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Ode to vi
by Michael Bard
Michael Bard -- all rights reserved

It was a time long ago, a computer far, far away.
A newsgroup question, a request for a list.
To answer I called it, that horrid vi.
At that meeting it beat me, it scarred me for life.
But I wouldn't give in, I wouldn't be beaten.
I would win, I would conquer, if it took all my life.
Through storm and through thunder, through lightning and rain.
I refused to surrender, I would not give in.
I would not be beaten, vi would not win!!
Time and again I failed, time and again it triumphed.
It won all our battles, it won all our fights.
But I would not surrender, I would not give up the fight.
I would not lose the war, I would fight and fight and fight.
I would never give in until I triumphed at last.
I needed a plan, I needed to win.
And then I had it, a simple small thing.
A thing I had lacked, a thing I did need.
A thing so vital - the instruction booklet.

Such a tiny small thing, so small and so thin.
But to me it was nuclear, a mighty -9.
I clasped it to me, that tome of all wisdom.
I cracked it then open, I blew off its dust.
I read all its wisdom, I took all its power.
And then I was ready, I was fully prepared.
My weapon was ready, I would show vi its lord!
With great trepedation I crept up to its side.
To attack unsuspecting, to sneak and surprise.
Ever so slowly, I approached my great foe.
It had vanquished great armies, it had beaten them all.
But now I was ready, my wisdom prepared,
where all else had fallen, I would conquer vi.
In front of the beast, right there sat I down.
It would be but the beast, and me, all alone!

Slowly I swallowed, I held back my great fear.
I knew if I failed, I knew if it won,
the war would be over, the thing would have won.
I turned on the terminal, turned down all the lights.
I typed my login, and my password typed twice.
Then I swallowed and paused, and forced my fear down.
My eyes I just closed, my breath I just held.
Then slowly I typed and I looked at my fear.
Slowly my fingers moved and this word appeared:


For a moment I panicked, for a moment I feared.
For a moment I quivered, under able to move.
My breath it got quick, my eyes remained closed.
And then I remembered, remembered the tome.
I remembered its wisdom, its methods and tricks.
And slowly I smiled, my fear was now quenched.
With a swiftness past human, a sureness past hope,
I typed all my words, I typed all my text.
And now it is over, now its all safe.
The children are happy, their toys in their place
All are at rest, even vi, that poor beast.
For now I have won, I have mastered the trick.
Now I was its master, and it was my slave.
And it took but one trick, a trick oh so simple.
It needed one letter, all it needed was a!

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Website Copyright 2004,2005 Michael Bard.  Please send any comments or questions to him at mwbard@transform.to