The Little SCCS and the Big Bad Dell


“Daddy, will you tell me another story about the brave SCCS and the evil Dell?”
“But kiddo, I told you that story last night!”
“But I love it ever so much… pleeeeeeease???”
“Oh, all right…”

Once upon a time, there was a college computer society that everyone called The Little SCCS. The Little SCCS was walking along a path through the woods one day, when suddenly a spiky-haired teenager jumped out from the underbrush. “Dude, you’re getting Dell!!” he screamed, trying to be as annoying as possible. The Little SCCS knew better than to talk to strangers, but this silly man sounded like he wanted to give him a present. The Little SCCS liked presents ever so much. The strange (and now somewhat more terrifying) adolescent turned around, and reached into his pants. After several minutes of grunting and intense soul searching, he pulled a Dell Poweredge 2500 server out of his
backside.

The Little SCCS had never seen such a disgusting sight before, even though he once met your mom, a known wicked witch. Still, it was against his nature to refuse such an amazing gift. He knew in his heart, however, that the price would be very, very high. The Little SCCS pulled some shiny rocks out of his pocket. He had found them on the edge of a small brook, and picked them up because he hoped that they were magic pebbles. That, however, is another story.

The Dell spokesman, with a pained look on his face, took The Little SCCS’ money. He then disappeared in a gout of flame, cackling all the while. As the unmistakeable smell of brimstone wafted through the glade, The Little SCCS could hear the echo of his words: “Dude, you’re getting Dell! Dude, you’re getting dell… you’re getting dell… delllll…. delllllll…. DELLLLLLL!!!!!”

The Little SCCS put the formidable looking server on his wagon that he had forgotten he had with him. He knew then and there that his new friend needed a name, a good name. Since he had paid the man with very small stones, The Little SCCS decided to name his new server “Roc”. It is unfortunate that the little tyke could not spell.

The Little SCCS turned around and started walking home, pulling his beautiful new server behind him. He knew that with such a heavy load it would be a long journey, but eventually he would make it. Plus, the trip would be much more fun now that he had a new friend!

After a few hours of walking, The Little SCCS decided that he needed a rest. He sat down, lifted Roc off of the wagon, and put him on the ground. “Let’s play a game!”, said The Little SCCS. Roc stood there, as silent as the dark metal from
which he was forged. “Hmmm…”, thought The Little SCCS, “Maybe my new server didn’t come with enough storage space! That’s why he can’t play any games!”

Being the smart little lad that he was, The Little SCCS had saved one of the pebbles he had found. This turned out to be a very good thing to have done, because the shiny black pebble was a real, honest-to-goodness wishing stone! SCCS wished with all of his might, concentrating on the biggest hard drive he could imagine.

::POOF!::

A man wearing a weird-looking hat with the letters “FedEx” on it appeared out of thin air. “Sign here, please”, he said, as he proffered a clipboard towards The Little SCCS. He had never signed for a package before, and he was very happy to do it now. Unfortunately, The Little SCCS did not know how to spell his own name, even though it was made up entirely of letters. He just put an “X” on the dotted line.

::POOF!::

The delivery man disappeared just as suddenly as he had come, and in his place was a small cardboard box. The Little SCCS grabbed his trusty pocket knife, and opened it. Inside were three shiny new hard drives, smelling fresh, like they had just been picked off of the hard drive tree! At the bottom of the box were two drive carriers, wrapped carefully in plastic.

The Little SCCS counted again. “One… two… three drives, ah-ah-ah!” he chuckled to himself. One… two… only two drive carriers! What was the meaning of this foul trickery? At that very moment, The Little SCCS remembered the scary laughter of the Dell man. “Duuuuuuude…. you’re getting Deeeeelllllll… MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!”

The Little SCCS pulled out the wishing stone again, only to find that it was not nearly as shiny as before. He realized that he had already used his only wish. Not wanting to waste what had been given to him, The Little SCCS put the two empty drive carriers in Roc’s belly. Roc did not play games, or start moving, or even do anything at all. The Little SCCS was very, very sad, as sad as a campus organization can be.

He sat down on a boulder on the side of the path. The thought and he thought, and he thunk and he thunk, and he thought and thunk until he could think no more. Just as he was about to stop pondering this most difficult of quandaries, The Little SCCS had an idea.

“I know!”, he exclaimed. “I shall call Dell Customer Service! They shan’t deny me my rightful prize!” The Little SCCS ran over to the nearest emergency tree and picked up the phone.

“DA-ADD!!”
“What?”
“Phones don’t grow on trees!”
“Kiddo, this was a very long time ago, in a far off land. All sorts of magical things could happen once upon a time…”

After a long wait listening to the worst music he had ever heard, The Little SCCS ordered another drive carrier. As it turns out, these drive carriers are nearly identical in every way to the little bits of plastic and metal that his new friend Roc already had installed. The Little SCCS decided it was best not to think about such things, since logic and customer service rarely go together well. Perhaps he had gotten more than he bargained for when the strange creature gave him this powerful new server to be his friend.

The Little SCCS waited. A short time later, ::POOF::, another cardboard box appeared, this time out of thick air. He opened it, and rejoiced to find the third drive carrier that he needed. He laid the three new hard drives
out on the clean path, next to the three drive carriers. He pulled out his pocketknife, and flipped open the screwdriver attachment. It was at that moment that he noticed that something had gone terribly, horribly wrong.

“Eight screws! But there are three drive carriers now… Dell should have given me four more screws! Now what am I going to do?” The Little SCCS decided that he had better call the far-off land of Dell’s headquarters one more time. In the nicest, cutest voice he could muster, he asked her for four more drive screws, no more, no less. She said that she would have to check.

After ten more minutes of listening to the most eerily catchy bad music he had ever heard, the Little SCCS was about to have a tantrum. He also swore he could hear the screams of the damned in the background, hidden by the music. Finally, the Dell woman came back to the phone.

“The sacred mounting screws that you desire are five cents a piece.” The Little SCCS could not believe what he had just heard. He stood agape, silent. “However, I have been authorized by the sales department to ship them to you for free.” The Little SCCS did not know what a sales department was, nor had he heard of the word “authorized”. He assumed it was a horrible punishment for doing something wrong, like forgetting four screws. The Little SCCS did not ever want to meet a sales department, no, not ever.

The Little SCCS waited again, but this time there was no new cardboard box. He wondered if he should expect an envelope instead. He waited some more, but still nothing. The Little SCCS decided that he really, really wanted to play with his new friend Roc, so he had better use the screws he had. He carefully placed each hard drive inside of a drive carrier, and attached it with two or three screws. “There,” he thought. “Now Roc will be able to play with me, and I don’t have to wait for Dell to send me more screws!”

The Little SCCS carefully inserted the three drives into the empty hole in Roc’s belly. Three small green lights turned on, one on each of the hard drive carriers. The Little SCCS hoped that this was the good kind of magic that you read about, not the bad kind that he had experienced thus far. A low hum filled the surrounding forest, emanating from Roc. For the first time, he spoke: “Hello, Friend!”. Roc and The Little SCCS cavorted all the way home, happy at last.

Several days later, The Little SCCS and his best friend Roc were playing out in the yard when an unexpected thing happened: a small envelope fell out of the sky and hit Roc on the head. The Little SCCS picked it up. It was addressed to him! On the front of the envelope, it said “Airborne Express”, and had the dark mark of Dell all over it. He opened it and was surprised to find a single drive mounting screw. Throwing his head back, The Little SCCS yelled up into the sky, shaking his fists in the air: “mmmmmDEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLL!!!!”. There was no response.

The Little SCCS decided that he might as well make the best of it, so he gave one of Roc’s hard drives the new mounting screw. “Well,” he said to no one in particular, “Now I can say I’ve been screwed by Dell. I only hope that now this means that I’m finally free of the curse…”.

Thus ends the story of The Little SCCS and the Big Bad Dell.

“Thanks Dad. I love that story!”
“I know. But never forget the moral: never accept a gift from the pants of a stranger.”
“Don’t worry, Dad. I won’t! Are you ever going to tell me the rest of it?”
“The rest of it? I don’t know what you’re talking about…”
“But there must be more! What happens to Roc after this? Do they stay friends? What do they do for fun?”
“I’ll tell you someday, kiddo. Someday.”

I think I may submit to BEM. What do you think?

3 comments on “The Little SCCS and the Big Bad Dell
  1. tirerim says:

    I think that if I were still editor I would reject it. :-) But I see no reason to save the current editors any pain or suffering.

    (Actually, I thought it was good — it’s just the subject matter that doesn’t quite work…)

  2. Nicolas Ward says:

    I know it doesn’t fit. But I can’t think of any other publication (outside of LJ and my personal website) that would take it :oP.

    It’s too big to put in SWAPA, I think.

  3. tirerim says:

    No it isn’t — it’s only about three pages in a reasonably sized font. People routinely have zines that are much longer than that.

Nurd Up!