Moses, Prince of Egypt, Would Like to Connect

One aspect of working in technology – which goes directly to why we set our Miss-Information Murder Mystery series in the tech industry – is the myriad of opportunities to skewer technology-fueled pretensions. Among them are the vainglorious titles and epithets people anoint to themselves.

A we-did-not-make-this-up example is the business card that read, “Eric Xxxxxx, Indispensible Services to Mankind.” Describing himself as The Messiah would have been more efficient and a little more catchy, even if it’s, like, so, Jerusalem in 30AD.

A colleague with a great sense of humor sought but was unable to achieve a promotion to “Consulting Member of the Technical Staff.” So he procured business cards that listed his title as “Insulting Member of the Technical Staff.”

Another colleague worked on cryptographic solutions in the days when they were treated as armaments subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR). If you don’t believe us, look it up. His business card read “Art Xxxxxx, International Arms Dealer.” Step away from the cipher, bud.

But business cards are so last century. Technology provides the capability to shill, er, sell yourself on web sites with unlimited bits and bytes at your disposal for pompous titles and improbable skills. Examples we’ve seen recently:

Speaker with Global Impact. Really? Maybe you can part the sea, like Moses. Or just cut straight to stemming climate change.

Million Woman Mentor. However can you mentor a million women and still have time to connect with random strangers online?

Visionary. In our experience, there are a lot of visionaries who can’t see the forest for the trees.

Creator of a Fair Universe. Can you make chocolate have no calories, Brussels sprouts be fattening, and give someone else all my cellulite (if I had any)?

Team Player. Terrific! You do the work and I get the credit!

Talent Acquisition Ninja. Is that like a headhunter, only with a sword?

Chief Empowerment Officer. The all-important role of plugging in the corporate coffee pots.

We enjoy a good sendup, so in the interests of creating a character with an exaggerated sense of self-importance, we welcome postings of egregiously over-the-top professional descriptions.

Murder Most Fashionable

An untapped area for murder, it seems to us, is murder based on “unfortunate apparel choices.” Not that one of us hasn’t considered it when she sees people wearing what our mother used to call ”inappropriate attire” absolutely everywhere. One of us admits to particularly disliking patterned leggings because she feels , if so attired, she would resemble nothing so much as a brightly floral couch, In that, she notes, she is not alone. Spandex, as they say, is a privilege and not a right.

Murder does seem to be a natural fit—pardon the expression—for fashion. How often do you hear someone wearing 5-inch spiky heels by fancy Italian designers say “my feet are killing me?” It’s all you can do not to respond, “Bad fashion choices will most definitely be the death of you.”

Fashion definitely has a place in a murder mystery. For example, as one of us lives in a place where the four seasons are “winter is coming,” “winter is here,” “still winter” and “road repair,” she is nonetheless astonished at the number of female tourists who think the aforementioned spiky heels—not to mention bare midriff tops in below-freezing temperatures—are “appropriate ski resort attire.” Were someone homicidally inclined, it would be so easy to provide a well-placed bump to the fashionista on an icy step with predictable (broken neck) consequences, lending an entirely new meaning to the expression “fashion victim.” (So much harder to be offed on the ice if you are wearing low-heeled, rubber soled shoes with a good tread, just as your mother told you.)

One could imagine a Miranda Priestly (The Devil Wears Prada character portrayed by Meryl Streep) wanna-be just losing it in the face of a fashion faux pas and using one of her ultra-high heels or Italian leather purse with gold metal-trimmed corners to strike down the offender. Immediately arrested, she pleads justifiable homicide, noting the victim was committing a crime against humanity for wearing …

  • Bicycling shorts to a sit-down restaurant
  • Spandex leggings to a Broadway play
  • Plaid, flannel shirt and Hawaiian shorts for a walk around town. [Hmm. One of us has been known to do this. In her defense, she notes she was merely celebrating Scottish and Hawaiian culture, and she believes aloha shirts look perfectly mahhhvelous with a Davidson plaid.]
  • Flip flops to hike the Alps
  • Che Guevara t-shirt with a tuxedo
  • Bare midriff shirt on a very hairy man
  • Yoga pants to a wedding. And to the rehearsal dinner. And the bridal shower – unless it’s in a yoga studio.
  • A men’s suit made out of the American flag. (Or any national flag.)
  • Low-rise pants on anybody except a toddler, because they are so cute they can get away with anything. “The plumber look is, like, so in,” said nobody—ever.
  • Baseball hat, aloha shirt and flip-flops to the opera (one of us saw someone so attired, and it wasn’t an opera performed in Kapi’olani Park, either).

If you were on the jury, would you let Miranda get away with it? Or would you convict her, in part for her stupidity in not using a 9mm Smith and Wesson in basic—and always appropriate—black?