``The question is, why is the server down?''
``How disappointing. I was hoping it'd be grander, maybe about what we're supposed to do with all these potoroos.''
``Leave them in the break room, so they can do something about that box of plastic spoons we can't open.''
``Is that wise?''
``If they open it we can finally get back to spoon fights. If they can't at least we'll have claw marks on the uncomfortable chairs.''
``That answers the potoroo question.''
``So we're ready if it's asked, or if the server question mutates. The trouble is we have to answer why the server's down.''
``We left it in the basement?''
``No, it likes it there.''
``It's an unfinished basement.''
``Ah, but it's a smaller unfinished basement than the old place's.''
``Why enter that into evidence?''
``Since it's a smaller unfinished one, it's more nearly finished, so it's a step up, and therefore if the server were down it would be partly back up already. Therefore we must identify other causes for server down-ness.''
``The most common cause of a server being down is that it doesn't exist at all.''
``You wouldn't think a server could be a hallucination.''
``And if you didn't hallucinate a server then it would never respond to anything, just like the server being down. That's happened. Lycos was doing fine business until somebody remembered there was no such thing and then, poof, it was all gone except for the bumper sticker they couldn't clean off the window of that bus we keep getting.''
``I never did get my e-mail out of them.''
``It was all forwards of those trails showing how the forwards were forwarded anyway.''
``Shame you didn't tell me this yesterday. I could have not gone down there, and then the problem could have been that we'd failed to imagine there was a server.''
``That would've been easier, yes. Instead of getting the server running we could have just gone and got a server and started it running.''
``We'd have to get a server and get it started, and then let it go down.''
``It would be down, if we used the basement again. A whole flight of stairs.''
``You're right, the new server wouldn't have the old unfinished basement to compare to. It'd be nothing but down. And it's a fleet of stairs.''
``It'd be down the moment it was up. And it's only a fleet of stairs in a navy.''
``Quite a time-saver. But we need an explanation for our server since it knows the old place. What're other common server issues?''
``The network cable might be accidentally plugged into a goat which eats the outgoing packets.''
``That's unlikely. Goats don't like the taste of networking packets. They just like the glue which keeps the wrappers on.''
``Can't be our problem anyway. We wrap our packets in twisted cellophane. It was the only way to have recipients get an irritating rustling noise reliably.''
``What if we put the potoroos down in the basement?''
``I'm not falling for that one.''
``Yet you acknowledge I'm right. In any case potoroos don't have the network ports. They're all FireWire.''
``What are uncommon reasons for a server to be down? That might get us farther.''
``I've never heard of a server being down because of a lack of sunspots.''
``Ah, but what causes a lack of sunspots?''
``Regular use of a streak-free cleaner.''
``And we can rule that out, since I haven't cleaned the sun in months.''
``Plus you didn't actually use a cleaner.''
``I used a spray bottle full of some blueish-green liquid.''
``That doesn't mean it's a cleaner. It might have been a limited-edition brand of soda you don't drink.''
``Wait --- that it! I didn't drink it, and therefore ... ''
``It's a limited-edition soda and not a cleanser, so ... ''
``There wasn't a lack of sunspots ... ''
``So if the server is down and not our hallucination ... ''
``Then it must be us that don't exist instead!''
Two hours later the potoroos let themselves out of the break room. They would have been done quicker had they remembered Baseball Hall of Famer Eppa Rixley, 17 down, was nicknamed ``Jeptha''.
Trivia: When introduced under England's King Henry II the trial by jury was merely an option which the defendant in a criminal case could not be compelled to request. The only legally sanctioned means of trial, though, was the ordeal by water. Source: A History Of The Middle Ages, 284 - 1500, Sidney Painter.
Currently Reading: The Mermaid And The Messerschmitt: War Through A Woman's Eyes, 1939 - 1940, Rulka Langer.