Due to the general approval of Chapter 1, and several requests for this post to be written, I give you chapter 2 of Life At The Monastery. This time however, I used a Pan-Dimensional Accelerator (PDA) to peek in at mirror universes.::Sudden jarring chord on the organ:: Oh my friends, what I saw there was very frightening. What I saw should not be seen by others. God, it was like a really bad episode of Sliders or Quantum Leap I visited many many universes, and got a lot of grey hair that I didn't have before, but I need to tell you about the other frighterning iterations of the Monastery. Believe me! This IS the best possible world! Whenever you get cranky at life or get downvoted for no apparent reason, remember: the other worlds are MUCH worse!
A clearinghouse for millions of the Camel books. It has recently fallen into disarray because of financial troubles, and after CEO Tim Vroomos was accused of the unsavory practice of selling monks posting and voting habits.
The monks are employees of the IPERL ISP, headed by CEO Vroom. Merlyn speaks with a Russian accent, and spends a lot of his time cracking into things that annoy him such as AOL, Microsoft, and spammers. Lemming is a small furball with feet that walks around and can best everyone at Quake. No one is quite sure what he is and how he speaks. Princepawn works in the marketing department, usually misses the point of most of the banter from the rest of the geeky employees. Periodically Lemming will sing a song with musical accompaniment by the on-site AI, Erudil.
Everything that makes it onto the front page is beset by thousands of trolls who reply to it with "FIRST POST!" A decent place to go for discussion in the Perl world, however posting is severely moderated. Also, sometimes the code posted doesn't work, and the news stories are "exaggerated."
The monks put posts, programs, and modules on the auction block and bid Experience Points for them. When you go up in level, you get a different color star, but no new powers. Sometimes monks are untrustworthy and sell bad code or refuse to pay the agreed XP. Rules have been put in place to minimize this however.
The Rocky Horror Perlmonk Show
Undoubtedly the most frightening alternate world I came to. I cannot even begin to talk about what I saw here. It has scarred me for life. Vroom lives in a castle deep in the woods, and the monks (all gender ambiguous; wearing suits, glasses and wigs) dance a simple but infinitly recursive dance with a pretty cool tune. Instead of the usual spots in the Monastery, there are places like "The Lab" and "The Performing Stage" Recent rumors indicate that chromatic was seen wandering the lab wearing nothing but a golden speedo, while FouRPlaY was working on "a weapon that fires a beam of pure antimatter."
Also pretty scary. The entire site was UK-centric. 90% of the monks assumed that everyone else lived in Great Britain. They kept mispelling the word "Color" and sometimes in the poetry section the rhyming scheme would be off because of the word "Aluminium". People would complain, but nobody seemed to care.
I am so glad that I was able to get back into the original universe. Trust me, like I said each one of those worlds was frightening to even imagine, much less actually exist in. Sometimes when I found my counterpart, I actually cried to see how bad off he was. Be glad you live in this monastery! Be glad that the site is assembled as it is! Rejoice that your brethren are just a little loony and not outright mad! We've got it good here!
~W (Note: Caps errors have been fixed. :-)