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 Digital Justice: A Computer Poem by Po' Me

Once upon a midnight dreary, fingers cramped and vision bleary,
wasted paper and more, manuals piled on the floor,
Longing for the bed sheets, I sat there doing spreadsheets.

Having reached the bottom line, I took a floppy from the drawer,
invoked the SAVE command, and waited for the disk to store,
Only this and nothing more.

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 cried, "You cursed mother! Save my data from before!"
One thing did the phosphors answer, only this and nothing more,
Just, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

Was this some occult intrusion, some maniacal illusion?
These were choices undesired, ones ne'er before admired..
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 not one more,
From "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

With fingers sweating, seeking, slowly toward the keyboard sneaking,
Longing for success in sending, hoping for a happy ending,
Praying for some guarantee, timidly, I pressed the ""R" key.

But the words on the screen still persisted, changing they resisted.
Ghastly grim they blinked and taunted, I was haunted as my patience wore,
Exclaiming "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

I tried to catch the chips off guard, and pressed again, twice as hard.
I pleaded with the cursed thing: I begged and cried and then I swore.
Now in mighty desperation, trying a random combination,

Still there came the incantation, just as senseless as before.
Cursor blinking, angrily winking, refusing my data to store.
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
Thinking,. "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

And then I saw a dreadful sight; a lightning bolt cut through the night.
Now in the darkness came the horror, and shook me to my very core.
No more,  "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

The lightning had zapped my file, now lost and gone awhile.
All before I got the infernal thing to simply store
Now no more, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

To this day I do not know, the place lost data go.
To what demonic nether world, was my precious data hurled,
Beyond the reach of mortal souls, to the singularities of black holes?

But sure as there is Access, Lotus, Adobe and more,
One day you’ll be left to wander, lost on some Plutonian shore,
Pleading to the PTB, "Please don't Ignore! Retry, RETRY forevermore!"

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