Last Laughs

Where's the Flight Attendant?

A programmer and an engineer are sitting next to each other on a long flight fromLos Angeles to New York. The programmer leans over to the engineer and asks if he would like to play a fun game. The engineer just wants to take a nap, so he politely declines and rolls over to the window to catch a few winks.

The programmer persists and explains that the game is real easy and lots of fun. He explains, "I ask you a question, and if you don't know the answer, you pay me five dollars. Then, you ask me a question, and if I don't know the answer, I'll pay you five dollars." Again, the engineer politely declines and tries to get to sleep.

The programmer, now somewhat agitated, says, "Okay, if you don't know the answer you pay me five dollars, and if I don't know the answer, I'll pay you 50 dollars!" This catches the engineer's attention, and he sees no end to this torment, unless he plays. So, he agrees to the game.

The programmer asks the first question: "What's the distance from the earth to the moon? The engineer doesn't say a word, reaches into his wallet, pulls out a five-dollar bill and hands it to the programmer.

Now, it's the engineer's turn. He asks the programmer, "What goes up a hill with three legs, and comes down on four?" The programmer looks up at him with a puzzled look. He takes out his laptop computer and searches all of his references. He taps into the airphone with his modem and searches the Net and the Library of Congress. Frustrated, he sends e-mail to his co-workers -- all to no avail.

After about an hour, he wakes the engineer and hands him 50 dollars. The engineer politely takes the 50 dollars and turns away to try to get back to sleep. The programmer, more than a little miffed, shakes the engineer and asks, "Well, so, what's the answer?" Without a word, the engineer reaches into his wallet, hands the programmer five dollars, and turns away to get back to sleep.

-- Marie Martinich

Once Upon a Time...

A computer programmer happens across a frog in the road. The frog pipes up, "I'm really a beautiful princess, and if you kiss me, I'll stay with you for a week." The programmer shrugs his shoulders and puts the frog in his pocket.

A few minutes later, the frog says, "Okay, okay, if you kiss me, I'll stay with you for a month." The programmer nods and puts the frog back in his pocket.

A few minutes later, "Turn me back into a princess, and I'll stay with you for a whole year!" The programmer smiles and walks on.

Finally, the frog says, "What's wrong with you? I've promised you a year with a beautiful princess, and you won't even kiss a frog?"

"I'm a programmer," he replies. "I don't have time for princesses. But, a talking frog is pretty neat."

-- Joy Wolfe

In the Trenches

I was working when another guy in our (computer) department came into my office in hysterical laughter. He told me he had just fielded a question from a woman whose department had gotten PCs installed two months, previously.

She told him her problem, and he figured out that a few files were lost from a floppy disk. "Do you make backups?" he asked hopefully.

"Oh, yes, we were instructed to copy all of our data disks every day.

"Well, put the backup copy in the computer, and I'll show you how to restore the files.

"You mean put it in the printer?"

"Huh? Put it in the disk drive."

"How am I going to do that?"

You see, each night, they used a Xerox machine to copy their disks, and neatly stored the pictures of each disk in a filing cabinet. My response was to suggest that we fax them a new copy of their disk.

-- Anonymous

Marriage NT

A woman had been married three times and was still a virgin. Somebody asked her how that could be possible. "Well," she said. "The first time I married an octogenarian, and he died before we could consummate the marriage. The second time, I married a naval officer, but war broke out on our wedding day. The third time, I married a Microsoft Windows programmer, and he just sat on the edge of the bed and kept telling me how good it was going to be.

-- Theo Raines

Quick Hits

Programming, today, is a race between software developers, striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe, trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.

-- Tim Rich Cook

Usenet is like Tetris for people who still remember how to read.

-- Joshua Heller