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January 1, 0001

HumourList Package #50 - Guest Moderator: George Velazquez, USA

I’d like to thank Ian for allowing me to be a guest moderator for the big package #50. Talk about pressure.

I’ll keep the intro short - My name is George Velazquez. I am a software engineer living in San Diego, California. I got to know Ian through work, and we became fast friends. Actually, I’m probably a little faster than he is. I am also the author of ListMan, the HumourList management software that Ian is using to manage his subscriber list. No, I’m not a chauvinist, the Man is short for manager . And yes, Ian, I promise I will fix the bugs in ListMan by this weekend…at least most of them.

This package is a medley of humor topics, but being a programmer, I had to throw in some computer jokes. I also threw in a couple of holiday jokes, since it is that time of year. Okay, to be quite honest, Ian helped me out alot with this package, since we’ve both been real busy lately. Hmm, and we’re in the same line of work.
I hope you enjoy the reading. To those in the states - Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Opening header is Copyright 1997 by George Velazquez; all rights are reserved, and no portion should be copied in any way or modified in any way without permission of the author. The remainder of this Package is free for distribution privided the subscription instructions remain intact at the end.

World’s Top Sixteen Shortest Books:

  1. Al Gore: The Wild Years
  2. Amelia Earhart’s Guide to the Pacific Ocean
  3. America’s Most Popular Lawyers
  4. Career Opportunities for History Majors
  5. Detroit - A Travel Guide
  6. Dr. Kevorkian’s Collection of Motivational Speeches
  7. Easy UNIX
  8. Ethiopian Tips on World Dominance
  9. Everything Men Know About Women
  10. Everything Women Know About Men
  11. French Hospitality
  12. George Foreman’s Big Book of Baby Names
  13. How to Sustain a Musical Career by Art Garfunkel
  14. Mike Tyson’s Guide to Dating Etiquette
  15. The Amish Phone Book

And the number one World’s Shortest Book:

  1. The Engineer’s Guide to Fashion




Yesterday, All those backups seemed a waste of pay. Now my database has gone away. Oh I believe in yesterday.

Suddenly, There’s not half the files there used to be, And there’s a milestone hanging over me The system crashed so suddenly.

I pushed something wrong What it was I could not say.

Now all my data’s gone and I long for yesterday-ay-ay-ay.

Yesterday, The need for back-ups seemed so far away. I knew my data was all here to stay, Now I believe in yesterday.

Eleanor Rigby

Eleanor Rigby Sits at the keyboard And waits for a line on the screen Lives in a dream Waits for a signal Finding some code That will make the machine do some more. What is it for?

All the lonely users, where do they all come from? All the lonely users, why does it take so long?

Guru MacKenzie Typing the lines of a program that no one will run; Isn’t it fun? Look at him working, Munching some chips as he waits for the code to compile; It takes a while…

All the lonely users, where do they all come from? All the lonely users, why does it take so long?

Eleanor Rigby Crashes the system and loses 6 hours of work; Feels like a jerk. Guru MacKenzie Wiping the crumbs off the keys as he types in the code; Nothing will load.

All the lonely users, where do they all come from? All the lonely users, why does it take so long?

Unix Man (Nowhere Man)

He’s a real UNIX Man Sitting in his UNIX LAN Making all his UNIX plans For nobody.

Knows the blocksize from du(1) Cares not where /dev/null goes to Isn’t he a bit like you And me?

UNIX Man, please listen(2) My lpd(8) is missin’ UNIX Man The wo-o-o-orld is at(1) your command.

He’s as wise as he can be Uses lex and yacc and C UNIX Man, can you help me At all?

UNIX Man, don’t worry Test with time(1), don’t hurry UNIX Man The new kernel boots, just like you had planned.

He’s a real UNIX Man Sitting in his UNIX LAN Making all his UNIX plans For nobody … Making all his UNIX plans For nobody.

Write in C (“Let it Be”)

When I find my code in tons of trouble, Friends and colleagues come to me, Speaking words of wisdom: “Write in C.”

As the deadline fast approaches, And bugs are all that I can see, Somewhere, someone whispers: “Write in C.”

Write in C, Write in C, Write in C, oh, Write in C. LOGO’s dead and buried, Write in C.

I used to write a lot of FORTRAN, For science it worked flawlessly. Try using it for graphics! Write in C.

If you’ve just spent nearly 30 hours, Debugging some assembly, Soon you will be glad to Write in C.

Write in C, Write in C, Write in C, yeah, Write in C. BASIC’s not the answer. Write in C.

Write in C, Write in C Write in C, oh, Write in C. Pascal won’t quite cut it. Write in C.


Something in the way it fails, Defies the algorithm’s logic! Something in the way it coredumps… I don’t want to leave it now I’ll fix this problem somehow

Somewhere in the memory I know, A pointer’s got to be corrupted. Stepping in the debugger will show me… I don’t want to leave it now I’m too close to leave it now

You’re asking me can this code go? I don’t know, I don’t know… What sequence causes it to blow? I don’t know, I don’t know…

Something in the initializing code? And all I have to do is think of it! Something in the listing will show me… I don’t want to leave it now I’ll fix this tonight I vow!


Vote Democrat, it’s easier than working.

Vote Republican, it’s easier than thinking.

Now I know why they call them trial lawyers. I tried one and didn’t like him.


On February 3, 1990, a Renton (Seattle area) man tried to commit a robbery. This was probably his first attempt, as suggested by his lack of a record of violent crime, and by his terminally stupid choice:

  1. The target was H&J Leather & Firearms, a gunshop;

  2. The shop was full of customers, in a state where a substantial fraction of the adult population is licensed to carry concealed handguns in public places;

  3. To enter the shop, he had to step around a marked King County Police patrol car parked at the front door;

  4. An officer in uniform was standing next to the counter, having coffee before reporting to duty.

Upon seeing the officer, the would-be robber announced a holdup and fired a few wild shots.

The officer and a clerk promptly returned fire, removing him from the gene pool.

Several other customers also drew their guns, but didn’t fire. No one else was hurt.



In the lower ranks of the MIS world, sorting out job titles is a nearly impossible task. Some folks are called Analysts. Some are called Programmers. Some are called Engineers. None of them has window offices.

So I have listed – from lowest to highest in order of prestige – and described the 10 most commonly used job titles in a Data Processing (DP) shop.

A truly experienced high-tech professional has held five or even six of these positions … usually all at the same time.

  1. Programmer: This person holds the lowest rank in the DP field. Manages no one. Answers to everyone. Approximately 50% of the Programmer’s time is scheduled for testing. Another 50% is spent filling out time cards and progress reports. Any time left over is spent attending classes on technologies that will never be used in the shop.

    The Programmer is appraised on code quality and reliability. Never has time to write any. Hopes to, someday, be promoted to Systems Analyst.

  2. Systems Analyst: The Systems Analyst refuses to code anymore. Designs new systems. Writes specs for new systems. Devises procedures and work flows for new systems but ends up training users on how to get by with the old ones. Next in line for Team Leader position.

  3. Team Leader: A Team Leader manages one project. Doesn’t know why he’s not called Project Leader; that’s what he has on his resume.

  4. Project Leader: Manages several projects at once. Analyzes Gantt charts from the Team Leaders’ projects. Coordinates schedules from the Team Leaders’ projects. Monitors deliverables from the Team Leaders’ projects. Has absolutely no idea what any of the Team Leaders’ projects are about. Wants to be a programmer again.

  5. Operator: The Operator wields powers that the Project Leader can only dream about. Makes Programmers beg for tape drives. Makes Analysts beg for disk space. Makes Team Leaders beg for printouts. Has an uncanny understanding of career potential in the data processing industry. Going to law school at night.

  6. Systems Programmer: Even an Operator wants to be a Systems Programmer. A Systems Programmer has the authority to wipe out disk packs without warning. Crash the system during user demos. Make new releases appear, then disappear, then reappear again, especially during month-end processing.

  7. DBA: No one really knows what the Database Administrator does, and no one is smart enough to know if the DBA is doing it or not. But every shop must have one DBA, because no place can afford two of them.

  8. Manager: The Manager is sometimes called a Director. Or an Assistant Vice-President. Or an Account Manager. Has completely lost touch with any facsimile of technology. Wants to finish next year’s budget. Wants to finish last year’s appraisals. Wants to learn the names of some of the Programmers. But instead, only has time to interview job applicants, especially DBAs.

  9. Department Secretary: The Programmers have word processing. The Managers have electronic mail. Everyone has automatic phone messaging. This leaves the Department Secretary with all kinds of time to manipulate, control and dispense the three most basic employee needs: paychecks, rumors and supplies. Can make copier self-destruct just by going to lunch.

  10. Contract Programmer: A Contract Programmer doesn’t have to wear a nice suit. Or go to meetings. Or fill out time cards. Or keep complaints to himself. He can make all the mistakes he wants. He doesn’t get benefits. He doesn’t get training. He doesn’t get respect.

    But after years in the trenches, the Contract Programmer will finally achieve the ultimate goal in the profession: He will be able to make impossible deadlines with inadequate resources for desperate managers by putting in all kinds of extra hours… and will be paid overtime for every one of them.


Like many men, I am different from my wife in ways which are noticeable, and, in my opinion, fortunate.

Take the Thanksgiving turkey (and I mean that literally. PLEASE come over to our house, open the refrigerator, shove aside everything growing green fuzz, and take this carcass away before it reincarnates as turkey lasagna or turkey tetracycline or whatever new concoction awaits the family.) But take Thanksgiving–my wife prefers small birds that fit nicely into the roasting pan and which can be cooked in a few hours.

“Ha!” I can be quoted as sneering. I trace my own gender lineage to that proud, hairy group of hunter-gatherers who, prior to the invention of TV remote control, would pick up their spears, huddle, and then go out and pull down a huge bison for dinner, stopping at the bar on the way home for a couple of cave brews. So when I go to the store for a turkey, I find a TURKEY: a mammoth, many-pound fowl with drum sticks as large as my thighs and wings you could park a car under.

Words cannot describe the delight on my wife’s face when my neighbors help me carry the bird into the refrigerator, where, following the instructions, it is left to thaw for a period of six months. (My wife often has several interesting but impractical suggestions on where else we might stick the turkey for this thawing procedure.)
Cooking begins around Halloween, a slow roasting process which varies from my mother’s recipe in that there are no flames or threats of divorce “if anybody says a word about how the turkey tastes.”

I enjoy every step of turkey preparation, particularly since I am not involved in any of it. Well, that’s not entirely true–at one point, I am asked to reach into the mouth of the turkey and retrieve the giblets, which turns out to be a bag of what looks like pieces of Jimmy Hoffa. (I realize I am not, technically speaking, putting my hand in the bird’s “mouth,” but I’d rather not dwell on what this means.) How the turkey manages to swallow this stuff in the first place is beyond me. Traditionally, we open this bag, dump the contents into a pan of water, and boil the results. Only the cat is happy about this development.

As wonderful as this all is, by the fourth or fifth night my appetite for turkey variations has waned, and I provide valuable feedback to my wife by making gagging noises at dinner time. Her verbal (as opposed to projectile) response to this is to imply that it is somehow MY fault we have so many leftovers, to which I logically reply, “hey, YOU cooked it.”

Now, before you men out there become too smug with how adroitly I out-maneuvered her with my quick retort, you should be advised that she STILL blames me for our turkey-induced bulimia. Therefore I appeal to my readership: has anyone else noticed bizarre psychiatric reactions to turkey consumption which might explain this whole controversy? Please advise via return e-mail, which will be picked up by the crack WBC technical team and, judging by previous results, forwarded to the Governor of New Jersey.

Thanks… oh, and Happy Thanksgiving too.

The Cameron Column A Free Internet Newsletter Copyright W. Bruce Cameron 1997



‘Twas da night befo’ Christmas & all in the hood, Not a homie was stirring cuz it was all good. The tube socks was hung on the window sill and we all had smiles up on our grill. Mookie and BeBe was snug in the crib in the back bedroom, cuz that’s how we live. And Moms in her do-rag and me with my mine, had just gotten busy cuz girlfriend is fine.

All of a sudden a lowrider rolled by, Bumpin’ phat beats cuz the system’s fly. I bounced to the window at a quarter pas’ ‘Bout ready to pop a cap in somebody’s … butt!

well anyway….

I yelled to my lady, “Yo peep this!” She said, “Stop frontin’ & just mind yo’ bidness.” I said, “for real doe, come check dis out.” We weren’t even buggin’, no worries, no doubt. Cuz bumpin’ an thumpin’ from around da way Was Santa, 8 reindeer and a sleigh.

Da beats was kickin’, da ride was phat I said, “Yo red Dawg, you all that!” He threw up a sign and yelled to his boyz, “Ay yo, give it up, let’s make some noise!” To the top of the projects & across the strip mall, We gots ta go, I got a booty call!”

He pulled up his ride on the top a da roof, and sippin’ on a 40, he busted a move.

I yelled up to Santa, “Yo, ain’t got no stack!” he said, “Dang homie, deese projects is wack! But don’t worry black, cuz I gots da skillz I learnt back when I hadda pay da billz.” Out from his bag he pulled 3 small tings a credit card, a knife, and a bobby pin. He slid down the fire exscape smoove as a cat, and busted the window wit’ a b-ball bat.

I said, “Whassup, Santa? Whydya bust my place?” he said,“You best get on up out my face!” His threads was all leatha, his chains was all gold, His sneaks was Puma and they was 5 years old.

He dropped down the duffle, Clippers logo on the side. Santa broke out da loot and my mouf popped open wide. A wink of his eye and a shine off his gold toof, He cabbage patched his way back onto the roof He jumped in his hooptie wit’ rims made of chrome, To tap that booty waitin’ at home.

And all I heard as he cruised outta sight, was a loud and hearty….. “WEEESST SIIIIDE!!!!!!!”