Nutworks magazine

Electronic Humor Magazine.

Issue017, (Volume IV, Number 3). April, 1987.

NutWorks is published semi-monthly-ish by

Brent C.J. Britton, < Brent@Maine.BITNET>

To be is to do.
-- I. Kant
To do is to be.
-- A. Sartre

-- F. Flinstone


NewsWorks ...................... Points of Interest
Nuts & Bolts ................... Commentary
How to Catch
a White Elephant ............. Nature
Before IBM ..................... Story
Excuses ........................ Real Life
The Book of George ............. Essay
Dear Dr. Diag .................. Advice
Three Dates .................... Story
Bennie ......................... Shaggy Dog


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- The song parody entitled "The Disks of Unix" which appeared in
in Issue016 (Volume IV, Number 2) was written by Marianne Wolf.
We neglected to credit Ms. Wolf in the text.

Nuts & Bolts

by Brent C.J. Britton

If you will indulge me, I must take on a tone of moderate serious-
ness for just a moment. To wit, NutWorks magazine needs writers. Each
month, NutWorks contains at least one or two items which are, well, not
quite original. Sometimes, in fact, we print things which are downright
vintage humor. We don't *like* to print things which are older than
Moses' toes, but sometimes, we just *have* to.
In short, if you write humorous commentaries, essays, jokes, etc.,
and would like to share your work, let us hear from you!

Now then, to relax that vulgar seriousness, I just gotta tell you
that I like computers a whole lot. They make my life easier. I like
the fact that there's a computer overseeing the internals of my micro-
wave oven, my stereo, and my television, because there's less chance that
I can hurt myself with any of these devices. I sleep easier at night
knowing that when I get up in the morning I won't press the wrong buttons
on my mircowave oven and cause it to explode or something; the computer
inside, like all intelligent, self-preserving beings, will prevent me
from doing so. But, friends, there are just some places where computers
don't belong.
I took my car in for a tune-up at the local garage. I won't mention
the name of the company, but they sell tires and have a blimp. Now
where I come from, a tune-up consists of new spark plugs, points,
perhaps a new rotor cap, air and gas filters, and a timing adjustment.
So I was a bit suprised when I saw... The Interrogator.
The Interrogator was a large box roughly the size of a IBM 4341 CPU
sitting on end. It was wheeled close to my car. From my vantage point
in the lobby of the station I could feel my car -- a small Honda Prelude
-- shiver with fear. Several mechanics spent many minutes inserting
the tentacle-like appendages of The Interrogator into every orifice of
my cowering Honda. Under the hood, up the tailpipe! My poor car.
Until then, it had been a tailpipe virgin, and I still don't think it
has gotten over the trauma of that tune-up to this day.
Once all the tentacles were firmly inserted, The Interrogator was
fired up. With a voice eerily reminiscent of Darth Vader, it said, yes
I mean SAID: "Start the engine." The mechanics obeyed.
For the next 15 minutes the computer inside The Interrogator examined
my car. The mechanics stood close by, having coffee. In the lobby,
I paced nervously.
Finally, to my relief, the tentacles were removed. The Interrogator
produced a written report of everything it thought was wrong with my
car, and the mechanics sprang into action fixing all those things. As
The Interrogator was being wheeled away, I heard it say in that evil,
deep voice: "We shall meet again, young Honda."
The entire situation was quite disconcerting for me and my car, so
we're going to steer clear of Darth Vader and the blimp people from now
But without computers, you probably wouldn't be reading this, so
I guess I still like them quite a bit. I just hope my microwave oven
isn't really a stormtrooper in disguise...


How to Catch a White Elephant

Submitted By Niels Kristian Jensen
<C838216 AT NEUVM1>

Go to an place where there are white elephants. Bring with you a
muffin (with raisins). Climb a tree. When the white elephant is close,
drop the muffin (with raisins) in front of it. The white elephant will
be happy, and eat the muffin (with raisins). White elephants like
muffins (with raisins). Repeat this procedure for five days in a row.

After the fifth day, the white elephant will be used to its daily muffin
(with rasins). The sixth day you climb the tree, bring with you a muffin
without rasins. Drop the muffin as usual. When the white elephant finds
out that the muffin lacks rasins, it will darken in anger.

And then you catch it the same way as an ordinary grey elephant.

Before IBM

by Adept

Before IBM, The Head Programmer created the heavens (the area above
your computer) and the earth (the area below your computer). The earth
was a mass without order... sort of like a Pascal program.
Then, The Head Programmer (hereafter referred to as THP) said, 'Let
there be IBM.' And, IBM, as an infant company, appeared. And THP was
pleased with it, and gave IBM great powers. THP let IBM grow for a
time, and then other companies began to appear. Together, they created
the first computer market. All of these events happened in the first
And THP said, 'Let IBM separate to form the mainframe division above
and the microcomputer division below.' So THP made the mainframe divi-
sion, separating the company to form another division. These events
occurred in the second decade.
Then THP said, 'Let the microcomputer division be infiltrated, so
that IBM cannot be accused of being a monopoly.' And so, it happened.
Then THP called the IBM micro a PC, and called the others' micros
"compatibles". And he said, 'Let the earth burst forth with every
sort of microcomputer and 'compatible', and allow those computers to
be copied, so that the market is open'. And so it was, and THP was
pleased. This all occurred in the third decade.
Then THP said, 'Let there be operating systems with the computers
to give life to the computer and to identify the Mainframe division
and the Micro division. They will allow the users to use the computer,
and the version number shall mark the days and the years. And so it
was. For THP made two systems, the VM system, and DOS, to be used by
the divisions, the larger one, VM, to preside over the Mainframe divi-
sion, and the smaller one, the DOS, to preside over the Micro division.
And THP gave them to IBM, to provide life to the computer, and to pre-
side over the Mainframe and Micro divisions, and to divide the two
divisions. And THP was pleased. This all happened in the fourth decade.
Then THP said, 'Let the earth teem with applications programs, and
all other types of programs, of every kind.' So THP created great
programming languages, and every sort of applications programs, and
every kind of game. And THP looked upon them with pleasure, and gave
each a copyright. 'Multiply and stock the earth,' he told them, and
to the games he said, 'Let your types grow. Be known throughout the
the world!' That ended the fifth decade.
Then THP said, 'Let the world bring forth every kind of peripheral,
monitors and disk drives, printers, and all types of add-ons.' And so
it was. THP made all sorts of printers and disk drives and mouses.
And THP was pleased with what he had done.
Then THP said, 'Let us make a programmer - someone like ourselves,
to be the master of all computers upon the earth and in the skies and
in the seas.'
So THP instructed a man to be a programmer.
Like THP did THP instruct the man.
Male and Female, did he instruct alike.
And THP graduated them and told them, 'Multiply and produce code, and
subdue all computers; you are the masters of all the software and all
the peripherals. And see! I have given you the IBM computers through-
out the world, and all the compatibles.' Then THP looked over all that
he had made, and it was superb in every aspect. This ended the sixth
Now at last, IBM was a thriving company, and with all the programs
and programmers it would need. So in the seventh decade, THP halted
all work that he had been doing, and THP called this a system crash,
and decreed that all computers would experience this. Thus endeth
the seventh decade.

Later, man learned to hack, but that's another story....


Submitted by < NSK2899@TAMSIGMA>

(The following are actual notes written to school teachers by
emphatic parents. There are no typos.)

1). "My son is under the doctor's care and should not take P.E. today.
Please execute him."

2). "Please excuse Mary for being absent.
She was sick and I had her shot."

3). "Please excuse Fred for being. It was his father's fault."

4). "Please ackuse Fred being absent on Jan. 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and 33."

5. "Mary could not come to school today because she was bothered by
very close veins."

6). "Mary was absent from school yesterday as she was having a gangover."

7). "Please excuse Mary from Jim yesterday. She was administrating."

8). "Please excuse Fred for being absent. He had a cold and could not
breed well."

9). "Please excuse Mary. She has been sick and under the doctor."

10). "Please excuse Mary from being absent yesterday. She was in bed
with gramps."

The Book of George

copyright 1985 by Edward Murphy

This whole thing is extremely weird. I mean, how many people could
actually live the life that I do and stay completely and utterly
sane? Answer: NOBODY! I guess that you could say that I am about as
loony as they come. Really. At least that's what I tell myself. But
the strange thing is that myself agrees with me. Of course, his
opinion was never very good, even when I was in that twinkie mining
accident on Regulus-5 (a nonchalant little star system on the outer
edge of the Milky Way, but I digress.) Looking back on the nineteen
years, six months, and some odd days that I, as a piece of primordial
plasma, have existed, I see the one sole purpose of my meager exis-
tence. To own a chicken ranch outside of Salt Lake City, Utah, and, as
a side business, to rent U-haul trailers to passing motorists.

This is the end of Part I of my multifaceted expose into

the life and times of an aesthetic wacko.

It's sort of funny the way things happen. One minute you're
floating on air, the next you're hit by a glob of chocolate pudding and
sent hurtling on a collision course with destiny. That's the way I
feel about certain things. Life is basically an avocado, no, wait,
actually it's more like a kiwi fruit, you know, sort of oblong, with a
furry outside and all green, and mushy inside. OK, OK, so maybe it's
not the best analogy in the world, but for a guy who's popped his
gourd, I think it shows a certain amount of talent. You know (that is
"sabes" in Spanish), I've been thinking. Is existence temporal? Does
WILL THINK THEREFORE I WILL BE"? Maybe the former, but probably not
the latter, although I don't know.
Look! It's a brick!

Here ends Part II of a journey through the

imaginative paths of a gaggle-snorp grandmaster.

I tried Reality once, but was lucky enough to find out that it was
highly addictive in time. After that little nasty incident, it has
been one cascading, highly imaginative adventure after the other. As I
spiral into the deep catacombs of man's destiny and get closer to the
meaning of it all I realize that we are all only dreaming of an unat-
tainable Utopia. Wow! Now you tell me that isn't the most incredibly
profound thing that you've read in quite a while. Go ahead tell me.
I'll wait while you do. *WAIT**WAIT*WAIT*
*WAIT*WAIT*WAIT*WAIT* Thank you. My lifetime can be compared to a
Styrofoam box. Well, actually, it can't really be compared to a
Styrofoam box as they are two absolutely completely different concepts

Thusly does Part III take us along the never ending look at

man's destiny where grapefruit is concerned.

You ever wonder what it would be like to be a rock? Just sitting
there, all day, watching people go by and being stepped on (even
though stepping on a rock probably doesn't hurt the rock physically,
the psychological turmoil must be tremendous.) Can you see a rock, a
chunk of ole' Mom Earth, on a psychiatrist's couch with a list of neu-
rosis longer than my arm? And I think that I need not even get into
the erosion complex. But, these ideas are for better men than I to
consider, and rightly so because right now I am trying to get through
school so that I can become one of those better men who haven't any-
thing better to do than think of strange and sundry items with which
to perplex the bipedal, sentient creatures that we have all come to
call Mom, Dad, Uncle Eugene, or what have you. A guru once told me,
"Your life is a peanut, sometimes boiled, sometimes crunchy, sometimes
salty, sometimes low sodium, but it is still just a peanut". And to my
dying day I will always think that the guru was a bit wacky.

Ending thus does Part IV of this incredibly frood trip into

that ameba shaped substance know as creativity.

I spy with my little eye something that begins with the letter "C".
It is a kind of difficult to play when I'm inside here and you're out-
side there. I bet that you often wonder just what it's like to be a
story. It's true that I was created simply through the mental pro-
cesses of a creature more or less like yourself, but the spark of the
creation that inspired me has left and I have taken on a new persona.
There is of course one thing wrong. No matter how many times you read
me, I'll always say the same thing. It is a bummer, and it puts the
pressure on you to get something different out of me each time. Hey!
I just had a great idea. Look around you and write down what you see
and think about it. Then when you read me again try and be somewhere
different. Wow, I think that is a novel idea in writing (pun very
much intended.) Every different situation will produce a new set of
ideas. This is wonderful. I am sure that every God-fearing American
will sleep better tonight knowing that one of the problems of the uni-
verse has gone wherever problems of the universe go when they have
been put to rest.

Part V of this expedition, that could very well be called the Book
of George, ends here. Or here. Or maybe here...(ad infinitum)

Dear Dr. Diag:

Note: Dr. Diag will attempt to answer questions on any subject, if he
can. If he can't, he'll make you feel stupid for asking. Send
your questions to "Dr. Diag" c/o Brent@Maine.BITNET.

> Dear Dr. Diag,
> I've heard rumors of an Order (N ** 1/2) sorting algorithm.
> Is there any validity to this claim, and if so, how is it
> done?
> Sincerely, 'Mr. Get It Done Yesterday'

Dear Mr. Yesterday,

For our non-computer users' sakes, a sorting algorithm is a device
which, when applied to "n" things, sorts them alphabetically, or
numerically, or by hair color or inseam length. The "order" of a par-
ticluar sorting algorithm is a measure of its speed. For instance,
an order n-to-the-power-of-2 algorithm takes n*n iterations to put n
things in sorted order.

I think a brief history of sorting algorithms is in... um... order.
I'll start at the beginning.

Cavemen weren't too concerned about sorting things. They kept them-
selves busy inventing fire, and the wheel, and sex in the missionary
position, and just generally evolving the hell out of the dinosaurs, and
so they had plenty of things to occupy their time without worrying about
sorting algorithms.
Things went along smoothly like this for many millions of years,
(well maybe it was more like thousands of years... it was a few decades
anyway), until one day the computer was invented. This paved the way
for the development of a few really sharp sorting algorithms. Let's
examine a few.

Bubble Sort - Very silly. The only people who use Bubble sorts
are first-year Pascal programmers who don't know
better. Unfortunately, programmers who leave college
after the first year go away thinking the bubble sort
is a pretty neat idea. Litigation is pending between
the Gold Seal Company Inc., (makers of Mister Bubble
bath soap), and the Assocation of Computing Machines
for theft of trademark.

Selection Sort - Used by the Selective Service during wartime to
determine which strapping young college students
will become combat soldiers, and which redneck
tobacco chewers will become generals.

Insertion Sort - Involves the insertion of an object into a place
where it fits easily. Most normal college students
use this algorithm daily.

Radix Sort - This sort belongs to Ray Dick. It is Ray Dick's sort.

QuikSort - Supposedly the "best" of the sorts, but not even the
mighty Quiksort runs on the order of n**1/2.

No my friend, there is no sorting algorithm which runs on the order
of n**1/2. It is as illusive as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or an 'A'
in Economics. But if you see it in the sun, it is true.

Three Dates


There was this old neighbor of mine -- no names are mentioned to
protect the innocent -- who had three daughters.

Well, this one Saturday night they all just happened to have dates.
My neighbor, their father, like any other Saturday night was in the
living room watching the LSU football game on the big screen tele-
vision. As expected, around 9:30 one of the dates showed up, so
the old man got up and went to answer the door for his daughters,
(you know how women are always late.) So the old man answered the
door and the young man outside politely introduced himself:

"Hello, my name is Eddie.
I am here to pick up Debbie.
We're going out to eat sphagetti.
Is she ready?"

Well the old man said, "Yeah, she's ready."
"Cute," he said to himself.

Five or six minutes later the second date showed up. The man had to
answer the door once again. The second date introduced himself to
the father saying:

"Hello, my name is Joe.
I am here to pick up Flo.
We are going to the show.
Can she go?"

"Yeah, she can go!" the old man replied.
"What, are they all gonna rhyme tonight?" he said to himself.

Finally, 15 minutes later the last date showed up, and for the last
time the old man got up and answered the door. The date, like all
the others, introduced himself saying:

"Hello, my name is Chuck...

Chuck died quickly.

The First Fantastic Flop of Sir Galliwag M.D.

(Doctor of the Multiverse)

by (beef) Chow (mein), Rob Woiccak ( TNETG1FN@CLVM)

One day while I, the great Doctor Sir Galliwag, was out romping in
the multiverse, I stopped to visit the home of my good friend: the
Sheikh Ali-Wa Benn. Much to my distress, I found the palace in a
ruckess. I soon learned from the palace chamberlain, Deskial Hmabi,
that the Sheikh had disappeared. At this, I began an investigation to
determine the Sheikh's whereabouts. The chamberlain gave me Benn's
agenda for the day. First a breakfast and then a shave. Following that
was a luncheon where he had failed to appear. Suddenly, I had an idea!
I ran to the vestibule where I had seen a new pot that confirmed my
notion. Calling Deskial into the room, I proceeded to find the Shiekh
in the large vase. Flabbergasted, he asked "How...what...?"
"Simple," I replied, "a Bennie shaved is a Bennie urned."

Issue017, (Volume IV, Number 3). April, 1987.