This place matters

This place matters

Monday, October 8, 2012

Irreconcilable Differences: A Play in One Act

Kludge (noun): A messy fix, often unsustainable in the long term. Primarily computer programming slang. This kludge stops the error message from popping up, but doesn't prevent the error condition from occurring.
Kludgy (adjective): Having to with sloppy computer fixes - also may refer to section of code containing multiple kludges. 
Uncertain origin, though there are many fanciful guesses peppering the Internet. May be related to a Germanic word, klug, meaning clever; contrariwise, could be related to the Scots word kludge for public toilet.
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Brigid: Hey Monkey, I could use your help. I want to write a blog post on the word kludge.
Jeremy: It's a good word.
Brigid: So, would this be a good analogy for kludge? Let's say your doorbell breaks, but you really need a doorbell right now. So you staple a rubber chicken over the broken doorbell, so people can squeak it when the want in. Then, when the chicken turns out not to do the trick, you cut a hole in its belly and stick a jingle bell in there. And then when you get an actual replacement doorbell, instead of taking the whole rubber-chicken-jingle-bell contraption down, you just glue the new doorbell on over it.
Jeremy: I guess so, sure.
Brigid: You're not laughing.
Jeremy: Oh, is it supposed to be funny?
Brigid: Of course it's funny, there's a rubber chicken.
Jeremy: Okay, sure.
Brigid: You're still not laughing.
Jeremy: It's just... well...
Brigid: YOU don't think rubber chickens are funny, do you?
Jeremy: They're not that funny.
Brigid: [sobbing] I thought I knew you.
Jeremy: I mean, I guess if you've got a rubber chicken as part of a sight gag or something, sure, in the right context it could be funny. But just using the words rubber chicken doesn't make something funny.
Brigid: Blasphemy! Rubber chickens in sight gags are hilarious. Rubber chickens in conversation are slightly, slightly less so.
Jeremy: They're really not.
Brigid: I want a divorce. You are not the man I thought you were.
Jeremy: I suppose that's fair.
Brigid: Hey, you think it would be funny if, instead of just using the rubber chicken thing, I presented the post in the form of the conversation we just had?
Jeremy: Not really, no.
Brigid: Why don't you ever support me?
Jeremy: Because I kinda hate you.
Brigid: Can't argue with that.
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Proof that rubber chickens are the definition of comedy:


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