed in my own little world.

The wall behind my desk was decorated with black and white photos that I had taken and on my top shelf was a picture of my two dogs and a picture of my two cats and some trinkets that co-works had given me from places they had visited, and my radio was on the second shelf.  My bachelors degree and my associates degree hung on another wall along with a University of Kentucky Wildcat basketball calendar.

When I arrived at work each morning, the first thing I would do was turn on my radio and start reading my emails.   Day after day I would sit in my office working and singing to the songs on the radio.  Denise, the costing person, always listened to Jimmy Buffett and she sang all day too.  Between the two of us, we about drove the controller crazy with our music.  Just about every day he would ask me and Denise to turn our music down.  It got to the point that I couldn’t even hear my radio, so I solved that problem.  There was a vent that was in the wall between my office and the controller’s office, so I taped a piece of cardboard around that vent  to keep the music in my office and to keep it out of his office.  I had solved my problem, but before we could solve Denise’s problem, the controller moved her into the front office closer to the president and everybody else.  Poor Denise never got to listen to Jimmy Buffett again.

Denise and I were always getting into something.  Although she was quite a bit younger than me, she was a lot like me; smart, funny and easy to get along with.  She was hired temporarily to fill in for a few weeks while our billing clerk was on medical leave.  However, the company fired the receptionist, so they offered Denise that job.  She worked as the receptionist for a couple of years then moved into the costing position.  We worked on projects together, helped each other, took breaks together, had lunch together and played jokes on people together.  99.5% of the time we stayed busy, but believe me,  when a good opportunity to have fun came around, we took advantage of it.

One Monday morning, Denise came to my office and we were talking.  The president was out-of-town and the controller was on vacation, so this was the perfect opportunity to have some fun.  I brought up a discussion on psychics and how I knew people who had actually gone to them.  Denise said she always wanted to go to one just to see if they could really tell her things about herself.  She continued to say that she didn’t believe in that kind of thing and it would take a lot to convince her that it was for real.  I told her I had found psychic on the internet and I had actually tried it and I was very surprised that every thing he told me was correct.  When Denise found out that there was no charge to use this psychic, she wanted to give it a try.

I logged on to the internet and went to my Google homepage and typed in “Ask Peter”, then I clicked on the website link.  As I was waiting for the website to come up, I explained that first you had to petition Peter and then type in a question.  Then, within seconds, Peter would give you the answer.  I went on and on about how he had answered all my questions correctly and I was convinced that Peter was for real.  Well, naturally Denise was excited and ready to get started asking questions so she said, “Ask Peter when my brother’s birthday is!”.  So I petitioned, “Peter please answer the following question:  “When is Denise’s brother’s birthday?”  When I was finished, I clicked “okay” and Peter answers, “the same day as your’s Denise”.  Denise’s eyes about popped out of her head because her brother’s birthday is the same day as hers.  She said, “How did he know that?”.  I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Hell if I know, but isn’t it cool?”  Then she said, “Ask him what television show I watched last night.”  Peter’s answer was “Lost”, which was absolutely correct.  Denise was very surprised and impressed with Peter’s abilities to get the information correct.

We spent about thirty or forty minutes asking Peter questions and I knew I had work to do, so I finally told Denise what was going on.  She thought that was the coolest trick ever, so she wanted me to show her how to do it.  I explained that instead of typing “Peter please answer the following question:” in the petition box,  you simply type a period then type the answer to the question.  Although the petition box shows you typing, “Peter please answer the following question:”, it is actually typing the answer to the question; you just can’t see it.  After she tried it a few times and learned how to do it, she was hooked and ready for us to try it on someone else.  For the biggest part of that morning, Denise stopped every one who walked by my office and we played the trick on them.  Some people fell for it and others didn’t, but one person fell for it hook line and sinker.

Allie was our last victim.  She worked in the front office and was heading toward the break room to get a snack.  Denise waved her over to my office and we proceeded to tell Allie all about this amazing psychic.  Allie was very interested psychics and very eager to ask Peter questions.   I suggested a few simple questions for Allie to ask, like, “What color are my shoes?” or “What color are my eyes?”.  Allie was amazed when Peter got all the answers correct.  Allie soon started telling me questions to ask and when I didn’t exactly know the answer to the question, I would be very vague and say something like, “I am confused.” or “It depends.”.  After a few of the vague answers from Peter, Allie was getting a bit doubtful about his abilities and Denise and I were having so much fun we didn’t want it to end.  We begged Allie to ask Peter one more question.  I told her to ask something really hard; anything she wanted ask and I bet Peter would get it right.

Allie’s next question was, “Ask Peter what is my mother’s maiden name.”  Having no clue I looked at Denise hoping she would have the answer.  All the sudden, Denise said, “Wait before you ask Peter.  My phone is ringing; I’ll be right back.”  Denise ran out of my office and returned within two minutes.  Denise stood behind Allie and mouthed the correct answer to me and I petitioned Peter to answer the question and his answer was correct.   That was just the thing we needed to convince Allie that Peter knew everything about her and everybody else.  After Allie left my office, I asked Denise how she knew that was the answer.  She smiled and said, “I called her sister.”

This went on with Allie for three days and I didn’t hardly get any work done.  Every time Allie would think of another question, she would get with me and Denise to ask Peter. I have to give her credit, she asked some very tough questions, but with the help of her sister and Google, Peter answered them all correctly.  We showed Allie how to petition Peter herself so she could ask him questions, but we didn’t tell her the trick.  She would get on the internet and she would ask Peter something and he would say something like, “Ask your question again.” or “I will not answer.”  So, we convinced Allie that only true believers would receive answers from Peter and told her she must have doubts in his abilities.  Believing us, she would then have me or Denise ask Peter the question.

After the fourth day, I started feeling a little guilty because Allie had been going around telling all of her friends and family about Peter and telling them how amazing the website was.  Allie and her friends tried over and over again to get Peter to answer questions for them, but they always got “I’ll answer this question when you’re ready” or “I am tired.”  or “I will not answer.” as a result.   Allie told them they must not be true believers so Peter wouldn’t answer their questions.   Allie was a bit confuse because she was a true believer, but still could not get Peter to answer her questions.  But, she did admit that there was some small doubt in the back of her mind so maybe Peter knew that and that’s why he wouldn’t answer her questions.

I’ll admit, Denise and I had a ball with this, but it got to the point where enough was enough.  Finally, we asked Allie to come to my office one afternoon and we showed her how we did the trick.  At first, she didn’t believe us because she was totally convinced that Peter was for real.  We finally pulled up a youtube video showing someone else doing it, but it still took awhile for it to sink in.  Allie kept saying, “Well how did he know what my mother’s maiden name was?”  Denise and I kept explaining how we knew all the answers and we kept explaining that is was all a trick.  The longer Allie thought about it, the more she became aware that she had been a victim of our prank.

The next few days Allie didn’t talk to me very much and seemed a bit depressed, but after a couple of days she was back to her perky self.  It’s a good thing Allie didn’t hold that against me because after having my own office for almost nine years, Allie was transferred to the accounting department and she and I shared an office.  I never let Allie live it down and every time Allie had a question about something, I would look at her and grin and say, “Why don’t we ask Peter?”, and she would die laughing.


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