Laugh Date: Thursday, February 22, 2018

What's Inside

Best of RAH:
Online Song Book: The Twisted Pairs

by Dave Bealer

This parody first appeared in the December 1992 issue of Random Access Humor.

Copyright © 1992 Dave Bealer, All Rights Reserved.

Almost everyone is familiar with how computers are influencing the musical arts. MIDI hardware and software proliferate. Some of it is even affordable.

What many are only now becoming aware of is the influence that computers are having on the content of song lyrics. The following are some lyrics from the increasingly popular folk-rock group, The Twisted Pairs.

Online America
by the Twisted Pairs

(* Sung to the tune of "America" by Paul Simon. *)

Let us be sysops,
We'll marry our modems together.
I've got some shareware
On my C: drive.
So we bought a pack of floppy disks,
And Procomm for Windows,
And logged on
To Online America.
"Kathy," I said,
As we Freq'ed some files from Pittsburgh,
"BinkleyTerm seems like a dream to me now.
It took me four tries
To logon to Maximus.
Welcome to Online America."

Laughing at the twits,
Playing games in the doors,
She said the man with 286
Was a spy.
I said "Be careful,
His upload is really a virus".
"Toss me a floppy disk,
I think there's one in my raincoat."
"We filled the last one
An hour ago."

So I looked at the user list,
She read the system log;
And a user hacked into our system.
"Kathy, we're lost," I said,
And I knew she was weeping.
"C:'s empty and it's shaking and
I don't know why."
Counting the callers
On the New Jersey Chat Line.
They've all called
Online America.
All called Online America.

The User
by the Twisted Pairs

(* Sung to the tune of "The Boxer" by Paul Simon *)

I am just a user
Though my modem seldom works,
I have squandered my phone bills
For a hard-drive full of software
What's this lunacy?
All games and GIFs,
Still a man D/Ls what he wants to use,
And disregards the rest.

Ignoring my home
And my family,
I am no more than a toy,
In the clutches of hackers
In the humming of the carrier
Running scared,
Paying tolls,
Seeking out the multiline boards
Where the power users go,
Looking for the systems
Only they would know.

With an earring stands a user,
And a file-leech by his trade,
And he carries the reminders
Of every sysop who twitted him,
Or cut access till he cried out
In his anger and his shame,
"I am starting my own board."
But the user still remains.

Bridge Over Troubled Routers
by The Twisted Pairs

(* Sung to the tune of "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" by Paul Simon *)

When you're bleary, the net is down.
When sleep is in your eyes, the pager goes off.
Who's on your side, when times get tough?
When backups can't be found,
Like a bridge over troubled routers
I will save your butt.

Like a bridge over troubled routers
I will save your butt.

When you're down and out,
When you're offline,
When throughput drops so hard
I will comfort you.
I'll take your part,
When downtime comes.

When blame is all around,
Like a bridge over troubled routers
I will save your butt.

That new net version,
Bring it up,
Your time has come to shine,
All your users on their way.
See how they smile.
If you need a break
I'm logging on right now.

Like a bridge over troubled routers
I will save your butt.
Like a bridge over troubled routers
I will save your butt.

Of course, most musically aware people remember The Twisted Pairs' first big hit, the science fiction ballad, "You Can Call Me HAL".


Dave Bealer is a fifty-something mainframe systems programmer who works with CICS, z/OS and all manner of nasty acronyms at one of the largest heavy metal shops on the East Coast. He shares a waterfront townhome in Pasadena, MD. with a cat who annoys him endlessly as he assiduously avoids writing for and publishing Random Access Humor. Dave can be reached via e-mail at:


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