[HUMOR] If Poe had a computer

Gordon Garb (ggarb@apple.com)
07 Feb 97 23:40:16 -0800

(forwards sent to get another cask of Amontillado)

> Abort, Retry, Ignore?
> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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 us 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 be one day be left to wander, lost on some Plutonian shore,
> Pleading, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"