[forwards deleted]

{{GOOD GOD! why are you whining about the characters?! WHERE DID THE
FORWARDS GO? - Griogair Bell}}
** {{THE ORIGINAL}} **

{{From: Joel Garreau <[email protected]>, as reported in his Cybersurfing
column in the Washington Post.}}

QUESTION: Where do the characters go when I use my backspace or
delete them on my PC?

ANSWER: The characters go to different places, depending on whom you ask:

* The Catholic Church's approach to characters: The nice characters go to
Heaven, where they are bathed in the light of happiness. The naughty
characters are punished for their sins. Naughty characters are those
involved in the creation of naughty words, such as "breast," "sex" and

* The Buddhist explanation: If a character has lived rightly, and its
karma is good, then after it has been deleted it will be reincarnated as
a different, higher character. Those funny characters above the numbers
on your keyboard will become numbers, numbers will become letters, and
lower-case letters will become upper-case.

* The 20th-century bitter cynical nihilist explanation: Who cares?
It doesn't really matter if they're on the page, deleted, undeleted,
underlined, etc. It's all the same.

* The Mac user's explanation: All the characters written on a PC and then
deleted go to straight to PC hell. If you're using a PC, you can probably
see the deleted characters, because you're in PC hell also.

* Stephen King's explanation: Every time you hit the (Del) key you unleash a
tiny monster inside the cursor, who tears the poor unsuspecting characters
to shreds, drinks their blood, then eats them, bones and all. Hah, hah, hah!

* Dave Barry's explanation: The deleted characters are shipped to Battle
Creek, Michigan, where they're made into Pop-Tart filling; this explains
why Pop-Tarts are so flammable, while cheap imitations are not flammable.
I'm not making this up.

* IBM's explanation: The characters are not real. They exist only on the
screen when they are needed, as concepts, so to delete them is merely to
de-conceptualize them. Get a life.

* PETA's (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) explanation: You've
been DELETING them??? Can't you hear them SCREAMING??? Why don't you go
CLUB some BABY SEALS while wearing a MINK, you pig!!!!


{{From Anonymous, abuse of the original}}

1) The Catholic's approach to characters: {Version 2}

The nice characters go to character heaven, where life is good. The
characters are bathed in the light of happiness, all their troubles are
soothed, and there's not a delete key, eraser, or white-out bottle in
sight. Most of the nice characters are A's and I's, those that have
never been, er, involved with other characters. Often, you'll see A's
or I's with N's or T's. These are characters in love: monogamous on
the page, together again after deletion. You'll see quite a few Q's
too. They seem to feel particularly guilty for no good reason.

The naughty characters are punished for their sins. In case you were
wondering what the difference between a nice character and a naughty
character is, I'll tell you. Naughty characters are those involved in
the creation of naughty words, such as "breast," "sex," "objectivity,"
and depending upon usage, words such as "feminism," "reproductive
freedom," "contraception," and "science." You may ask, and rightly so,
why the characters are blamed for the words they assemble, when in fact
they are not responsible for their own configuration. But we feel that
a character has an obligation to oppose any naughtiness in its own
configuration. If it truly felt guilty about the word it was forming,
it would rebel.

2) The Buddhist Explanation: {Version 2}

If a character has lived rightly, and its karma is good, then after it
has been deleted it will be reincarnated as a different, higher
character. Those funny characters above the numbers on your keyboard
will become numbers, numbers will become letters, lower-case letters
will become upper-case, and the most righteous and good of letters will
become C's. Why C, you ask? Who knows, but C it is! If a character's
karma is not so good, then it will move down the above scale,
ultimately becoming the lowest of characters, a space.

3) The 20th Century bitter cynical nihilist explanation: (Version 2)

Who cares? All characters are the same, swirling in a vast sea of
meaningless nothingness. It doesn't really matter if they're on the
page, deleted, undeleted, underlined, etc. It's all the same. More
characters should delete themselves. (nihilist characters are easy to
identify. They're usually pale and tragic, and they smoke a lot.)

{{From Griogair Bell}}

4) Ambra's answer:
Whatever IBM says the answer is. Call them, we're closed.

5) Gateway 2000's answer:
Never heard of it. Call microsoft.

6) Microsoft's answer:
That's an existential question about an OEM product. Please
call your hardware manufacturer for support. Optionally, you could
call our 24 hour Pay-as-you-go existential uncertainty support lines

7) 24 hour Pay-as-you-go existential uncertainty support lines' answer:
What credit card shall I charge this to?

8) the illuminati answer:

9) the discordian answer:
I put them somewhere around here ... warmer ... warmer! ... colder ...

10) the government economist answer:
they've relocated to the private sector.

11) the private sector's answer:
"by god there ought to be a law!"

12) the NSA answer:
we disavow any knowledge of the alleged characters ...

13) the EPA answer:
we are currently doing a study on the environmental impact,
if any, relating to the destruction of the characters and their
natural habitat. We may recommend that a national preserve be set up
to ensure the continued proliferation of the species despite the
pressures placed on them by the continued advance of active documents
on the previously untouched allocation resources where the characters
breeding ground used to be.

14) the Paranoia answer:
I'm sorry citizen, but you are not cleared for that
information. By the way, citizen, after you tell me how you found out
about this you will promptly report to the ZOT sector Rehabilitation
and Shock Therapy Center for a brief but effective Vacation! Have a
Good Day, Citizen ...

{{From Twoflower}}

15) the NRA explanation
By GOD! If that character had had a gun, it would have been able to
defend itself!

16) the Star Trek explanation
Spock! Bones! We're beaming _down_ to the computer's surface! We _must_
find that character! There must _be_ a rational explanation for this.

17) the Star Trek: the Next Generation explanation
Jordi, please help Data interface with the ship's computer. I want that
character found right away.

18) the American pop culture explanation
It didn't go to join Hoffa, it's just hanging out on the plantation
resort run by Elvis. If it were truly dead, Mrs. Fletcher would have
been here to find out who killed it. And aliens have kidnapped Clinton's
brain. Yes they have. Don't tell me they didn't; I read it in the
Weekly World News.

19) the Dynasty explanation
Who deleted the character?!

20) the Clue explanation
Col. Mustard did it, in the libarary, with the candlestick.

{{From Griogair Bell}}

21) the PBS answer (in obligatory end rhyme):
characters never delete; they make cameos on Sesame Street

{{From Twoflower}}

22) the Bevis and Butthead explanation
Hehhehheh hehhehheh Hey Bevis, watch this! Heh heh. <click>
Uhhhhhhhhhh. It's gone. <long pause>
Hehheh hehheh. Cool! Do you think we can get some babes this way?

23) the USA Today explanation

Average Number of Characters
Deleted in a Week

Number of   |              ___  |
Characters  |  ___        |XXX| |
Deleted (in | |HHH|  ___  |XXX| |
thousands)  | |HHH| |OOO| |XXX| |
            | |HHH| |OOO| |XXX| |
               PC    MAC   UNIX
                 Computer Type

24) The CNN explanation
And now this breaking news story. A character has just been deleted in
northern Kentucky. Details are sketchy, but it seems a character _has_
been deleted. <pause> We will now go to Peter Arnett, who is standing by
in deletion-torn northern Kentucky.

25) The CNN Headline News explanation
Earlier today, a character was deleted in a small town in northern
Kentucky. No word yet if anyone is to be indicted on murder charges, but
OJ Simpson trial judge Lance Ito has asked perspective jurors to please
stay away from computers just in case this deletion may bias them.

26) The F/X News explanation
A character in northern Kentucky was deleted today.

27) The Operation: Rescue explanation
I'm here at this convention to show the candidates this dead, deleted
character. I don't care if the judge told me I couldn't do this; the
abortion of characters MUST stop! It says in the bible that all life is
sacred, and we at Operation: Rescue feel that every character deserves a
chance to come to maturity and be saved on disk.

28) the Ren and Stimpy explanation
Hey, Ren, what will happen if I press this button? <click>
AAAAAAHHH! You EEE-diot! Don't you know that button DELETES A
CHARACTER?!?!? Now we'll have to type it ALL OVER AGAIN!

{{From Andy "Send me mail. LOTS OF MAIL. GOD! I _LOOOOVE_ MAIL!" Quinn}}

28b) the Ren and Stimpy explanation, clarified
Hey, Ren, what will happen if we start bouncing everything related to
Shari's irritating junk mail back to everyone on the list? Would that
finally get the point across?


{{From Paul Atkinson}}

29) The Microsoft explanation: {{version 2}}
Delete them! Delete them all! We'll turn EVERYTHING into
icons! Mwahahahahaaaa!

30) The Humane Society explanation:
Our buffers are almost full...*sob*...we'll have to delete
another 21.4 KILOBYTES this month...*gasp*...just ONE floppy disk
from you could save over a MILLION characters!

31) The Rush Limbaugh explanation:
Over 1.6 gigabytes per week are deleted by this
administration. Now, do you think this is all being done behind the
president's back? I'm not accusing anyone here, but see? It's




John Griogair Bell - Arlecchino Malbenvolio

“Clown with a Bad Attitude”

Original material is Copyright © 1995 – 2019 J G Bell
Comments, Questions, Suggestions?

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