inessential by Brent Simmons


Reminder: space is still available for Ken Dow's Manila training courses in San Jose next week.

You know that no soap, radio joke, which isn't really a joke, it's just funny to see if people laugh.

Two ducks are sitting in a tub. One turns to the other and says, "Please pass the soap." The other says: "No soap, radio!"

The first time I heard it I laughed. Here's why. It turns out the second duck is a homicidal maniac. I pictured him reaching for the soap, but then suddenly his hand jerks, he grabs the radio, and as he delivers the punchline he tosses the radio into the water. Both ducks are fried.

It's funny. It's a real surprise to the one duck, who just wanted the soap.

The joke is usually told with penguins rather than ducks, but it occurred to me I might get flamed if I portray a penguin as a crazy freak. So ducks it is.

Do ducks taking a bath have a little yellow rubber human?

What if the ducks are, like, Microsoft and Sun? Or Red Hat and Apple? Gnome and KDE?

Bam! Bzzzzzt. Crackle crackle. Oh what joy.

That's my insightful commentary on the software industry for the day.