Ok, for anyone old enough and involved in the Internet in the early 90’s, Demon Internet was the only real end-user ISP and back in those days people considered “Newsgroups” a critical part of Internet infrastructure, to an extent, more so than email. Unfortunately Newsgroups, Demon’s in particular, acquired a reputation for being less than 100% reliable - hence this posting on alt.fan.monty-python;
(With apologies ... Well, no, not really ...)
The Demon Internet Shoppe
A customer enters the Demon internet shop.
Customer: 'Ello, I wish to register a complaint.
(Giles does not respond.)
C: ‘Ello, Miss?
Giles: What do you mean “miss”?
C: I’m sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint!
G: We’re closin’ for a software upgrade.
C: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this news server what I paid to access not half an hour ago at this very boutique.
G: Oh yes, the, uh, the Norwegian Blue…What’s,uh…What’s wrong with it?
C: I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it, my lad. It’s dead, that’s what’s wrong with it!
G: No, no, it’s uh,…it’s just busy.
C: Look, matey, I know a dead news server when I see one, and I’m looking at one right now.
G: No no it’s not dead, it’s, it’s busy’! Remarkable server, the Norwegian Blue, idn’it, ay? Beautiful processors!
C: The processors don’t enter into it. It’s stone dead.
G: Nononono, no, no! It’s busy!
C: All right then, if it’s busy’, I’ll wake it up! (kicking the server)
'Ello, Mister news server! I’ve got a lovely fresh article for you if you show…(Giles taps surreptitiously at the keyboard)
G: There, it responded!
C: No, it didn’t, that was you on the keyboard!
G: I never!!
C: Yes, you did!
G: I never, never did anything…
C: (kicking the server repeatedly) 'ELLO NEWS SERVER!!!
nntp kick! nntp kick! nntp kick! nntp kick! This is your six o’clock overload!
(Yanks the RAID disk array away from the processor-box and thumps it on the counter. Throws it up in the air and watches it plummet to the floor.)
C: Now that’s what I call a dead news server.
G: No, no…No, it’s stunned!
G: Yeah! You stunned it, just as it was wakin’ up! Norwegian Blues stun easily, major.
C: Um…now look…now look, mate, I’ve definitely ‘ad enough of this.
That news server is definitely deceased, and when I subscribed not ‘alf an hour ago, you assured me that its total lack of response was due to
it bein’ tired and shagged out following a prolonged re-boot.
G: Well, it’s…it’s, ah…probably pining for some e-mail.
C: PININ’ for some E-MAIL?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?, look, why did it fall flat on its back the moment I accessed it from home?
G: The Norwegian Blue prefers workin’ on it’s back! Remarkable server, id’nit, squire? Lovely pair of processors!
C: Look, I took the liberty of checking out that server when I got home, and Anthony said the only reason that it had been sitting on the Internet in the first place was that it had been NAILED there.
G: Well, o’course it was nailed there! If I hadn’t nailed that server down, the news would have nuzzled up to that ethernet, connected to its interface, and VOOM! Feeweeweewee!
C: “VOOM”?!? Mate, this server wouldn’t “voom” if you put four million volts through it! It’s bleedin’ demised!
G: No no! It’s pining!
C: It’s not pinin’! It’s passed on! This server is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired all the news and gone to meet its programmer! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed it to the Internet it’d be pushing up the daisies! Its electronic impulses are now ‘istory! It’s off the twig! It’s kicked the bit bucket, it’s shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisibile!!
THIS IS AN EX-NEWS SERVER!!
G: Well, I’d better replace it, then. (he takes a quick peek behind the counter)
G: Sorry squire, I’ve had a look 'round the back of the shop, and uh, we’re right out of news servers.
C: I see. I see, I get the picture.
G: I got a smart mail host.
C: (sweet as sugar) Pray, does it provide news?
G: Nnnnot really.
C: WELL IT’S HARDLY A BLOODY REPLACEMENT, IS IT?!!???!!?
G: Look, if you go to my brother’s internet shop in Bolton, he’ll replace the news server for you.
C: Bolton, eh? Very well.
Customer enters the same internet shop. Giles is putting on a false moustache.
C: This is Bolton, is it?
G: (with a fake mustache) No, it’s Ipswich.
C: (looking at the camera) That’s the information super-highway for you.
The customer goes to the local packet router.
He addresses a man standing behind a desk marked “Complaints”.
C: I wish to complain, Packet-Router Person. Attendant: I DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS JOB, YOU KNOW!!!
C: I beg your pardon…?
A: I’m a qualified brain surgeon! I only do this job because I like being my own boss!
C: Excuse me, this is irrelevant, isn’t it?
A: Yeah, well it’s not easy to pad these python files out to 200 lines, you know.
C: Well, I wish to complain. I got on the Bolton packet and found myself deposited here in Ipswich.
A: No, this is Bolton.
C: (to the camera) The Demon internet shop man’s brother was lying!!
A: Can’t blame the router for that.
C: In that case, I shall return to the internet shop!
C: I understand this IS Bolton.
G: (still with the fake mustache) Yes?
C: You told me it was Ipswich!
G: …It was a pun.
C: (pause) A PUN?!?
G: No, no…not a pun…What’s that thing that spells the same backwards as forwards?
C: (Long pause) A palindrome…?
G: Yeah, that’s it!
C: It’s not a palindrome! The palindrome of “Bolton” would be “notloB”!! It don’t work!!
G: Well, what do you want?
C: I’m not prepared to pursue my line of inquiry any longer as I think this is getting too silly!
Cliff: Quite agree, quite agree, too silly, far too silly…