Archive for the ‘Computer Humor’ Category

Limerick-Off Monday – Rhyme Word: BOOT at the end of any one line

Saturday, December 9th, 2017

It’s Limerick-Off time, once again. And that means I write a limerick, and you write your own, using the same rhyme word. Then you post your limerick(s) as a comment to this post and, if you’re a Facebook user, on Facebook too.

I hope you’ll join me in writing limericks using BOOT at the end of any one line. (Homonyms or homophones are fine.)

The best submission will be crowned Limerick-Off Award Winner. (Here’s last week’s Limerick-Off Award Winner.)

Additionally, you may write themed limericks related to HYPOCRISY, using any rhyme scheme. And of course I’ll present an extra award — one for the best HYPOCRISY-related limerick.

How will your poems be judged? By meter, rhyme, cleverness, and humor. (If you’re feeling a bit fuzzy about limerick writing rules, here’s my How To Write A Limerick article.)

I’ll announce the winners on December 24, 2017, right before I post the next Limerick-Off. So that gives you two full weeks to submit your clever, polished verse. Your submission deadline is Saturday, December 23, 2017 at 10:00 p.m. (Eastern Time.)

Here’s my limerick:

My computer refuses to boot.
This is brutal! And backup? Oh shoot!
My backup drive crashed.
I’m in hell! All’s been trashed!
Might as well go get smashed on some Brut.

Please feel free to enter my Limerick-Off by posting your limerick(s) in my comments. And if you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll join my friends in that same activity on my Facebook Limerick-Off post.

To receive an email alert whenever I post a new Limerick-Off, please email Madkane@MadKane.com Subject: MadKane’s Newsletter. Thanks!

Just In Time For Book Lovers Day (Limerick)

Saturday, November 7th, 2015

Just in time for Book Lovers Day, celebrated both on the first Saturday of November and on August 9:

Like most of my friends I love books,
And I don’t want to read them on Nooks
Or other devices;
Real paper entices.
Don’t dare give me pity-filled looks!

A Window Into My Guilt (Limerick)

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

A Window Into My Guilt (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

You’re sure to encounter frustration
With laptops, when spilling libation:
Your computer won’t thrive,
You may lose your hard drive,
And you’ll likely face defenestration.

The Almost Naked Truth

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

I love this headline: “Mother, 29, who ran through hotel naked ‘after her friend stole her pants’ is slapped with an obscenity charge.”

Not only did it make me laugh, but it reminded me of my own personal experience, memorialized in this humor column I wrote way back in the Twentieth Century:

A Traveler’s Net Woes
By Madeleine Begun Kane

If your husband ever invites you to join him on a business trip, be sure to ask him these questions:
1. Will you ever get to see him while he is not — technically — asleep?
2. What will he do, if you accidentally lock yourself out of your hotel room in the middle of the night while you are not — technically — dressed?

Unfortunately, I didn’t think to ask these questions when my husband Mark invited me to join him for a six-week Boston business trip. So I had to learn the answers the hard way:
1. No.
2. He will remain — technically — asleep.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Back when my husband urged me to accompany him, all I could focus on was:
1. Whether I could pack my cappuccino machine;
2. Whether I’d get any writing done so far from home; and
3. Whether we’d have reliable net access in our room.

Okay, I admit it: I’m a little — okay a lot — hooked on cappuccino and the on-line life. And I never — ever — go to sleep without reading my email and surfing the web.

Anyway, Mark managed to convince me that working out of a hotel room in a strange city would inspire new, creative ideas. He also swore that Boston is a modern city with lots of cappuccino and Internet connections. So I reluctantly accompanied him, after packing enough gear for a year.

We checked in late that first night, and the accommodations (paid for by Mark’s client) were luxurious. But I gave no thought to our lovely hotel, the sites and sounds of Boston, or the excitement of living in a new city. While Mark unpacked, requested a wake-up call, and ooohed and aaahed at the view, I foraged for a modem connection. Only one view mattered to me — the blank one on my laptop screen.

Finally, I had the computer set up. I began to relax, happy in the knowledge that any minute I’d … What’s this? An error message? What did they mean “no dial tone”?

It must be some mistake, I told myself, as I tried to sign on again and again and again. After a dozen failed attempts I was even reduced to violating my “don’t crawl on a strange rug” rule. Struggling to reach the wall behind the desk and bed, I squeezed my arm into places it didn’t belong, pulling and pushing and tugging at anything that looked important. And trying to spot a loose connection … aside from the one in my brain.

Now a normal person would probably have given up and gone to bed after 10 or 20 or 30 failed attempts to sign on-line. (By this time, Mark had been asleep nearly an hour.) But the more disconnects I got, the more determined I was to access my net account. Am I stubborn? Yes. Plus I really needed my pre-sleep fix.

So I persisted, all the while cursing out computers, the hotel, my husband’s client, and my husband, who apparently enjoys having his bed shoved across the room while he’s sound asleep.

Then it hit me — the kind of revelation one only gets way past midnight. I’d simply phone the concierge, and he’d do some concierge type thing and get it fixed. So I picked up the phone and — you guessed it — it was as dead as my modem.

You moron, I castigated myself, as I tried to guess whether I was being personally singled out for email deprivation.

Just then, I heard a sound in the hall. Eager to find out if anyone else had phone service, and forgetting that my attire (or lack thereof) would get me arrested in many countries, I rushed out the door, wedging it open with a shoe. Luckily (I thought) the sounds were coming from the next room, whose door was ajar.

“Do you have phone service?” I asked a female guest, who was still gripping her luggage.

She didn’t answer. Instead she stared at me blankly, no doubt wondering why some barefoot, barely clad crazy woman was standing in her doorway at 3 a.m.

“Do you have phone service?” I repeated.

“No speak English,” she said, as she put down her suitcase and looked around the room, possibly for a weapon. Now desperate, I attempted to mime talking on the phone. But she apparently didn’t speak mime either.

At this point, I’m afraid I did something that can only be characterized as insane; I strode into the room, walked right past her to the far end, and picked up her phone. It was dead. This was good news, because you need a phone to get someone arrested for trespass.

I put the receiver down and belatedly began to apologize. But the woman ignored me — she was embroiled in some incomprehensible dialogue with a man (her husband?) who had apparently been in the bathroom when I invaded their room. Were they plotting my demise?

I crossed the room as quickly as I could and darted past them, hoping they wouldn’t try to stop me. And that they understood the meaning of the word “sorry.”

Finally I made it out of there, and they slammed the door behind me. Relieved, I turned toward my room and, after tripping over my failed-wedge shoe, I discovered another shut door — my own.

Ten minutes of door pounding later I was still stranded in the hall, and Mark (who can sleep through anything) was still sound asleep.

By now I was more or less resigned to going to bed without reading my e-mail. But no way was I sleeping in the hall.

I probably would have continued my futile pounding, but adding the crime of “destroying the peace” to trespass didn’t seem wise. And getting thrown out of the hotel probably wouldn’t help Mark’s consultant/client relations.

But what else could I do? I couldn’t very well take the elevator downstairs and beg the concierge for a key while I was dressed like this, could I?

Apparently, I could. I started down the hallway, moving as quickly as I could manage, and fervently hoping I wouldn’t meet anyone en route. Fortunately, every reasonably sane person was asleep by then. So the halls and elevator were empty, and I even made it down eight floors to the lobby nonstop. I was so relieved, I didn’t even mind the strange looks I got from the couple getting on as I got off. Or the amused grin from the concierge when I told him I needed help.

“Phone problems?” he asked, looking me up and down.

“For starters,” I answered.

“Sorry, everything’s down at least until late morning. Anything else I can do for you?”

“Yes, I locked myself out of my room. Could you…?”

“Yes, I can see you did. Hold on and I’ll get my keys.”

“This is very embarrassing.”

He took another look and grinned again. “No problem. I’ve seen a lot worse.”

Throughout the elevator ride up and the walk to my room he regaled me with tales of locked-out guests stranded in garb that made me appear ready for a full dress ball. Then he placed his key in the door and said, “Do you have any ID?”

“What?” I said, beginning to panic. “Where would I…?”

“Just kidding,” he said as he unlocked the door.

Safely back in my room, I found Mark sound asleep. Exhausted and angry, I stared at him, willing him awake. I could have been kidnapped from the room in the middle of the night, and he would never have known. I could have …

Suddenly, Mark sat up. “What is it?” he said.

“Didn’t you notice I was gone?”

“What are you talking about? One sec. I have to go to the bathroom.”

“What were you saying?” Mark said as he climbed back into bed.

“Never mind. But you should set your alarm. The phones are broken, and you probably won’t get that wake-up call.”

“Thanks,” he said as he fiddled with the clock and lay back down to sleep. “What did you do to their phones?” he added just before he began to snore.

Overzealous Deletes (Limerick)

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

Overzealous Deletes (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

There are times I make haste to delete
A phrase that feels lame or effete.
Then I suddenly think
That it doesn’t quite stink–
I can save it — “Control Z” you’re sweet!

Wexting? How Pedestrian! (Limerick)

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Wexting? How Pedestrian! (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A habit that many find vexing
Is called “wexting.” I think it’s perplexing
To text while you walk.
If you wext, then I’ll balk
At sharing a path you’re annexing.

Smarting from “Smart Shoes” (Limerick)

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Do we really need “smart shoes” that will vibrate us in the right direction using Google Maps? Ducere Technologies thinks so.

Smarting from “Smart Shoes” (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Dear shoemakers, please have a heart.
I do NOT want my shoes to be smart.
I just want them to feel
(both my sole and my heel)
Like they’re not out for blood from the start.

Open Limerick To Facebook Fanatics

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Open Limerick To Facebook Fanatics
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Dear Facebook fanatics, I know
That an outage on Facebook’s a blow.
But a crisis that small
Doesn’t call for a call
To the cops. Grab a beer or Bordeaux.

(Inspired by the lunatics who called 911 lines Friday during Facebook’s half-hour outage.)

Dear Doc (Limerick)

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Dear Doc (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Although surgery’s surely a grind,
It with sexting ought NOT be combined.
’Tis a practice that’s mal;
A risk to the gal
Or guy patients. I’m guessing they’d mind.

(Inspired by this story: Doctor suspended amid charges of sexting during surgery)

This Invention Doesn’t Pass The Smell Test (Limerick)

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

This Invention Doesn’t Pass The Smell Test (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

I’m vexed and a little perplexed
By the concept of smells sent by text.
I do not mean to vent,
But don’t send me a scent,
Or our friendship is apt to be exed.

(Harvard engineering professor David Edwards and co-inventor Rachel Fields have invented an aromatic mobile messaging device called an oPhone that sends and receives scents.)

You Won’t Believe This, But… (Revisiting My Luddite Self)

Friday, February 14th, 2014

I wrote the following limerick in response to a personal request from Ralph Nader. And yes, I know that sounds crazy. So please allow me to explain:

Over twenty years ago, the New York Times Sunday Business section published my serious personal essay about technology in the workplace. My column, entitled “When Executives Should Just Say No,” dealt with the downside of technological advances. I concluded it with these questions:

Does that the 7:00 p.m. message really merit an immediate response? Is keeping staff hooked to computers all night a sensible use of personnel? And perhaps most important: Am I using these machines? Or are they using me?

My piece attracted a fair amount of attention, including radio interviews, a Boston Globe interview, and a reprint request from Pushcart Press’s Bill Henderson for his anthology “Minutes of the Lead Pencil Club.”

So, what does this have to do with Ralph Nader? It seems that Nader, a fan of that anthology when it was first published, has recently re-read it. And he’s sent personal letters to its contributors, asking us to re-read our respective pieces and send him updated thoughts on the topic, for an article he’s working on.

Instead of a prose response, I decided to express my updated views via limerick. So here’s what I sent to Ralph Nader:

In a decades-old piece, I once warned
With a Luddite’s distrust, unadorned,
Of technology’s lure;
Folks were duped, I was sure.
Now I’m one of those people I scorned.

Vendor Venting (Limerick)

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Vendor Venting (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A package arrives, which I lift.
Since I’ve NOT placed an order, I’m miffed.
It’s a greedy misdeed
To anticipate need.
Dear Amazon: Thanks for the gift.

Note from Mad Kane: This hasn’t actually happened to me, but it’s only a matter of time. Why? Because Amazon has just patented “anticipatory shipping.”

Yes, Amazon thinks it knows what we want, even before we know we want it.

Sorry Amazon, but my husband can’t read my mind … and neither can you.

Limerick Dry Run (The Evolution of a Limerick)

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

When I’m looking for limerick ideas, I sometimes visit idiom list sites, like this one. Then I’ll select an idiom that might work meter-wise and that ends with a common rhyme sound.

And so today, I challenged myself to write a limerick that contains the phrase “dry run.” Unconsciously inspired, perhaps, by the inept roll-out of Obamacare, I wrote these two lines:

A software firm held a dry run
But the coding, alas, wasn’t done…

I swiftly thought up an acceptable “B-rhyme,” but then got stuck at line 5. The best I could come up with was an ending that employed yet another idiom: “under the gun.” But I still couldn’t think of a line 5 that was even slightly clever.

And then I got an idea: create some wordplay by revising another line, adding specificity to the subject matter. Here’s the result:

Limerick Dry Run
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A software firm held a dry run,
But the arms-tracking code wasn’t done.
It failed test after test,
Till the owner confessed:
“I’m too stressed to work under the gun.”

Limerick Ode To Information Overload

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Happy Information Overload Day! (October 20, 2015)

Limerick Ode To Information Overload (3-Verse Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Too much data is haunting my dreams–
Excess info and too many memes.
Overloaded with news,
My brain has the blues:
“I’m cluttered with tidbits,” it screams.

So what’s the solution pray tell
That will free me from info-stress hell?
Turn off ev’ry machine
And device? That sounds mean
And quite limiting. Not a good sell!

Is there anything else I can do?
I suppose I could hide in the loo.
But alas and alack,
That room has a stack
Of old weeklies — a factoid fondue.

I’m Not Swallowing This App (Limerick)

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

Do we really need a beer-brewing robot that lets you make beer with your iPhone?

I’m Not Swallowing This App (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Innovations can certainly rock,
But at times they compel me to mock;
I’m feeling a jeer brewing:
IPhones and beer brewing?
How ’bout using an iPhone to talk?

There’s An App For WHAT??? (Limerick)

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Just when you think a problem is unsolvable, a creative company comes up with a solution. I’m referring, of course, to Smarter Socks which, we’re told, “makes sorting socks child’s play” through “interaction between the socks with a communication button, the Sock Sorter and an iPhone app.”

What would Seinfeld have to say about this?

There’s An App For WHAT??? (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

If you find that your socks keep cavorting
And consorting with strangers, your sorting
Can be helped with an app:
Smarter Socks fill the gap
When your laundering skills need supporting.

UPDATE: Alternatively, you could ditch the app and celebrate No Socks Day 365 days a year.

Some Jokes Just Don’t Compute (Limerick)

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

It seems that artificial intelligence has a pun and joke-writing branch called computational humor. For instance, a computer software program called Standup:

Though it’s not quite Louis C. K., the Standup program, engineered by a team of computer scientists in Scotland, is one of the more successful efforts to emerge from a branch of artificial intelligence known as computational humor, which seeks to model comedy using machines.

Some Jokes Just Don’t Compute (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Computational humor is here:
Oddball software whose goal’s the frontier
Of punning and jokes.
But so far, I’d say folks
Who are funny have nothing to fear.

Limerick Rut

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Limerick Rut
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A woman was stuck in a rut.
She’d tripped, falling down on her butt.
She was wedged in so tight,
She might be there all night.
Seems its risky to text while you strut.

Limerick Invention

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

DVerse Poets asks us to wax poetic about machine dreams:

Limerick Invention
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A fellow invented an app
That fills a technology gap:
It gives you a pinch
If your boss starts to inch
Near your desk, while you’re taking a nap.

(You can find more of my technology humor here.)

UPDATE: February 28 is National Public Sleeping Day.

UPDATE 2: National Napping Day is the second Monday of March (the Monday after DST.)

My Telemarketer Hang-up (Limerick)

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

My Telemarketer Hang-up (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

My name’s on the “do not call” list,
But our phone rings non-stop, and I’m pissed.
“How’s my energy plan?”
Says a voice — not a man,
But a bot, energetic’ly dissed.