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Twas the night before crisis,
And all through the house,
Not a program was working,
Not even a browse.

Programmers were wrung out,
Too mindless to care,
Knowing chances of cutover
Hadn’t a prayer.

The users were nestled
All snug in their beds,
While visions of inquiries
Danced in their heads.

When out in the lobby
There arose such a clatter,
That I sprang from my tube
To see what was the matter.

And what to my wondering
Eyes should appear,
But a Super Programmer,
Oblivious to fear.

More rapid than eagles,
His programs they came
And he whistled and shouted
And called them by name.

On Update! On Add!
On Inquiry! On Delete!
On Batch Jobs! On Closing!
On Functions Complete!

His eyes were glazed over,
His fingers were lean,
From weekends and nights
Spent in front of a screen.

A wink of his eye,
And a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know
I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word,
But went straight to his work,
Turning specs into code,
Then he turned with a jerk.

And laying his fingers
Upon the ENTER key,
The system came up,
And worked perfectly!

The updates updated;
The deletes they deleted;
The inquiries inquired;
And the closing completed.

He tested each whistle,
He tested each bell,
With nary an abend,
And all had gone well.

The system was finished,
The tests were concluded,
The client’s last changes
Were even included!

And the client exclaimed,
With a snarl and a taunt,
“It’s just what I asked for,
But it’s not what I want!”