AT LAST it can be revealed. Lift Lurker is Vince Alcalde – a software developer who was born and grew up in Manila, but now lives and works as a technology consultant in Australia. He has three children.
Here’s the full story. Vince started posting items as comments on this website under his real name several years ago, probably about 2008.
In those days, the most popular commenters were Grandpa – Christian Fardel, an aviation specialist from the Caribbean, and Angela Sias, a copyeditor from Singapore.
Much of the discussion revolved around the various challenges faced by members of the group – Angela keeping her love life in order, and in particular, Fardel as an airport official.
Then Vince decided to comment on Grandpa Fardel’s tales of aviation. The software engineer said: “One day I realized that Lifts ARE a form of transportation, and that I had never heard of lifts crashing and killing their passengers. So on a whim, I posted a message saying that the safest form of transport is the lift, not the airplane. And that started the still ongoing battle with Grandpa.”
And Liftie made lots of major contributions to the main column as well, such as here, where he talks about famous companies diversifying their product ranges.
Lift Lurker actually ended up writing a guest column, much of which he sent goading Grandpa Fardel.
But the curious thing is that Vince was never the funny kid at school, nor is he the life and soul of dinner parties. “I don't think I was funny. I'm pretty quiet and not the life of any party. I just go for the free food and drinks,” he said. “Remember Bob Bob? You'd probably notice him before me.”
Bob Bob was the world’s most boring person, a creation of Lift Lurker.
Bob Bob by Lift Lurker.
He is so boring his imaginary friends play among themselves and do not include him
He is so boring his mother has a hard time figuring out which one is the imaginary friends and which one is Bob Bob.
He always had uneven hair because no barber could finish the job. they always fall asleep midway.
He met his wife in hospital. she is in coma when they met and has been for 30 years. Everyone say she was the livelier one between them.
At his wedding the minister said 'dearly beloved we are gathered here to remember the life of our departed friend Bob Bob'
He found his job at a paint laboratory measuring how long it take for paints to dry.
When visitors are toured in the factory the tour guide never say: "that's our technician watching paint dry". he say: "That's paint drying".
He is so boring the building's automatic sliding door never opens for him.
Every so often his children will ask their mother: "Mother, how did our dad die?" and she has no choice but to tell the truth: "Do you see the man having breakfast with us? That's your dad. He's not dead"
After two weeks they forget and ask the same question again.
Mr Jam: To write funny stuff every day or two is hard work: does it come easy?
Vince: Sometimes it just comes. But many times, I have to work at it. I'd read your latest column and consider various angles and resolve to extend it further. It is gratifying to be able to come up with something funny. I guess that's how composers and writers feel. However, it is hard and it affects the brain irreversibly. Half the time what I come up is not funny enough and then I don't post it.
Mr Jam: He has a very strange accent. Where does he come from?
Vince: He lives in Liftuania, which is 'West of the Equator'. His mother tucked him in a bread basket and left him at the door of an orphanage when he was 15 years old or so. He believes Christian Fardel is his long lost grandpa. He hates airplanes and his greatest grief is that his genius daughter keeps a photo of an Airbus under her pillow.
Why is it time to reveal his secret identity? Because the news is out. You can read about the origins of this little community in this book, available with an easy click here:
PS Hong Kong readers, I’ll be at Bookazine, 3rd floor, Prince’s Building, tonight (Nov 26 2012) from 6.30 to 8pm