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Things you won't believe
Genuine ads that challenge reality

And some things you will believe
Haiku error messages

Originally from, February 1998

Genuine ads that challenge reality
The following are excerpts from actual classified sections of US city newspapers.

Illiterate? Write today for free help.

Auto Repair Service. Free pick-up and delivery. Try us once, you'll never go anywhere again.

Our experienced Mom will care for your child. Fenced yard, meals, and smacks included.

Dog for sale: eats anything and is fond of children.

Man wanted to work in dynamite factory. Must be willing to travel.

Stock up and save. Limit: one.

Semi-annual after-Christmas Sale.

Mixing bowl set designed to please a cook with round bottom for efficient beating.

Girl wanted to assist magician in cutting-off-head illusion. Blue Cross and salary.

Dinner Special -- Turkey $2.35; Chicken or Beef $2.25; Children $2.00

For sale: antique desk suitable for lady with thick legs and large drawers.

Now is your chance to have your ears pierced and get an extra pair to take home, too.

For sale: Three canaries of undermined sex.

Great Dames for sale.

Get rid of aunts. Zap does the job in 24 hours.

For Rent: 6-room hated apartment.

Wanted: Man to take care of cow that does not smoke or drink.

Our bikinis are exciting. They are simply the tops.

And now the Superstore -- unequaled in size, unmatched in variety, unrivaled inconvenience.

Things you will believe: Haiku error messages
Salon ( has announced the winners of their "Haiku Error Messages" contest. Haiku is a Japanese style of poetry in which the verse is governed not by accent but by the number of syllables. There are only three lines of respectively 5, 7 and 5 syllables, so it provides an escape from the steady pounding of iambic pentameters. Here are the winners and those of honourable mention:

Everything is gone
Your life's work has been destroyed
Squeeze trigger (yes/no)?

The code was willing
It considered your request
But the chips were weak

A file that big?
It might be very useful
But now it is gone

Login incorrect
Only perfect spellers may
enter this system

First snow then silence
This thousand dollar screen dies
so beautifully

The Tao that is seen
is not the true Tao until
you bring fresh toner

The Web site you seek
cannot be located but
endless others exist

Yesterday it worked
Today it is not working
Windows is like that

You step in the stream
But the water has moved on
This page is not here

No keyboard present
Hit F1 to continue
Zen engineering?

Out of memory
We wish to hold the whole sky
But we never will

Serious error
All shortcuts have disappeared
Screen. Mind. Both are blank

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