In the basement of the old Caltech physics building, circa 1975, ^z shared an office with another student: Cosmas Zachos. CKZ had been an undergrad at Princeton. He possessed a wickedly cynical sense of humor, studied high-energy physics, and took calligraphic notes in jet black ink using a broad-tipped chisel-point fountain pen. Zachos was also a central social communications node among his fellow students who came from Greece.

^z was always happy to answer the shared phone, but after unsuccessful attempts to help non-English-speakers he came up with a plan. He asked, and Cosmas taught him to say (phonetically) "Embrós? ... O Záchos then íne ethó ... Hérete!" --- which more or less means "Hello? ... Zachos isn't here ... Good-bye!"

Delivered with strategic pauses the script worked, perhaps too well at times. Some Greek callers complained to Zachos of the impolite office-mate who spoke with a heavy accent and wouldn't take messages or respond to questions. Belated apologies to all concerned!

(see the ^zhurnal entry of 10 January 2000, SeeingStars1, for another ~1975 underground office anecdote.)

Saturday, December 30, 2000 at 17:40:10 (EST) = 2000-12-30

TopicPersonalHistory - TopicProfiles

(correlates: FourthGradeTwerp, SillySeminarsOf75, ThanksAndAcknowledgements2, ...)