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Once upon a midnight dreary,
fingers cramped and vision bleary,
System manuals piled high
and wasted paper on the floor,
Longing for the warmth of bed sheets,
still I sat there doing spreadsheets.

Having reached the bottom line
I took a floppy from the drawer,
I then invoked the SAVE command
and waited for the disk to store,
Only this and nothing more.

Deep into the monitor peering,
long I sat there wond’ring, fearing,
Doubting, while the disk kept churning,
turning yet to churn some more.

But the silence was unbroken,
and the stillness gave no token.
“Save!” I said, “You cursed mother!
Save my data from before!”

One thing did the phosphors answer,
only this and nothing more,
Just, “Abort, Retry, Ignore?”

Was this some occult illusion,
some maniacal intrusion?
These were choices undesired,
ones I’d never faced before.

Carefully I weighed the choices
as the disk made impish noises.
The cursor flashed, insistent, waiting,
baiting me to type some more.

Clearly I must press a key,
choosing one and nothing more,
From “Abort, Retry, Ignore?”

With fingers pale and trembling,
slowly toward the keyboard bending,
Longing for a happy ending,
hoping all would be restored,
Praying for some guarantee,
timidly, I pressed a key.

But on the screen there still persisted
words appearing as before.
Ghastly grim they blinked and taunted,
haunted, as my patience wore,
Saying “Abort, Retry, Ignore?”

I tried to catch the chips off guard,
and pressed again, but twice as hard.
I pleaded with the cursed machine
I begged and cried and then I swore.

Now in mighty desperation,
trying random combinations,
Still there came the incantation,
just as senseless as before.

Cursor blinking, angrily winking,
blinking nonsense as before.
Reading, “Abort, Retry, Ignore?”

There I sat, distraught, exhausted,
by my own machine accosted.
Getting up I turned away
and paced across the office floor.

And then I saw a dreadful sight–
a lightning bolt cut through the night.
A gasp of horror overtook me,
shook me to my very core.

The lightning zapped my previous data,
lost and gone forevermore.
Not even, “Abort, Retry, Ignore?”

To this day I do not know
the place to which lost data go.
What demonic nether world
is wrought where lost data will be stored,
Beyond the reach of mortal souls,
beyond the ether, into black holes?

But sure as there’s C, Pascal,
Lotus, Ashton-Tate and more,
You will one day be left to wander,
lost on some Plutonian shore,
Pleading, “Abort, Retry, Ignore?”

PBS Virus: Your programs stop every few minutes to ask for money.

Elvis Virus: Your computer gets fat, slow, and lazy, then self – destructs, only to resurface at shopping malls and service stations across rural America.

Ollie North Virus: Causes your printer to become a paper shredder.

Nike Virus: Just does it.

Sears Virus: Your data won’t appear unless you buy new cables, power supply, and a set of shocks.

Jimmy Hoffa Virus: Your programs can never be found again.

Kevorkian Virus: Helps your computer shut down as an act of mercy.

Health Care Virus: Tests your system for a day, finds nothing wrong, and sends you a bill for $4,500.

George Bush Virus: It starts by boldly stating, “Read my docs… no new files!” on the screen. It proceeds to fill up all the free space on your hard drive with new files, then blames it on the Congressional virus.

Colin Powell Virus: Makes its presence known, but doesn’t do anything. Secretly, you wish it would.

Bill Clinton Virus: Corrupts your help files by fondling them, then denies anything has happened.

Hillary Clinton Virus: Files disappear, only to reappear mysteriously a year later, in another directory.

O.J. Simpson Virus: You know it’s guilty of trashing your system, but you just can’t prove it.

Bob Dole Virus: Could be virulent, but it’s been around too long to be much of a threat.

Bobbitt Virus: Removes a vital part of your hard disk then re – attaches it. (But that part will never work again.)

Oprah Winfrey Virus: Your 200GB hard drive suddenly shrinks to 80MB, and then slowly expands back to 200GB.

Paul Revere Virus: This revolutionary virus does not horse around. It warns you of impending hard disk attack: Once, if by LAN; twice if by C:

Politically Correct Virus: Never identifies itself as a “virus,” but instead refers to itself as an “electronic micro – organism”.

Arnold Schwarzeneggar Virus: Terminates and stays resident. It’ll be back.

Dan Quayle Virus: Their is sumthing rong with yor komputer, but ewe cant figyour outt watt!

Federal Bureaucrat Virus: Divides your hard disk into hundreds of little units, each of which does practically nothing, but all of which claim to be the most important part of your computer.

Texas Virus: Makes sure that it’s bigger than any other file.

Adam and Eve Virus: Takes a couple bytes out of your Apple.

Airline Luggage Virus: You’re in Dallas, but your data is in Singapore.

Freudian Virus: Your computer becomes obsessed with marrying its own mother board.

Star Trek Virus: Invades your system in places where no virus has gone before.

… it takes you 15 minutes to scroll from top to bottom of your bookmark file.

… your eyeglasses have an image of your computer screen burned into them.

… you find yourself brainstorming for new subjects to search for.

… all your daydreaming is preoccupied with getting a faster connection to the Internet: 28.8…ISDN…cable modem…T1…T3.

… even your night dreams are written in HTML.

… you find yourself typing “com” after every period in your letters.com

… you turn off your modem and get this awful empty feeling, like you just pulled the plug on a loved one.com

… you refer to going to the bathroom as downloading.

… you turn on your intercom when leaving the room so you can hear if new e-mail arrives.

… all of your friends have an @ in their names.

… your dog has its own home page.

… you check your mail. It says “no new messages.” So you check it again.

… your phone bill comes to your doorstep in a box and signature is required.

… you code your homework in HTML and give your instructor the URL.

… you wake up at 3 am to go to the bathroom and stop and check your e-mail on the way back to bed.

… your wife makes a new rule: the computer can’t come to bed.

… you forget what year it is.

… you start to tilt your head sideways when smiling. :-)

… you begin to wonder how on earth your service provider is allowed to call 200 hours a month “unlimited.”

… your wife says communication is important in a marriage so you buy another computer so the two of you can chat.

… as your car crashes through the guardrail on a mountain road, your first instinct is to search for the “back” button [and when that doesn't work, look for the reset key].

… you find that you uncontrollably reach for the space key between words while speaking.

… when using your phone book or long printed documents, you wish you could apply a search parameter.

… you decide to stay in college for an additional year or two, just for the free internet access.

… you laugh at people with 28.8 modems.

… you start using smileys :-) in your snail mail.

… you find yourself typing “com” after every period when using a word processor.com

… you can’t correspond with your mother because she doesn’t have a computer.

… when your email box shows “no new messages” and you feel really depressed.

… you don’t know the gender of your three closest friends because they have nondescript screen name and you never bothered to ask.

… you move into a new house and you decide to “Netscape” before you landscape.

… your family always knows where you are.

… in real life conversations, you don’t laugh, you just say, “LOL,LOL”.

… after reading this list, you immediately copy and forward it to a friend!

… your computer crashes or something goes wrong with it, you take it to the shop and find out you have to leave it there for up to a week and you start crying.

I work in a busy office, and when a computer goes down it causes quite an inconvenience. Recently one of our computers not only crashed, it made a noise that sounded like a heart monitor. “This computer has flat-lined,” a co-worker called out with mock horror.
“Does anyone here know how to do mouse-to-mouse?”

THIS IS FOR ALL THOSE PEOPLE THAT SEND THESE TYPE OF EMAILS.

I was on my way to the post office to pick up my case of free M&M’s (sent to me because I forwarded an e-mail to five other people, celebrating the fact that the year 2000 is “MM” in Roman numerals), when I ran into a friend whose neighbor, a young man, was home recovering from having been served a rat in his bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken (which is predictable, since as everyone knows, there’s no actual chicken in Kentucky Fried Chicken, which is why the government made them change their name to KFC).

Anyway, one day this guy went to sleep and when he awoke he was in his bathtub and it was full of ice and he was sore all over and when he got out of the tub he realized that HIS KIDNEY HAD BEEN STOLEN. He saw a note on his mirror that said “Call 911!” but he was afraid to use his phone because it was connected to his computer, and there was a virus on his computer that would destroy his hard drive if he opened an e-mail entitled “Join the Crew!”.

He knew it wasn’t a hoax because he himself was a computer programmer who was working on software to prevent a global disaster in which all the computers get together and distribute the $250.00 Neiman-Marcus cookie recipe under the leadership of Bill Gates. (It’s true – I read it all last week in a mass e-mail from BILL GATES HIMSELF, who was also promising me a free Disney World vacation and $5,000 if I would forward the e-mail to everyone I know.)

The poor man then tried to call 911 from a pay phone to report his missing kidneys, but a voice on the line first asked him to press #90, which unwittingly gave the bandit full access to the phone line at the guy’s expense. Then reaching into the coin-return slot he got jabbed with an HIV-infected needle around which was wrapped a note that said, “Welcome to the world of AIDS.”

Luckily he was only a few blocks from the hospital – the one where that little boy who is dying of cancer is, the one whose last wish is for everyone in the world to send him an e-mail and the American Cancer Society and an anonymous billionaire have agreed to pay him a nickel for every e-mail he receives. I sent him two e-mails and one of them was a bunch of x’s and o’s in the shape of an angel (if you get it and forward it to more than 10 people, you will have good luck but for 10 people only you will only have OK luck and if you send it to fewer than 10 people you will have BAD LUCK FOR SEVEN YEARS).

So anyway the poor guy tried to drive himself to the hospital but he was running low on gas because it was Tuesday and he was punishing his local service station as part of the GREAT GAS OUT by waiting till Thursday to fill his tank. On the way he noticed another car driving without its lights on. To be helpful, he flashed his lights at him and was promptly shot as part of a gang initiation.

Send THIS to all the friends who send you their junk mail and you will receive 4 green M&Ms and a little man will dance the Macarena on your computer screen – if you don’t, you will get sick from the Sodium Laureth Sulfate in your shampoo, your spouse/mate will develop a skin rash from using the antiperspirant which clogs the pores under your arms, and the U.S. Government will put a tax on your e-mails forever.

I know this is all true ’cause I read it on the Internet.



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