A matter of faith
Date: Thu, 22 Dec 94 16:32:36 PST
Subject: A matter of faith
Forwarded-by: Tom Kuhn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Joel Garreau <email@example.com>
QUESTION: Where do the characters go when I use my backspace or
delete them on my PC?
ANSWER: The characters go to different places, depending on whom you ask:
* The Catholic Church's approach to characters: The nice characters go to
Heaven, where they are bathed in the light of happiness. The naughty
characters are punished for their sins. Naughty characters are those
involved in the creation of naughty words, such as "breast," "sex" and
* 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, and
lower-case letters will become upper-case.
* The 20th-century bitter cynical nihilist explanation: Who cares?
It doesn't really matter if they're on the page, deleted, undeleted,
underlined, etc. It's all the same.
* The Mac user's explanation: All the characters written on a PC and then
deleted go to straight to PC hell. If you're using a PC, you can probably
see the deleted characters, because you're in PC hell also.
* Stephen King's explanation: Every time you hit the (Del) 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!
* 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 flammable.
I'm not making this up.
* 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.
* PETA's (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) 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!!!!
- Joel Garreau (firstname.lastname@example.org), as reported in his Cybersurfing
column in the Washington Post.
© 1994 Peter Langston