and others wrote:
just give up this use of prototypes
This would seem to be the consensus. Having suffered through years of mismatched parameters in C, and having been rescued by good parameter checking when the ANSI standard finally came out for the platforms where I was working, a habit was formed that didn't map well into this environment.
I had a good chat with mr_mischief regarding http://perldoc.perl.org/perlsub.html#Prototypes
and in particular the section referencing retrofits that explains the root cause on my list getting eaten.
Having been soundly downvoted (ouch!), I guess I will be forced to follow more closely to the docs:
This is all very powerful, of course, and should be used only in moderation to make the world a better place.
and leave my lack of moderation to other vices.