The Continuing Adventures of Nocilis of Yppolf

As related to BJ Dooley, returning after a 10 year absence.


Nocilis of Yppolf was invented over 10 years ago in the dawn of personal computing. He achieved some popularity in electronic mail distribution for poking fun at various aspects of our industry. It should be noted that most words of importance are written backwards (Nocilis is Silicon, for example). In some cases, however, acronyms are merely placed in lower case or a combination that sounds like the intended item is used. Or, the intended item may be written outright, according to the whim of the writer.

This is the second episode.

1.2 Habeus Corpus

Nocilis had not progressed very much farther before he came to the town of Tnemucod, deep within the heart of Noisufnoc. Here, he was greeted immediately by the mayor.

"It is good that you have come to us, oh Nocilis, for we are just now attempting a grand rearrangment of things, " said the harried administrator.

"I approve of all rearrangment," said Nocilis. "It almost invariably adds a new chapter to my book." He flicked an errant particle of grime from beneath a fingernail, sending it sailing through the air in the general direction of the town. "So, which way, then, shall I proceed to investigate these changes?"

"Well, first take ISO 9000, which you will find a superb paper-surfaced road, to ISO9002, then proceed along ISO9002b. The street names are variously marked along the way, so that you will find ISO 9000 also written as CEN/CENELEC EM 29000, ANSI/ASQC Q 90 and lots of other names. At the end of this street, turn sharply at Bob's Petrol Station, and you will be at the end of the trail.

"This sounds like a very long way to me," said Nocilis, yawning.

"Certainly it is a long way, but the benefits are very clear. At the present time, we have our Engineers writing, our Writers typesetting and designing graphics, our Line Managers marketing, our Marketing people developing products and testing, and our Graphic Artists managing. We are hoping to find a better arrangment by progressing along these roads."

"Could you not make the obvious changes and spare the effort," said Nocilis, wondering if he would at last find himself forced to proceed along the maze-like highways of ISO."

"We could make some changes, it is true," said the mayor. "But who, then, would believe us? It is necessary to have all of the forms in order, and a sufficiency of them."

Nocilis looked around at the great flurry of activity. Tnemucod's harried inhabitants were bustling about with great stacks of paper, some of it in hand and some in special wheelbarrows marked "Controlled Documents". There was a great office in the center of the town, from which issued streams of clerks with the traditional rubberstamp mark emblazoned on their foreheads. Whenever anyone stopped to do anything, he would be immediately surrounded by these clerks, all jostling to record what it was that was being done. When one unfortunate citizen accidentally dropped a coin and stooped to retrieve it, he was almost suffocated by the onrush.

"Indeed this is remarkable," said Nocilis, "But I would much rather get to the end of the changes at once than navigate these highways and pay all these tolls."

"Well," said the mayor, somewhat miffed. "You could just walk to Bob's Petrol Station, which is right behind us, I suppose."

Nocilis thanked him, and proceeded directly to the station--which was exactly twenty paces away.

"Hello, Bob," said Nocilis. I see that you are located right at the end of the route toward change and improvement. What wisdom can you impart."

"As the Americans say, I only pump gas," said Bob.

Nocilis continued along his way, pondering all he had learned in the town of Tnemucod.

(Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 by Brian J. Dooley)