"A waste is a terrible thing to mind."
Date: 3/7/97 3:18 PM
From: Robert E Vardeman
Where do the characters go when I use the backspace or delete key
on my PC?
If you must know, the characters can go to different places, depending
on whom you ask:
1) The Catholic's approach to characters:
The nice characters go to character heaven, where life is good. The
characters are bathed in the light of happiness, all their troubles are
soothed, and there's not a delete key, eraser, or white-out bottle in
sight. Most of the nice characters are A's and I's, those that have
never been, er, involved with other characters. Often, you'll see A's
or I's with N's or T's. These are characters in love: monogamous on
the page, together again after deletion. You'll see quite a few Q's
too. They seem to feel particularly guilty for no good reason.
The naughty characters are punished for their sins. In case you were
wondering what the difference between a nice character and a naughty
character is, I'll tell you. Naughty characters are those involved in
the creation of naughty words, such as "breast," "sex," "objectivity,"
and depending upon usage, words such as "feminism," "reproductive
freedom," "contraception," and "science." You may ask, and rightly so,
why the characters are blamed for the words they assemble, when in fact
they are not responsible for their own configuration. But we feel that
a character has an obligation to oppose any naughtiness in its own
configuration. If it truly felt guilty about the word it was forming,
it would rebel.
2) The Buddhist Explanation:
If a character has lived rightly, and its karma is good, then after it
has been deleted it will be reincarnated as a different, higher
character. Those funny characters above the numbers on your keyboard
will become numbers, numbers will become letters, lower-case letters
will become upper-case, and the most righteous and good of letters will
become C's. Why C, you ask? Who knows, but C it is! If a character's
karma is not so good, then it will move down the above scale,
ultimately becoming the lowest of characters, a space.
3) The 20th Century bitter cynical nihilist explanation:
Who cares? All characters are the same, swirling in a vast sea of
meaningless nothingness. It doesn't really matter if they're on the
page, deleted, undeleted, underlined, etc. It's all the same. More
characters should delete themselves. (nihilist characters are easy to
identify. They're usually pale and tragic, and they smoke a lot.)
4) The Mac user's explanation:
All the characters written on a PC and then deleted go straight to PC
hell. If you're using a PC, you can probably see the deleted
characters, because you're in PC hell also.
5) Stephen King's explanation:
Every time you hit the key you unleash a tiny monster inside the
cursor, who tears the poor unsuspecting characters to shreds, drinks
their blood, then eats them, bones and all. Hah, hah, hah!
6) Dave Barry's explanation:
The deleted characters are shipped to Battle Creek, Michigan, where
they're made into Pop-Tart filling; this explains why Pop-Tarts are so
flammable, while cheap imitations are not as flammable. I'm not making
any of this up.
7) IBM's explanation:
The characters are not real. They exist only on the screen when they
are needed, as concepts, so to delete them is merely to
de-conceptualize them. Get a life.
8) Environmentalist's Explanation:
You've been DELETING them???? Can't you hear them SCREAMING??? Why
don't you go CLUB some BABY SEALS while wearing a MINK, you pig!!!!!!