Fun_People Archive
22 Dec
A matter of faith

Date: Thu, 22 Dec 94 16:32:36 PST
To: Fun_People
Subject: A matter of faith

Forwarded-by: Tom Kuhn <>
From: Joel Garreau <>

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!!!!

      - Joel Garreau (, as reported in his Cybersurfing
        column in the Washington Post.

[=] © 1994 Peter Langston []