Last night I dreamed that the Real World had adopted the "Unix Philosophy."
I went to a fast-food place for lunch. When I arrived, I found that the
menu had been taken down, and all the employees were standing in a line
behind the counter waiting for my orders. Each of them was smaller than I
remembered, there were more of them than I'd ever seen before, and they had
very strange names on theuir nametags.
I tried to give my order to the first employee, but he just said something
about a "syntax error." I tried another employee with no more luck. He just
said "Eh?" no matter what I told him. I had similar experiences with
several other employees. (One employee named "ed" didn't even say "Eh?," he
just looked at me quizzically.) Disgusted, I sought out the manager (at
least it said "man" on his nametag) and asked him for help. He told me that
he didn't know anything about "help," and to try somebody else with a
strange name for more information.
The fellow with the strange name didn't know anything about "help" either,
but when I told him I just wanted to order he directed me to a girl named
"oe," who handled order entry. (He also told me about several other
employees I couldn't care less about, but at least I got the information I
I went to "oe" and when I got to the front of the queue she just smiled at
me. I smiled back. She just smiled some more. Eventually I realized that I
shouldn't expect a prompt. I asked for a hamburger. She didn't respond, but
since she didn't say "Eh?" I knew I'd done something right. We smiled at
each other a little while longer, then I told her I was finished with my
order. She directed me to the cashier, where I paid and received my order.
The hamburger was fine, but it was completely bare... not even a bun. I
went back to "oe" to complain, but she just said "Eh?" a lot. I went to the
manager and asked him about "oe." The manager explained to me that "oe" had
thousands of options, but if I wanted any of them I'd have to know in
advance what they were and exactly how to ask for them.
He also told me about "vi," who would write down my order and let me
correct it before it was done, and how to hand the written order to "oe."
"vi" had a nasty habit of not writing down my corrections unless I told her
that I was about to make a correction, but it was still easier than dealing
directly with "oe."
By this time I was really hungry, but I didn't have enough money to order
again, so I figured out how to redirect somebody eles's order to my plate.
Security was pretty lax at that place.
As I was walking out the door, I was snagged by a giant Net. I screamed and