How much for the …

A degenerate old man lurches into a Home Despot.  His coat is thirty years out of fashion and threadbare where his hump rises up.  His mouth moves silently and his expression changes from moment to moment, as if he’s on the losing side of an internal argument.  One eye orbits, now looking at the ceiling, now at the floor, while the other eye ogles every visible female.  His shoes have the thick soles of medically prescribed special shoes, but it’s possible that he’s stolen them, maybe from a morgue; he looks like the kind of guy who might running an errand for his master, searching for a cheap used brain.

He selects a cart of sufficient squeakiness and limps to the Outdoors department.  He finds a store employee (a minor miracle, with all the downsizing), raps his steel-tip cane rudely on a propane cylinder, and asks in a voice thick with phlegm and Old World cobblestones:

“How much for the leetle grill?”


“Zee grill.  The Weber there.  How much for her?”

“Uh, list is $599.”

“Gut.  What accessories do you recommend?”

“A propane tank, of course, and this adapter, and perhaps some cleaning supplies…”

“All gut.  Okay.  I take them.  Are you on commission?”

“No sir, but thank you for asking.”

“Something for your trouble, then.”  $20 appears in his hand.

The man limps off to the automated checkout line, where he swears at the touchscreen in a powerful and evil language that no one understands, but that everyone in earshot fully comprehends.  He finally pays and gives the kiosk a goodbye kick.  As he leaves through the security gate, the self-checkout station flashes bright panicky error messages, utters a terrified squeal and crashes hard.  The doors close with an audible clonk.  Even people in the far recesses of the store look at each other and breath a sigh of relief, and they don’t know why.

My question: What is that guy barbecuing?

A waste

“That meeting was a waste of a perfectly good hour.  Man, I could have spent it, say, slamming a brick into my face over and over.”

“Or sticking your head into the elevator doors.”

“Right.  PowerPoint: The most toxic substance on earth, by weight.”

Embedded software speak

How embedded software engineers really speak:


“That bug is going to need a fuck-ton of testing once we fix its ass.”

“What’s the difference between a fuck-ton and last week’s estimate of a metric buttload?”

“Well, one is metric, the other is english units.  Slightly more, I guess.”

“And you also said it might be a fucking shit-ton?”

“A shit-ton is ten-to-the-fucktieth power fuck-tons. Where were you during orientation?”

“Which would make a fucking shit-ton … ?”

“So Goddamn fucking much work that we’ll never fix that stupid thing because we’re always in ship-mode and too chickenshit to risk screwing the pooch and fucking our customers.  Also, we’re out of ROM space.”

“Thank you for clearing that up. I’ve updated the bug.”

“Yeah, that’ll look great in the deposition transcript. Juries love this shit. Pass the bowl of pills, would you? I have to go write some safety-critical code on that automotive contract.”