Nutworks magazine

Electronic Humor Magazine. Issue 013, Volume III. October, 1986.

NutWorks is published semi-monthly-ish by
Brent C.J. Britton and Leonard M. Friedman


"Strange, but not a stranger"
-- David Byrne
"Yes, we're gonna have a wing-ding."

-- Donald Fagen

WNUT presents...

(various brassy chords and a few sparse timpanis thrown in for effect)

....the greatest thing to happen to journalism since "Real People"...

NutWorks News

With anchors, Vince Peters and Phyllis Frigid!
All the sports action with Billy Snott!
And weather girl Boopsie McBigones!

And now, News Director Vince Peters:

Vince: Good evening Nutty News watchers! We're coming to you as we do
every month, live, from within the pages of NutWorks Electronic
Humor Magazine! Phyllis...?

Phyllis: Thanks, Vince. Well, it's been a long summer...

Vince: Never long enough, right Phyllis?

Phyllis: Oh Vince, you are just *such* a card! A-hee-hee-hee-ahem...
Anyway, we here at WNUT NutWorks News are just *so* glad to be back.

Vince: Yes we are Phyllis. But now, on with the news. Back issues of
NutWorks can be retrieved from CSNEWS@MAINE.BITNET and
TCSSERVE@TCSVM.BITNET by any user who has the time and inclination
to send an interactive message. For more details, send either server
The publishers welcome requests for information in the form of
electronic mail files. Phyllis...?

Phyllis: Thanks Vince. You know folks, the first issue of NutWorks
was written in January of 1985 to alleviate the boredom of an
otherwise dreary winter. It was mailed to three or four of the
author's friends, and it gave them something to do instead of their
homework, or their *real* work, or whatever it was they were supposed
to be doing. Well today, NutWorks is helping more people become
lethargic and non-productive than ever! NutWorks is mailed directly
each month to over 300 subscribers on four networks! Oooo... doesn't
that just give you the warm fuzzies? Vince...?

Vince: Thanks Phyllis. We'll be right back after this message from our

Sponsor: Ronco presents: The Monty Python Collection! Do these words
mean anything to you?
"Hello, I'd like to buy an argument..."
Or how about,
"Warning: Larks Vomit!"
"Call the Church Police!"
"Rule 7: NO POOFTAHS!"
"And it came to pass that Saint Victor was
taken from this place to another place..."

Still clueless? To find out which Monty Python sketches these
passages are from, order the Monty Python Collection today!
You get 27 songs and sketches! Send no money now. Just send mail
to Clarinet@Yalevmx.BITNET requesting your OWN copy of the Monty
Python Collection. That's Clarinet@Yalevmx Our operators are
standing by. Order yours TODAY!
(We're Beatrice)

And now, back to NutWorks News.

Phyllis: And here with the all the latest in sports action, Billy Snott.

Billy: Zzzzz... Zzzzz... Oooohhh... do that some more baby... Ohh..

Phyllis: Billy...?

Billy: Ungh..snore.. slurp.. MMmmmmmmmmm ... that's soooooo niiiiiice...

Phyllis: Vince?


Billy: Oh Gawd! It's your husband, Phyllis! Quick! Get up! I'll hide
the whipped cream, you hide the vice-grips! Phyllis? Phyllis!?

Vince: Phyllis!?!?!

Phyllis: Billy...?

Billy: Boopsie...?

Boopsie: Vince...?

Vince: That's the news! We'll see you next month!

(more brass and timpanis...)

Nuts & Bolts

by Brent C.J. Britton

Aren't computers grand? Think about it. We make them do the most
tedious, boring, mean, nasty ugly things, and they obey without question.
Of course, if we don't correctly tell them what it is we want them to do,
they won't always comply. They do whatever we SAY, but if we don't SAY
what we WANT, we get frustrated and say things like "Why won't this thing
I guess that's what school is all about. We hang around this fairly
neat place for a few years learning how to tell the computer what we WANT
it to do. If we tell it right, we get an A. Then, we go out and become
employed by a person who wants us to tell HIS computer what HE wants it
to do. If we do THAT right, we get a Porsche.

I know a person who is getting paid to do just that. Oh, I don't
know him personally, mind you. But he knows me. And I'm damn sure that
his boss's computer knows me. The wonderful thing about computers is
that they perform the same tasks repetitively within a small period of
time, and the computer belonging to the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweep-
stakes people is certainly no exception. And it's looping...
You see, during the past few months, the computer at the Publishers
Clearinghouse has sent no less than TEN letters to me, really. And all
of them contain forty or fifty personal references to me, in the form of
what their computer *thinks* my name is.

For the record, my name is Brent Cabot James Britton, almost always
written by me as Brent C.J. Britton. Well some slick, young Joey Cobol
down at the old Publishers Clearinghouse must've forgotten that *some*
people aren't happy with merely *one* middle name. Fooled ya', smartass!
The letters I get from their computer keep refering to this guy named
Brent Cj Britton. ("j" is in lower case for you folks reading this on a
C64 from your bathtub.)
It's full of "You, Brent Cj Britton could be the lucky..." and
"...the Brent Cj Britton bank account..." and "...a check in the name of
Brent Cj Britton..." Don't they know that "Cj" doesn't even spell any-
thing!? It's an insult. I'd probably just throw all the letters away
if each one didn't scream the all too familiar claim that I "may already
have won" eleventy-zillion dollars payable to me each year until I rot.
What a bargain!
And all I have to do is tear this off, paste the gold seal here,
maybe save a few bucks on a subscription to "My Saviour" or "Barbie"
magazine by tearing the stamps out of the middle of the three-foot by
eight-foot sheet, stick those there, slap on a postage stamp, and lay the
whole thing on Fred the mailman next time he comes 'round my front steps.
It's a good thing they give me a generous amount of time to do all
this. Of course, if I'm a big enough procrastinator, and I miss the
deadline -- puppies become dogs sooner than that -- then I can only try
for one-half my would-be winnings. Like, I'm going to say, "Gee, I could
wait a month and go for the five million... hmm... oh, what the hell, you
only live once right? I'm gonna be wild and crazy and go for it ALL by
sending in my sweepstakes TODAY!"

Then I might end up like last years winners, Floydd and Irma Freen
of Scarsdale Minnesota! Gee... I could be... a millionairre...


From the Bridge

Captains Log:
Stardate: 861016
Commander Spock Reporting:

Greetings and Hallucinations:

As you may or may not have noticed, this the first issue for the Fall
'86 term is a bit later than we would have liked it to be.

Many of you have noticed that we were late because I have received lots
of mail from you asking me if the greatest invention since toilet paper
would be continuing on its nutty way this semester.

For the answer to these and many other fascinating questions tune in

Same Nut Time.

Same Nut station.

Sorry, someone was talking about Batman comics while I was writing this.
I am very happy to annouce that the magazine that you all have know to
and goof off with will be around for this semester.

One little problem I would like to adress is that currently we are short
of contributions for future issues. We kind of feel like Nuts without a
squirel. For those of you who may not know, NutWorks is more than just
articles that Brent and I have written or dug up. NutWorks was
conceived as being a magazine where all the Nuts on the net could share
with the other Nuts on the net their nutty Works, hence the name

To share your very own nutty works with other nuts please send an
original article in a plain brown wrapper (to sneak it past the
liaisons) to either CALBC821 @ CUNYVM or BRENT @ MAINE.


We reserve the right not to include any articles deemed in bad taste and
will not return any unused articles.

Some reflections on computer people:

Computer people are morbid:

Computer people work on TERMINALS.
Computer people EXECUTE jobs.
Computer people TERMINATE jobs.
Computer People KILL jobs.
Computer people get POST MORTEM (after death) DUMPS.

Computer people never relax and let things take time:

Computer people RUN jobs.
Computer people HALT jobs.
Computer people STOP jobs.

The Debuggers song

(written by Ben (The Happy Hacker) Horowitz.)

To be sung to the tune of "Ghostbusters"

When VM goes crash!
And your program's gone
Who you gonna call...
When you're out of funds
And no one's in Temp-1
Who you gonna call...

I ain't afraid of no bug
I ain't afraid of no bug

When your listing says
Who you gonna call...
When you print it local
But it goes to the VAX
Who you gonna call...

I ain't afraid of no bug
I ain't afraid of no bug

Who you gonna call...

Put fingers on keys
Type "BUG"
To call...

I ain't afraid of no bug
I hear it likes hackers
I ain't afraid of no bug

Who you gonna call...
You have bugs brother
Freakin' bugs baby
You better call...

Let me tell you something

I ain't afraid of no bug
I ain't afraid of no bug

Don't debug alone, oh no
You better call...
When it comes through VM
Unless you want to see it again
I think you better call...
Who you gonna call...
Who you gonna call...

The plate.

In the U.S. it is possible to buy a 7-character "personalized" license
plate describing the car or the owner. To apply, one must list 3
choices in order of preference. If one's first choice has already
been assigned to another driver, one gets one's second choice, etc.
These facts and a computer system made the following possible:

Mr. X wanted a new plate. He got the form and filled in his first two
preferences. If these two possibilities had already been assigned to
someone else, Mr. X didn't want a personalized plate at all, so for
his third choice he wrote "NOPLATE".

He got "NOPLATE" as his new personalized plate.

At first he got mad, but he mounted it on his car anyway. Within a
week he had received offers for over 100 dollars for this ingenius
plate, and he began to grow partial to it. In fact, he liked it.

His feelings changed by the end of the month, however, because by then
Mr. X had recieved nearly a hundred parking tickets. Why? Well, any
time a police officer spots a car missing a licence plate, he or she
will write "NOPLATE" on the ticket/citation.

The computer matched every single one of these with... Mr. X.

The computer program couldn't be changed, but the ways of the parking
guards could. So don't *EVER* order the custom plate: "NONE".

(It would make you Mr. X the second)

Niels Kristian Jensen < C838216@NEUVM1> & bcjb

(This just dropped onto my desk from a wormhole
in from the Space-Time-Spam Continuum -- Ed.)

Cray-7 User's Guide

July 30, 1996

Congratulations on your purchase of the fabulous new Cray-7
computer. With proper care your new computer can give you many
years of useful work and play. Just follow these simple guide-
lines and all will be well.

1. The new tachyonics-based CPU can be dangerous to unshielded
organisms. Always remember to keep clear of the tachyon chamber
when the power is on. Tachyon radiation can be hazardous to your

2. As with all sensitive equipment, keep water and moisture out
of the CPU and peripheral equipment.

3. Whenever the CPU is in compute mode, stay at least seven feet
outside the shield walls. When computing, the CPU uses computrons
at a rate hithertofore unknown to Man. This causes a "computron
vacuum" in the immediate vicinity. Thus the CPU may suck up the
informational content of your DNA should you stray too close.

4. Due to the local up-grade of the speed of light around the
Cray-7's Virtually Infinite Associative Memory (VIAM), it is
imperative that the computer be kept in a dark room. Strong light
will crash the system, and can do irreparable harm to the hardware.

5. Never put on the High-speed Analog Bionic Interface (HSABI)
until the system has completed its automatic check-out sequence.
When the Omniscience option is present, this can cause a positive
Zen feedback, resulting in total psyche burnout. It should be
avoided, except for an advanced soul under guidance.

6. And above all, never, never feed the Cray-7 after midnight.

Author: Brian Utterback

Submitter: Roger Murray < cepu!ucla-an!remsit!rem@LOCUS.UCLA.EDU>

Red Tape

Dear Senator Goldblatt,

My friend Toivo Macki, over in Kingston County, received a $1,000
check from the Government for not raising hogs. I am now contemplating
going into the lucrative "Not Raising Hogs" business next year.

What I want to know is --in your opinion-- what is the best kind
of farm not to raise hogs on? And what are the best kind of hogs not
to raise? I would prefer not to raise Razorbacks, but if that is not
a good breed not to raise, I will just as gladly not raise any Durocs
or Berkshires.

The hardest work in this business is going to be in keeping an
inventory on just how many hogs I haven't raised.

My friend Toivo is very joyful about the future of this business.
He has been raising hogs for more than 62 years and the most he ever
made was $400 in 1918, until this year, when he got a check for $1000
for Not Raising Hogs.

If I can get $1,000 for not raising 50 hogs, then will I also get
$2,000 for not raising 100 hogs, etc? I plan to operate on a small
scale at first, holding myself down to about 4,000 hogs, which means
I will have $80,000 for not raising hogs. Then maybe I can afford
food, a house, or maybe even a boat!

Now another thing, these hogs that I will Not Raise will Not Eat
100,000 bushels of corn. So, can I be paid for not raising 100,000
bushels of corn to Not Feed the hogs i am Not Going to Raise?

I want to get started as soon as possible, as this seems to be a
good time of the year for Not Raising Hogs.

Very Truly Yours,
John Brown

P.S. Can I raise 10 or 12 hogs on the side while I am in the
Not Raising Hogs business, just enough to get a few sides
of bacon to eat?

Larry McPhillips < OTHELLO@UMUC>

(The following appeared in the September 1986 issue of "SIGPLAN
Notices" (Volume 21, number 9) -- bcjb.)

Selecting a Programming Language Made Easy

Daniel Solomon & David Rosenblueth
Department of Computer Science, University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1

With such a large selection of programming languages, it can be
difficult to choose one for a particular project. Reading the manuals to
evaluate the languages is a time-consuming process. On the other hand,
most people already have a fairly good idea of how various automobiles
compare. So in order to assist those trying to choose a language, we
have prepared a chart that matches programming languages with comparable

Assembler - A Formula I race car. Very fast, but difficult to drive and
expensive to maintain.
FORTRAN II - A Model T Ford. Once it was king of the road.
FORTRAN IV - A Model A Ford.
FORTRAN 77 - A six-cylinder Ford Fairlane with standard transmission and
no seat belts.
COBOL - A delivery van. It's bulky and ugly, but it does the work.
BASIC - A second-hand Rambler with a rebuilt engine and patched
upholstry. Your dad bought it for you to learn to drive.
You'll ditch the car as soon as you can afford a new one.
PL/I - A Cadillac convertible with automatic transmission, a two-
tone paint job, white-wall tires, chrome exhaust pipes, and
fuzzy dice hanging in the windshield
C - A black Firebird, the all-macho car. Comes with optional
seat belts (lint) and optional fuzz buster (escape to
ALGOL 60 - An Austin Mini. Boy, that's a small car.
Pascal - A Volkswagon Beetle. It's small but sturdy. Was once
popular with intellectuals.
Modula II - A Volkswagon Rabbit with a trailer hitch.
ALGOL 68 - An Astin Martin. An impressive car, but not just anyone
can drive it.
LISP - An electric car. It's simple but slow. Seat belts are not
PROLOG/LUCID - Prototype concept-cars.
Maple/MACSYMA - All-terrain vehicles.
FORTH - A go-cart.
LOGO - A kiddie's replica of a Rolls Royce. Comes with a real
engine and a working horn.
APL - A double-decker bus. Its takes rows and columns of
passengers to the same place all at the same time. But, it
drives only in reverse gear, and is instrumented in Greek.
Ada - An army-green Mercedes-Benz staff car. Power steering,
power brakes and automatic transmission are all standard.
No other colors or options are available. If it's good
enough for the generals, it's good enough for you.
Manufacturing delays due to difficulties reading the
design specification are starting to clear up.

And now some help with commonly used...


(by A4422DAE at AWIUNI11)

6502 The year you will pay off your computer...
BASIC A programming language used to generate errors.
CPU C3PO's mother
CRASH Normal termination of a program
CASSETTE DRIVE Used as paper weight after buying a floppy disk drive.
EPROM Acronym for "Exit Program, Read Owners Manual".
DIM ARRAY Stupid storage
GOSUB Very fast U-Boat
GIGO "Garbage in, Garbage out", Normal result of computer
INPUT Statement that refuses all entries
KEYBOARD Random arrangement of letters
LED Long Expected Defect
MAGAZINE PROGRAM Typesetters error trap
NULL STRING Normal result of a seven hour sort.
PROGRAMMER Knows the location of the on/off switch
RESET Another way to terminate a four hour sort
RS232 R2D2's father
SUBROUTINE Section of a program that cannot be accessed
TERMINAL Mental state of most programmers

George Takes up Golf

My wife said to me, "George, it's about time you learned to play
golf. You know, that's the game where you chase a ball all over the
county when you're too old to chase women."

So I went to see Jones and asked him if he could teach me how to
play. He said, "Sure, you've got balls haven't you?"

I said, "Yes, but sometimes on cold mornings they're kinda' hard to

"Bring them to the club house tomorrow," he said, "and we'll tee

"What's 'tee off"?" I asked.

He said, "It's a golf term, and we have to 'tee off' in front of
the club house."

"Not for me, you can 'tee off' there if you want to, but I'll 'tee
off' behind the barn somewhere."

"No no," he said, "a tee is a little thing about the size of your
little finger."

I said, "Yes, I've got one of those".

"Well," he said, "you stick it in the ground and stick your ball on
top of it".

I asked, "Do you play golf sitting down? I always thought you
stood up and walked around."

"You do!" he said. "You're standing up when you put your ball on
the tee". Well folks, I thought that was stretching things a little
bit too far, and I said so.

He said, "You've got a bag haven't you?"

"Sure!" I said.

He asked, "Can't you open the bag and take one out?"

I said, "I suppose I could, but damned if I was going to!" He
asked if I didn't have a zipper on my bag, but I told him, "No, I had
the old fashioned type". Then he asked me if I knew how to hold my
club. Well, I told him that after fifty years I should have *some*
sort of an idea!

He said, "You take your club in both hands". (Folks, I knew right
then and there that he didn't know what he was talking about.) Then
he said, "You swing it over your shoulder!"

"No no, that's not me," I said, "that's my brother you're talking

He asked me, "How do you hold your club?"

I said, "In two fingers." He said that wasn't right and got behind
me, and told me to bend over and he would show me how. He couldn't
catch me there because I didn't put four years in the Navy for

He said, "You hit the ball with your club, and it will soar and
soar". I said I could well imagine! Then he said, "And when you're
on the green..."

"What's a green?" I asked.

"That's where the hole is," he said.

"Sure you're not color blind?" I asked.

"No!" he said. "Then you take your putter..."

"What's a putter?" I asked. He said that was the smallest club

"Well then," I said, "that's what I've got, a putter!"

"...and with it," he said, "you put your ball in the hole".

"You mean the putter." I corrected.

He said, "The ball! The hole isn't big enough for the putter.
Then after you make the first hole you go on to the next seventeen."

He wasn't talking to me. After two holes I'm shot to hell.

"You mean", he said, "you can't make eighteen holes in one day?"

"Hell no," I says, "it takes me eighteen days to make *one* hole!
Besides, how do I know when I'm at the eighteenth hole?" He said,
"The flag will say so."

That would be just my luck, so I said to HELL with golf.

Dave Crowley

An old lady is rocking away the last of her days on her front porch,
reflecting on her long life, when all of a sudden a fairy god mother
appears in front of her and informs her that she can have any three
wishes she wants.

"Well," says the old lady, "I guess I would like to be really rich."

*** POOF *** her rocking chair turned to solid gold.

"And, gee, I guess I wouldn't mind being a young beautiful princess."

*** POOF *** she turns into a young beautiful woman.

"Your third wish?", asked the fairy godmother.

Just then the old woman's cat walks across the porch in front of them
"Can you change him into a handsome prince?", she asks.

*** POOF *** there before her stands a young man more handsome than she
she had ever imagined possible.

With a smile that makes her kness weak, he then saunters across the
porch and whispers in her ear,

"Aren't you sorry you had me neutered?"