With apologies to Dr. Seuss

OK, if Hollywood can jump on the bandwagon with the Grinch (I refuse to see it – how could it possibly touch the animated Boris Karloff version? Must be like a colourized Casablanca) and Broadway can do Seussical the Musical, why not your humble correspondent? I hope Theodor Geisel (his real name, don’t you know) wouldn’t disapprove too strongly:

In all of the town, the most wonderful spot

is anywhere I am where my cell phone is not

When they’re stuck, I’m the guy the tough calls pass to

I hate the damn job, but I do it ’cause I has to

My cell phone’s lightweight, the damn thing is wireless

with this new one I’ve got, the battery’s tireless

The library, bathtub, mid good book or on train

outrunning this wireless wonder’s in vain

This modcon keeps ringing, and despite my best work

I’m always connected to some short-tempered jerk

“It just doesn’t work!” he’ll yell in my ear

well before he’s established that I’m really here

I’m at work or at play, at home or I’m not

the phone always rings in some godawful spot

The Safeway, the tub, the quiet concert hall

Answer I must, for I am on call

Phone in my hand now, and I’m gloomily thinking

“Before I picked up, I wish I’d been drinking”

No drink to be had, too late to hang up

I say to my spouse “Go ahead, I’ll catch up”

So I gather my strength and say very nicely

“So what doesn’t work, please tell me, politely?

The network gone down? A printer berserk?

The 10MB spreadsheet that won’t save your work?”

Bracing myself for abuse and rebuttal,

I’m surprised when the voice is now soft and quite subtle

He says it again, much smaller, more tame:

“It just doesn’t work, this whole Internet game”

A dropped connection? A bad URL?

Is he stuck in some download paralysis hell?

“What’s up?” say I, “Say it now and I’ll fix it

Say it now and I’ll fix it, I will if I’m able

Could be your typing, could be a bad cable…”

“No, no,” says my friend on the end of the line

“It’s bigger than that, my cable’s just fine”

“What I want to know,” he said with a sigh,

“is why all these internet stocks went so high

and then they all cratered, fell a ways, yes they did

and put my net worth in a terrible skid”

Before I could speak, before I could stir,

“I had all these tech stocks for almost a year

They were up, I was rich, the future was bright

Seems all of my money disappeared overnight”

I’ve heard it before, I’ll likely hear it again

in the voices of non-techie women and men

“They said it was sure fire, they said it would fly”

I could almost hear tears welling up in his eyes

I’d said it before, and I’ll say it again

‘though at this point advice never wins any friends

“There’s no silver bullet, no miracle cure

no Web business model where profits are sure”

We’ve been here before, same story, new games,

client/server and objects and CASE were the names

of the ones that came earlier, hyped to the sky

and any stock with ’em was rated a BUY

In the digital age, the rules still apply

you’ve got to have something for people to buy

real products or services, real value for money

not pipe dreams, not press clippings constantly sunny”

I’d said enough, I was sure, to the voice most concerned

he wasn’t the only poor sod who’d been burned

But I couldn’t resist, with this audience of one

I couldn’t resist, and before I was done

“For two thousand and one and beyond,” I suggest

“Buy what you’d make use of yourself, more or less

If it doesn’t make profits, if it doesn’t spin cash

Avoid it, avoid it, I say like a rash”

“Thank you” he said and he hung up the call

and I stood there with mine in a suburban mall

“A better next year, I’m sure that it could be

and I turned off my cell to ensure that it would be”

Hanley is an IS professional in Calgary. He can be reached at [email protected].

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