This little gem and certain others were sent to me by Don Schricker. I have seen alternative, political versions, and there is another variant elsewhere in this collection.

Well, it’s happened again. Big problem. All the banks computers crashed as a result of hacking by unknown computer vandals. Enormous amounts of data, accounts, amounts, names, addresses were lost and everything was rendered useless. The various governments, local, state and federal were all called into the investigation to find the perpetrators of the evil deed.

Months went by and no trace of the culprits could be found, Searches of records, records of all internet activity for the past three years were painstakingly examined, the subject of ‘hacking’ on the internet was microscopically searched for traces of the same kind of processes that caused the monstrous loss, both financial and economical. Finally, after dismantling and piecemeal examination of the dryer lint in the garbage cans of half the population of Los Angeles, a clue was found.

A single minuscule bit of paper, with the ink 99 percent washed away, lead investigators to a small apartment in the town of East Ennui, Idaho. The local records showed the apartment to be occupied by two brothers, Frank and Earnest Lesser. Indeed, these were the culprits. The authorities subjected the brothers to intensive interrogation, over periods of many hours. The brothers finally broke down and admitted the deed. But they each had one item of information that could solve their personal problem. It seems that they had developed another software program to restore everything as it was, with no loss of information whatsoever. As a matter of fact, each of the brothers had developed the same type of program, accomplishing the desired result in a different fashion.

The authorities were in a quandary. If they prosecuted the brothers, the information would never be recovered, if they didn’t, they would have gotten away with a monstrous crime. The authorities did indeed make their decision, but it was very difficult.

No one should have to choose between the evil of two Lessers.

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