Frank Moldstad is the only 50-something at a west coast digital marketing firm comprised almost entirely of 20-somethings. This is the ongoing story of his travails....
Maybe I'm oblivious, but I never really paid attention to the occasional sound of mooing cows around the office. Or maybe it's because I grew up in the Midwest. But today I am forced to investigate the source of this sound, when my Gen Y cube-mate Evelyn's iPhone starts mooing and doesn't stop. She has left the phone here and gone to the other side of the office to get something.
I think this moo must be a ringtone, because it usually quits after a few seconds when Evelyn is around. But it's been going on for five minutes now, driving me crazy. Why isn't her voicemail picking up? Just as I am about to stop this mooing permanently, she returns.
"Your phone is ringing," I say. "Actually, it is mooing."
"Oh, that's FarmVille," she says.
"FarmVille, of course," I respond.
Actually, I have heard of this. One of my Facebook friends posted numerous times about how she couldn't find her sheep in FarmVille. For a while, I just thought she was weird. At any rate, as best I can tell, Farmville is like SimCity, only on a farm.
"It's a virtual world," Evelyn says, assuming my ignorance. "You have to plant the crops and feed the animals. But I really don't care about it anymore. It's boring after a while."
"Why don't you stop playing it, then?"
I have a selfish motive for asking this. Now that I am conscious of the mooing, it's going to bug me. I've heard mooing in the accounting department, come to think of it. And even worse, chickens in the art department. Once, I heard seals barking in the elevator, but that's another story.
"I don't want to stop because all my crops would die," Evelyn says.
"You don't care about the cows?"
"Well, the animals don't die," she says. "If they did, nobody would play the game anymore because they'd have to start all over. It's not like Tamagotchi."
"No, nothing like Tamagotchi," I say, afraid to ask what that is.
Evelyn's friend Jane leans over the cubicle wall. "Evelyn, did you know there's a new Thai restaurant in the neighborhood?" she asks.
"No way!" says Evelyn.
"That's my favorite kind of food," I say. "Where is it?"
They look at each other and laugh.
"It's not a real restaurant," Jane says, as if this clears things up.
"We're talking about CityVille," Evelyn says. "It's the same thing as FarmVille, only in a city."
"Well, if it's the same thing, why isn't it boring, too?" I ask.
"Because all our friends are moving to CityVille," she says.
At that, I bow out, as I usually do when people mention moving. It is lunchtime, and I have a sudden craving for Thai food.