The Register


Medical Matters.

"You look rough!" the PFY chirps as I drag myself into work, a mere 26 hours late.

"Yeah, out with a Slave Trader the night before last.

"And it was that bad you took a sicky?"

"No. I don't take 'sickies'. I was telecommuting."

"Yeah, right. Use the porcelain modem, did you?"

"That's quite enough of that," I interject, still a little queasy after the tube ride.

"So what transpired?" the PFY asks.

"I only had a few ales."

"A few?"

"Well, a few followed by a few. And then a few more. But it was the curry that did for me. I just can't do it any more. I have to face facts about my body's ability to leech toxins from itself: I think I may be allergic to curry."

"Don't say that!" the PFY wails.

"It's no use fighting it," I respond, "a man can stand only so many chicken vindaloos."

"Are you sure it couldn't be the booze?"

"No - I can have a couple of lagers and wake up fine. But EVERY TIME I have a ruby, I feel ill in the morning."

"Could that be," the boss interjects as he rolls into the office under a full head of administrative steam, "because every time you have a curry you're plastered?"

"There's a certain amount of logic in that statement," I admit. "But the culprit has been identified..."

"As booze," he states firmly. "Anyway, you'll have a chance to put your theory to the test. We're all going to lunch with a supplier, who wants to sell us low-cost disk by the Terabyte."

Oh well. After all, a curry is a curry.

Our sales professional burbles at the boss while the PFY and I power through a plate of pakoras washed down with ginger beer.

"So you're selling SCSI," the PFY interjects.

"No, not SCSI. Our topology is based around a more robust..."

"Proprietary?" I ask, smelling blood in the water.

"Ah, it's proven technology..."

"DSSI!" I cry, going in for the kill.

The torpedo hits, leaving an 'uh'-shaped hole in his face.

"So, let's just recap what we're NOT talking about," I continue, reeling off technical twaddle until the boss wanders off to the little manager's room in despair.

"We're not buying," the PFY murmurs.

"No," I concur. "We've got all the old tech we need."

"Hmm..." The salesman has clearly faced this situation before. "Can I get you gentlemen anything?"

"Well, I'd like another ginger beer for starters," the PFY smirks, pouring the remains of his last glass down his gullet.

"Me too," I agree, "and hold the ginger."


"So, let's go over this one more time," the boss blurts. "We should buy a couple of Terabytes of this disk to put on our old Vax system? But no-one uses it, it doesn't make sense!"

"Yes it does; listen," I explain softly - trying not to breathe in the direction of the boss, in case he smells the evidence of the last 10 pints of my 'ginger' beer.

"There'll be fewer complaints if no-one uses them."


Looks like I'm going to have to abandon logic and proceed direct to the jugular.

"Think 'Mean Time Between Failures'. Think 'Customer 'Uptime Expectation' and Delivery of Service'. 'Enhanced Modularity'. Think 'Vendor Independence' and 'Phased Installation'. Think 'Replacement Life Cycles'." I pray a silent prayer to the god of Management Buzzwords.

"Well, I suppose if you put it that way..."

His gracious defeat is interrupted by a heavy-handed tap on the shoulder from the PFY, who has all the symptoms of a bad case of liquor mortis. There's a steely look in his eye and, before I can lay hands on him, he's up and at 'em.

"Y'KNOW WHAT YUR PRBBLIM ISH?" he slurs, giving the ISO-approved employee/employer signal for 'Please disregard the following, I appear to be intoxicated'.

"Hey! Isn't that Pamela Anderson?" I cry, diverting everyone's attention while I kick the PFY's silence-knob. Well, it shuts him up anyway.

The next day dawns and I'm in a bad way. The PFY's in a bad way. Even the Boss is in a bad way (the sales bloke paid the waiters at the curry house to slip shots of their special Bolivian vodka (half Antifreeze) into the Boss' diet Tango).

"I take it back," the boss whispers quietly. "I think I might be allergic to curry too."

"Me too," the PFY agrees.

Next time we go to Luigi's. You can't go wrong with a nice bowl of pasta. And a couple of lagers to wash it down..