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 fourth episode.

1.4 E Plurbis Unum

Now, Nocilis had not gone very much farther when he was beset by a gang of Tnatlusnoc. These ferocious creatures always travel in large packs, and can generally be distinguished by their habit of making always much the same noise. The noise itself changes from time to time, but it is a sure thing that the whole tribe of Tnatlusnoc will take it up and each, according to his capacity, will screech it, belch it, chortle it, or yodel it until a victim either expires of the endless repetition or of the bad advice.

Nocilis was cornered. He shook his ample nose and snorted hideously in the traditional call to battle of his tribe. It had no effect. He shrugged. It would be necessary to endure.

"Hellomygoodsirthankyouforcallingus" the Tnatlusnoc cried in unison. Then each stepped forward in turn for its specialty call:

"Xinu," honked a large, fat one.

"Ans," gargled a tall, serious one in a blue suit.

"Tnemeganam," bleated a pin-striped type with a loud tie.

"Derutcurts Edoc," burped a large one with a beard and bluejeans.

And so forth. Then they broke into their chorus:

We are the knowing people,
Philosophers of DP;
We keep the sacred secrets,
And sell them for a fee;
Our advice is often useless,
And we follow ever fad;
But we're insured, so sue us,
If you feel you've been had.

Nocilis had closed his eyes during this recitation, awaiting the worst. But now there was silence, so he opened one eye cautiously and looked around. The Tnatlusnoc were all standing frozen in position, making not a move, uttering not a sound.

"Remarkable," said Nocilis to himself. "What colossal power could have caused this?"

Then he saw it, just a speck as yet, descending rapidly towards its prey...a Noitaluger! Now, these birds have been known to prey upon virtually anything, and are generally considered dangerous scavengers, but Nocilis was too relieved to consider them anything but good.

"Oh, ye birds of the air, ye Noitaluger, come in great multitude and feast upon these," he cried.

Suddenly, the sky was full of them. Nocilis counted the possible articles of food, then counted the number of birds, and seeing a great disparity between the two, he departed hastily.

But alas, escape was not to be had. For the land of the Tnatlusnoc is deep and wide, and once within, it is nearly impossible to leave. Nocilis had come at last to the border, and there, in lofty prominence, in awesome magnificence, in overwhelming self-admiration....there in the pass, and solidly blocking the way was the bum of a PC Guru.

"You must listen to me," he thundered, "for I am very important."

"Indeed?" said Nocilis.

"Of course. You have heard of me."

"Surely, that makes you neither more nor less important," responded Nocilis.

"And I am very, very, big."

"This is also true, but not of very much interest, I'm afraid."

"But you will hear my story," said the Guru. "If you do not listen, I will not let you past."

"Well." said Nocilis, with relief. He had not supposed that he would be permitted to leave at all. There were many stories of travelers held prisoner by such Gurus, talked at incessantly about the Guru's accomplishments, interests, importance, knowledge, omnipotence, omniscience, and so forth, until they gradually withered away and perished.

"Well," continued Nocilis, "then go on."

The Guru cleared its throat with a great harrumph that echoed through the hills. He then began to sing:

"When I was young, I invented a system for counting the pigs in the sky.
It was just an amusement, it didn't concern me that, at the time, pigs couldn't fly.
Now, accidents happen with Science, of course, and the outcome is sure to be big
Giganticorp let a stray gene get away, and invented the flying pig.
The Director said "make it seem part of our plan, take a pig inventory," and then
They contacted me, and paid a large fee, and now I'm a genius again!

"(Hey Nonny, Nonny, there are bells in my tummy, and a bat just flew up my nose.)

"Now I give lectures, on how to do business, and all of the businessmen listen.
They all are respectful, because of the fortune I've made from my pig counting system.
Giganticorp failed, and the pigs have all died, but I was a pioneer,
I made all my money by luck and by chance, but so I don't let it appear.
My fortune is growing, I know less and less, am renowned still for my acumen;
So they all pay my fee, and listen to me, and now I'm a genius again.

"(Hey Nonny, Nonny, there are bells in my tummy, and a bat just flew up my nose.)"

Before the last words were uttered, while the Guru was still wrapt in self admiration, Nocilis had managed to slip away. Another day passed, another brush with danger, and the great Nocilis was again on his way.

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