FileTitle: Prose1182.html
Category: Humor
Type: Prose
Description: THE RAVIN' or Abort, Retry, Ignore?
THE RAVIN' or Abort, Retry, Ignore?

    Once upon a midnight dreary, fingers cramped and vision bleary,
System manuals piled high and wasted paper on the floor, Longing for the
warmth of bed sheets, still I sat there doing spreadsheets. Having
reached the bottom line I took a floppy from the drawer, I then invoked
the SAVE command and waited for the disk to store, Only this and nothing

    Deep into the monitor peering, long I sat there wond'ring, fearing,
Doubting, while the disk kept churning, turning yet to churn some more.
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token. "Save!" I
said, "You cursed mother! Save my data from before!" One thing did the
phosphors answer, only this and nothing more, Just, "Abort, Retry,

    Was this some occult illusion, some maniacal intrusion? These were
choices undesired, ones I'd never faced before. Carefully I weighed the
choices as the disk made impish noises. The cursor flashed, insistent,
waiting, baiting me to type some more. Clearly I must press a key,
choosing one and nothing more, From "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

    With fingers pale and trembling, slowly toward the keyboard bending,
Longing for a happy ending, hoping all would be restored, Praying for
some guarantee, timidly, I pressed a key. But on the screen there still
persisted words appearing as before. Ghastly grim they blinked and
taunted, haunted, as my patience wore, Saying "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

    I tried to catch the chips off guard, and pressed again, but twice
as hard. I pleaded with the cursed machine: I begged and cried and then
I swore. Now in mighty desperation, trying random combinations, Still
there came the incantation, just as senseless as before. Cursor
blinking, angrily winking, blinking nonsense as before. Reading, "Abort,
Retry, Ignore?"

    There I sat, distraught, exhausted, by my own machine accosted.
Getting up I turned away and paced across the office floor. And then I
saw a dreadful sight: a lightning bolt cut through the night. A gasp of
horror overtook me, shook me to my very core. The lightning zapped my
previous data, lost and gone forevermore. Not even, "Abort, Retry,

    To this day I do not know the place to which lost data go. What
demonic nether world us wrought where lost data will be stored, Beyond
the reach of mortal souls, beyond the ether, into black holes? But sure
as there's C, Pascal, Lotus, Ashton-Tate and more, You will one day be
left to wander, lost on some Plutonian shore, Pleading, "Abort, Retry,