Casey at the Byte
(with apologies to Ernest Lawrence Thayer)
The meeting at the White House
Wasn't going well that day;
The budget plan was lost,
Thus causing ulcers and dismay;
And when Jones failed at the keyboard
And Kowalski proved a dud,
One could sense some great disaster,
Like an avalanche or flood.
"Don't panic," said the President,
"Don't blab it to the press;
"It's true without the budget plan
"The country's in a mess;
"Two other 'aces' failed so far
"To find just where it is,
"And so I've summoned Casey -
"With computers he's a whiz."
A gasp was heard as Casey
Made his entrance on the scene;
'Twas clear that he was just a lad
No older than sixteen;
And yet despite his lack of years,
One fact outshone the rest -
As a trouble-shooting "hacker"
His credentials were the best.
He boasted a degree from Yale,
Plus two from M.I.T.;
His work with "backup," "RAM" and "track"
was marvelous to see;
The range of his computer skills
Was hailed both near and far
From Commodore to IBM
From Wang to NCR.
There was ease in Casey's manner
As he entered his commands;
One could sense some mighty power
Was contained within his hands.
With lightning speed his fingers moved
To press each crucial key;
"The budget plan exists," he said.
"it cannot hide from me."
With great persistence Casey toiled,
And yet, upon the screen,
No buried data came to light
From in the great machine,
Except for birthday greetings
To a Congressman in Maine,
Two vetos and a slogan
From the '84 campaign.
The strain now shows in Casey's eyes;
He's aged a dozen years;
But then, at last, to joyful shouts,
The budget plan appears!
And now he lifts his head in pride,
A smile upon his face;
And now the mood is shattered
As his elbow hits "ERASE."
Oh, somewhere there are nations
Where the keenest minds prevail,
Where budgets can be balanced
And the experts never fail;
And somewhere data's safely stored,
Preserved beyond a doubt,
But no plan can save the White House -
Klutz Casey wiped it out.