The phone rings.

"Zombie? This is Melon. My pickles are lavender. I'll be late arriving at Moonbase Alpha."

A colleague, known for his puckish sense of humor, not long ago began to develop a set of code words for common concepts, plus noms de guerre for various people in the local work group. The caller above was simply saying, "Phil? This is Sandy. My kids are sick. I'll be late getting in to the office." (Note: all cryptonyms mentioned here have already been changed to preserve communications security. (^_^) )

As the inventor was explaining his system to us over lunch a feeling of deja vu came over me. Then another comrade across the table spoke up with the reference I was groping for. "Hey, you've invented [our team's] first battle language." he observed.

"Ha!" I cried. "Dune, by Frank Herbert. Harkonnen battle language, eh?" My friend admitted that was his source. Both of us, we agreed, had read far too much science fiction in our ill-spent youth ...

(see also BuSab (9 Mar 2001), ... )

TopicHumor - TopicLanguage - TopicLiterature - TopicPersonalHistory - 2004-08-07

(correlates: DavidNewsom, FictionalHurdles, PowerAsPerception, ...)