That Old Time 2018 IT songbook: Verity, Verity - give us your lyrics, do! We're half crazy, all for the love of you

It's sing-along-a-Stob time

Stob It's that time of year, in the northern hemisphere, when IT specialists reluctantly abandon their rugged, outdoor lifestyle, and gather around Mama's upright piano to sing some favourite old songs... with updated, satirical lyrics. Like these.

An Agile Briefing

(To this tune1)

First thing –
I've trashed the agenda.
I dare say you'll soon guess the leading offender.
Releasing that update sans authorisation
Made three @KevlinHenneys2 at Waterloo station.
Point two –
Let's be discreet please –
The devops are down with Type 2 Kubernetes.
The crux of the matter:
They're roaming Kolkata
Like a posse of drunken Yahoos.
So the MD
Dropped his iPhone XS
And to his great distress
It has died.
Said the Genius:
When it fell in the loo,
It got something quite nasty inside.
Do you remember
That intern we had for three weeks in September?
The build he infected
Went through undetected
And that is the end of the news.

Do Not Adjust Your Set

Eight EXCELLENT languages for the fondleslab-friendly Intranet of Thingies


Recall our Oz sysop
(Who is a dead ringer for young Ian Hislop)
The fluster she mustered when we last discussed her
Has led her to wipe out our Amazon cluster.
The firewall is compromised,
So now our zone is entirely remilit'rised.
The ops are quite nervous; denials of service
Look bad in the monthly reviews.
We're bike-shedding:
Busy shaving our yaks,
Sluicing own-dogfood snacks
With Kool Aid.
'Cos we're dreading
All that technical debt
Which is more than could ever be paid.
Cheer up,
Accounting's high octane
Means salaries have all been converted to blockchain.
Entirely dependable
But quite unspendable
And that is the end of the news.

Lines on hearing on the car radio a superlatively smug commercial for a German automobile manufacturer drawing attention to the fact that their vehicles are now equipped with customised voice control

(It's a long title but then, as Peter Cook once observed in similar circumstances, it's a short song.)

Hey Mercedes:
Why don't you sodding well stop driving up my arse and overtake?

The Router Boot song

(To this tune)

Moh-dem! O moh-hoh-hoh-hoh-dem
Twilight comes and we're still offline.
Moh, I say moh, I say moh, I say moh, I say moh, I say moh, I say moh-hoh-hoh-dem,
Twilight comes and we're still offline.

Wait all day for the van to come.
(Twilight comes and we're still offline.)
A six-hour slot is much too long.
(Twilight comes and we're still offline.)

Virgin man brings a brand new box.
(Twilight comes and we're still offline.)
Plugs him in and juices him up.
(Twilight comes and we're still offline.)

Green flash, green flash, green flash, WHITE!
(Twilight comes and we're still offline.)
Green flash, green flash, green flash, WHITE!
(Twilight comes and we're still offline.)

Verity Stob gloved with pearls

30-up: You know what? Those really weren't the days


Now he says the fault's outside.
(Twilight comes and we're still offline.)
Left his jacket on my chair.
(Twilight comes and we're still offline.)

Do you think he's a-coming back?
(Twilight comes and we're still offline.)
PPE's like a lizard's tail.
(Twilight comes and we're still offline.)

Moh-dem! O moh-oh-oh-dem!
Twilight comes and we're still offline,
Twilight comes and we're still offline.

PS: In fact he did come back, eventually, carrying the strong aroma of a recently snuck cigarette.

PPS: In the end, he got it going by plugging my new router directly into a board in the street cabinet, and powering it up from a battery thing in his van. Just in case it happens to you.

Topical partisan

(To the obvious tune.)

Who wants to be a Brexiteer? (I don't.)
Hang out on Twitter threads and sneer? (I don't.)
Who wants to help to troll the liberal elite?
(The liberal elite? Why, they're so effete!)
Who wants to toady to Rees-Mogg? (I don't.)
Big up bloody Boris on her blog? (Not me.)
Who'd chuck the Irish back in the stew? (I won't.)
And I won't, 'cos I'll remain with EU.

Who wants to be a Brexiteer? (I don't.)
Sic sock puppets everywhere? (I don't.)
Who wants to justify the writing on the bus?
(The writing on the bus? That was just a meejah fuss!)
Who wants to claim Trump's tweets make sense? (Covfefe!)
Who needs to hide racist intents? (and purposes)
Who'd click to stop Referendum Two? (I won't.)
And I won't, 'cos I'll remain with EU. ®


1 My sample is a Tom Lehrer cover of a Noël Coward song, no less. Be impressed.

2 A @KevlinHenney is a humiliating, public software failure, photographed and tweeted to the eponymous account. @KevlinHenneys are frequently seen at ATM machines and supermarket checkouts, but the best ones usually occur at transport hubs, where they enjoy the full benefit of giant displays.

Apologies to Noël Coward, Nobody, Harry Belafonte and Cole Porter.

Personal note

In memory of David Neal, who suggested many of the jokes and ideas in this column over the years. Dave died a few weeks ago, and is a sorely missed colleague and friend – VS. ®

Verity Stob is the pseudonym of a software developer based in London. Since 1988, she has written her "Verity Stob" column for .EXE magazine, Dr. Dobb's Journal and, since 2002, The Register.

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