In Chaos and riots,

The screech of machines,

No right and no wrong,

And no in-betweens.

Is this work music or what? Still, five times through is enough, and it's time to slot in "Fixed", kick up the volume a little bit (a little bit is all that's left) and participate in another of the frenzied memories that leave me shuddering.

Tales of the Master #4:

In which the Master instructs the young.

Customer A: Do you think he's awake?

Customer B: Nah, he's asleep.

Customer A: Well, should we wake him up?

Zen-Master Greg: My child, there is no need.

Customer A: Who said that?

Zen-Master Greg: I did, my child. I was merely resting my eyes.

Customer B: While snoring?

Zen-Master Greg: A mystic breathing exercise. What is your query?

Customer A: Oh, we just wanted to know if you were awake.

Zen-Master Greg: You are now closer to enlightenment. Go in peace, my children. Now.

Customer A: Why do you keep calling us that?

Zen-Master Greg: To what do you refer, child?

Customer A: That! You keep calling us 'child' and 'children'.

Zen-Master Greg: Are you not?

Customer A: No way! I'm 15 and he's 16. So cut it out.

Zen-Master Greg: Truly, I am far from enlightenment and the terms were not in the least appropriate. I shall endeavour to better suit my address to your luminous natures.

Customer A: Good.

Zen-Master Greg: Is there anything else?

Customer A: No we'll be fine. We're both computer experts.

(5 minutes later)

Customer A: Are you asleep again?

Zen-Master Greg: Your presence wearies me. Speak before I am tried beyond endurance.

Customer A: Oh, okay. Um, my friend wants to know of some ftp-sites where he can get some games. Can you help?

Zen-Master Greg: Surely. Try, and

Customer A: Thanks. Ah, can you write those down?

Zen-Master Greg: It is a pleasure to help those lesser than one's self.

Customer A: Thank you.

(5 minutes later)

Customer A: Hey, get your head off the desk!

Zen-Master Greg: Yet my head is on my hands.

Customer A: So?

Zen-Master Greg: I fear that were I to release my hands they might move of their own accord.

Customer A: You're really strange. And the music is crap, too.

Zen-Master Greg: Your wisdom belies your countenance.

Customer A: What's that?

Zen-Master Greg: You look very intelligent.

Customer A: Oh. Right. Look, those ftp-sites you gave us weren't any good.

Zen-Master Greg: And why not?

Customer A: Well, my friend wants this game, and it wan't on any of them.

Zen-Master Greg: And the name of this game?

Customer A: Magic.

Zen-Master Greg: Ah, but that is a commercial game, and you could not want a site containing that, FOR THAT WOULD BE ILLEGAL WITH THE PENALTY FOR DOWNLOADING CONSISTING OF CIVIL AND CRIMINAL PENALTIES INCLUDING FINES OF $100,000.

Customer A: Okay, okay, okay. And could you lower your voice? All these people are staring.

Zen-Master Greg: Indeed. Truly the world is vexing. Now you must go and tell your friend that WHAT HE WANTS IS ILLEGAL AND HE SHOULD STOP TRYING TO DO IT AT ONCE.

Customer A: Okay, okay. Just be quiet. I'm going.

Zen-Master Greg: Now you begin to see enlightenment.

(30 minutes pass)

Zen-Master Greg: Nothing can stop me now, 'cause I don't care anymore.

Customer A: Hi again.

Zen-Master Greg: Nothing can stop me now, 'cause I don't care.

Customer A: Excuse me for being rude, but that music is bugging the shit out of me. Can you turn it off?

Zen-Master Greg: I shall do as you ask, O one who is as a moth entranced by the flame of enlightenment.

(30 minutes later)

Brother Mike: Hi Greg, how's it... Jesus Christ! Why's the music up so loud? GREG, WHAT'S WITH THE MUSIC? Hell, I'll just turn it down.

Zen-Master Greg: Greetings, fellow seeker of enlightenment.

Brother Mike: Why was the music so loud? And why do you have bits of paper in your ears?

Zen-Master Greg: Forgive me, but could you repeat the question once I have removed the paper?

Brother Mike: Why on earth was the music so loud?

Zen-Master Greg: I had great need.

Brother Mike: Didn't the customers complain?

Zen-Master Greg: Truly they did not. Indeed, they asked for it.

Brother Mike: Really?

Zen-Master Greg: Truly. They even tapped on the door in time to some of the more enlightening passages.

Brother Mike: That door over there?

Zen-Master Greg: You speak with wisdom.

Brother Mike: That closed door? The locked one?

Zen-Master Greg: Truth is strong within you. I closed and locked the when it appeared the glass might shake loose.

Brother Mike: Are you going to let them out?

Zen-Master Greg: Is it not that there exists nothing eternal?

Brother Mike: It is so.

Zen-Master Greg: Then even that which we wish were forever must end.

(60 minutes pass)

Zen-Master Greg: Greetings, O customers. Might I ask you to leave now, as the Sage has asked me to run the assimilator program before I leave.

Customer B: But it's not 7pm yet.

Zen-Master Greg: It is truth you speak, yet time is an illusion, and I wish to leave now.

Customer A: Well we're not going until 7pm. You can get stuffed. I'm going to finish this game.

Zen-Master Greg: You are aware of the notion of karma, grasshopper.

Customer A: Yeah, so what?

Zen-Master Greg: Enlightenment will come.

Customer B: Ah, are you kicking those chairs for a reason?

Zen-Master Greg: Order is of benefit to the universe. I am placing them according to pattern and availing myself of catharsis.

Customer B: But you're kicking them across the room.

Zen-Master Greg: The patterns of the universe are indeed strange, and not to be understood by those who are as unworthy pustules upon the buttocks of the Buddha.

(5 minutes pass)

Zen-Master Greg: As time is measured, it is now 7pm.

Customer A: Okay, just one more life.

Zen-Master Greg: That life may not be long.

Customer B: Oh, he's really good at this game.

Zen-Master Greg: The unenlightened listen, but do not hear.

Customer A: Damn. Well, that's it.

Zen-Master Greg: Even the worst agony must end.

Customer A: Okay, we're out of here. Oh, one small thing.

Zen-Master Greg: Yes, O gnat?

Customer A: I've got some files on this machine that I haven't saved to disk. Can I just leave them on there?

Zen-Master Greg: As long as they are on the illuminated temp directory, there is no problem.

Customer A: They're on the hard drive, actually. There wasn't enough space on temp.

Zen-Master Greg: Yet the most excellent temp directory has a capacity of 15 meg.

Customer A: Well I started downloading this stuff via the web and it didn't fit.

Zen-Master Greg: You downloaded this stuff over the mysterious web, the cosmic nature of which is such that this facility gets billed for each megabyte downloaded.

Customer A: Yeah. So can you take care of it?

Zen-Master Greg: The files shall be taken care of.

Customer A: Thanks a lot. Oh, and if you can tell Pete that that mail I sent him about you doesn't count?

Zen-Master Greg: It shall be as though the mail never reached him.

Customer A: Okay. See you later.

*And when the lusers came back the next day, they became enlightened, and did not return*


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