PC Lament: With Apologizes to Edgar Allen Poe

This was posted on the groaners listserv. The author is not known.

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 bedsheets,
still I sat there doing spreadsheets,
and having reached the bottom line
I took a floppy from the drawer.

Typing with a steady hand,
then, invoked the “save” command,
but, I got a reprimand…
“abort, retry, ignore.”

Was this some occult illusion?
some maniacal intrusion?
These were choices Solomon
himself had never faced before.

Carefully I weighed my options.
These three seemed to be the top ones.
Clearly I must now adopt one…
Choose abort, retry, ignore.

With my fingers pale and trembling,
slowly toward the keyboard bending,
longing for a happy ending,
hoping all would be restored,

praying for some guarantee,
finally I pressed a key.
But on the screen what did I see?
Again, “abort, retry, ignore.”

I tried to catch the chips off guard.
I pressed again but twice as hard.
But luck was just not in the cards,
I saw what I had seen before.

Now, I typed in desperation,
trying random combinations.
Still, there came the incantation,
“Choose abort, retry, ignore.”

There I sat, distraught, exhausted,
by my own machine accosted.
Getting up so greatly frosted —
paced across the office floor.

And then I saw an awful sight,
a bold and blinding flash of light,
a lightening bolt had cut the night
and shook me to my very core.

Then the screen collapses and died.
“Oh no, my data base!” I cried.
Then, I thought a voice replied,
“You’ll see your data never more.”

To this day I do not know,
the place to which lost data go.
Perhaps to heaven, even so,
by the angels, all in store.

But as for productivity, well,
I fear that it goes straight to hell.
And that’s the tale I have to tell,
your choice…

“abort, retry, ignore.”

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