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 sixth episode.
"The travels of Nocilis were broad and long; So too was his beard."-- Xedmoc the Magnificent
N ocilis laboured mightily up the great mound called Core, stave in hand, ready to participate in the Feast of Feasts, a once yearly event held at the great Fair of Fairs. From this lofty position, he could overlook all of the little folk who had come to show their wares below. For he had an Invitation.
Every citizen of Retupmoc lusted after an invitation to the Feast of Feasts; but very few were chosen. It was a matter of proportion. The PC gurus were here in force, on account of their gigantic behinds; some from among the Tnatlusnoc were here, due to their loudness of voice. Nocilis was in by a nose, and others were called for the dimensions of sundry other parts.
At the top of the mound, there was a vast table laid out with a great variety of food. There was stuffed Muitnep, sweet Draobrehtom, cakes of Oediv, and grilled mouse. There were chips with Repmuj sauce, and both the hot and sour varieties of simms. In the centre of the table was a great Xinu, its head lopped off, and it was stuffed with awks, greps, troffs, and nroffs. At the far end of the table, almost beyond sight, was an 'Mbi Emarfeniam, broiled in a bed of cics, and there was also a Ced-Xav pudding, reaching well into the sky, made up of many layers, each one smaller than the next.
Turbanned waiters swarmed briskly about, carrying great steaming platters of Sysinu, baskets of Gnaw-Inim, and trays of Emirp.
Nocilis surveyed this bounty, thanked his hosts, peered briefly at the sky, muttered something, then disappeared in a rage of grunts, drools, and sputtering noises as the contents of the table disappeared altogether. He was joined in this ferocious activity by a two dozen or so selected beings from all over Retupmoc. For nearly an hour, nothing could be heard but the gnashing of teeth, the cavernous echo of satisfied burps, and a running chorus of gurgles, slurps, growls and various other eating sounds.
After the remnants of the meal had been shifted away, some portions removed forcibly from the hands of snarling consumers, the table erupted into a chorus of serious discussions concerning the issues of the day, and the great significance of all the various doings in Retupmoc.
"Burp," said Nocilis, to his neighbor.
"Gargle glub glub?" responded the other, politely. He was a small, timid member of the Sserp clan, whose members generally hide under rocks during the day and hiss a lot. Right now, he was virtually covered, and almost dissolved, in an enormous gravy stain. "Munch, munch, phhht," Nocilis replied, licking his lips smartly for emphasis.
"Burp, rrummble, Bu--urp."
Nocilis nodded. That, indeed, was how it was.
When he was finished, Nocilis shuffled his way down the mound of Core as best he might, and entered into the spirit of the festivities. For, although the Feast was by far the most important reason for coming here, the gathering did offer a chance to mingle with the local inhabitants and learn of all the new ventures in Retupmoc.
Everyone had a stall here, except Nocilis, who excused himself on account of his travels. Each stall contained several systems performing random functions, several officious attendants, and great heaps of things to pass out. Now and again, small groups would momentarily leave their stalls and rush briskly throughout the place, grabbing as many brocures, catalogs, tin whistles, yo-yo's, card decks, and so forth, as they could possibly stuff into pockets, bags and down trousers.
There were big stalls, and little stalls; stalls with enormous, loud banners, and stalls with tiny bulletin boards. Everywhere, there was frantic activity as attendants contrived to look both officious and friendly, and roving participants attempted to maintain frozen expressions of genuine interest whilst grabbing for the freebies.
Here, you could find the PC Gurus and the trepxe metsys, the Rekcah and the tnatlusnoc, those from the land of Ai, those from the land of Medom; the Ten Laruen and the tib and etyb. In short, everyone was represented; even those to whom you (dear reader) have not yet been introduced.
Nocilis paddled among the stalls, bag in hand, looking for an opportunity to stuff something really neat into it. He passed stalls in which simple skits were performed, stalls with gigantic video displays, and stalls that hummed with equipment performing inscrutable tasks. At length, he came to an enormous stall with a great banner across it, and a great number of attendants smiling with some ferocity.
Suddenly, a very large attendant threw out an arm and hauled him in to watch a demonstation. Clawing and biting did not effect an escape.
"...and this product does everything," said a showman on stage. "That's why we call it EVERYTHING. It's a piece of software, ladies and gentleman, that can actually read your mind and improve on what you have to say. It can emote. It can punctuate. It can perform calculations in several different bases at the same time. It diagnoses illnesses. Predicts astronomical events. Eliminates the urge to smoke. Peels potatoes, and cuts through tin cans."
"I want one!" cried someone from the audience.
"Well, it's not quite ready yet. There are some bugs."
"How soon can we expect it?"
"It's beta testing. We will do some gamma, delta, and epsilon testing afterwards. To make sure the product's right. Meanwhile, you're all welcome to buy stock. The price of shares in our company is really booming. Read the prospectus."
"Yelp!" said Nocilis, feeling a sharp twinge in his stomach.
An attendant instantly upended Nocilis by his boots, emptied his wallet, and stuffed a share certificate down his trousers.
"There's one!" cried the showman. "Do I hear any more?"
The attendant dropped Nocilis, and he scurried away into the crowd. Nocilis, now being both overfed and broke, padded inconspicuously out the side door. He would return. Soon. But right now, he needed the smaller exercise of a bottle and snore.
(Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 by Brian J. Dooley)