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Life at the Monastery. Chapter 1

by wombat (Curate)
on Dec 07, 2000 at 04:36 UTC ( [id://45399]=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

We are in an interesting situation here at the Monastery. Here we are, several hundred of us (thousands if you count the lurkers), pretending to be monks of a strange hybrid of technology and religion, all living together. Do you realize what an utterly silly premise this is? Furthermore, I'm sure everyone here has lived with other people at some point in their lives. You lived with your parents, friends, significant others, etc. Were they easy to live with? Even though we love 'em dearly, our housemates sometimes get on our nerves. Consider again the Monastery! Imagine if we all DID live together! Imagine the chaos that would ensue! I considered this and came up with a few possible scenes.

Petruchio stood at a wooden countertop slicing carrots with AgentM. "I still don't see why we're always the ones who have to prepare the food!" Agent M complained. "This is the fourth time in the past week!"

"Would you rather be the one shoveling the contents of the collective latrine out over the cliff?" Petruchio asked indignantly. "There are always a lot worse things to be doing!"

"But I've never seen Tilly or Turnstep doing this, I've been slicing these damn carrots ever since I came to the monastery as an initiate!"

"They don't slice carrots, because they're saints." Petruchio said gently. "They have much more important things to do. Besides, you should be glad you don't have their job. All the work and hassle of running the administration of the monastery. It'd be work work work, you'd never get to take a break!"

"Sure, Mustapha."


"Oh, nothing." The pair continued to slice carrots until japhy brought a load of cabbages in a wicker basket he carried on his back.
In the deepest of the catacombs beneath the Monastery, past a dank stone passageway poorly lit with flickering torches and rank with mildew sat a locked wooden door covered with a wrought iron grating. Moving the grating was near to impossible. The lock was so covered in rust that it had become useless. The hinges too were practically welded together from age. Behind the door however was a brightly lit (yet smoky) room with wood paneling. Nobody came through the catacomb passageway anymore except for the newbies. The main way in and out is through the secret passageway behind the bookcase.

Merlyn took a cigar from the ornately decorated humidor and aligned his cue stick with the expected trajectory of the balls in the felt padded pool table. Chromatic sipped from a snifter of brandy and waited impatiently for him to finish setting up his shot. Ovid puffed on a pipe in a high backed armchair before the roaring fire. "I should really read more of Huxley's work" he thought to himself. He pulled his monogrammed terrycloth robe closer about him as he opened the book and began to read. There was a slight humming of air as vroom teleported into the center of the room.

"Couldn't find the secret passageway again?" asked jcwren turning from his oil painting momentarily as he dabbed the brush in a goblet of water.

"You should be careful, Vroom" Merlyn said making his shot and sinking two of the pool balls into a pocket. "If you keep teleporting around like that, the other monks will realize what powers they really get at sainthood. " Chromatic took the sunken balls from their pockets and began to juggle them with telekinesis.

"Yeah yeah, whatever. Remember, I define the laws of physics within these walls. I literally can do anything." Vroom retorted. As if to prove his point, a snow leopard that had not been there before walked past the pool table over to the bearskin rug and went to sleep. "Anyway, is the Playstation 2 working yet?"

On the high rampart of the Monastery, ybiC trudged through the lightly falling snow. He shivered and stopped at a fire tended by Amelinda wrapped in a thick wool hooded cloak. "I still don't understand why we as a monastery need to have people on guard duty. Look at you. You're tending a fire used to heat a pot of boiling oil that's been boiling for weeks! Does anyone ever attack us? Have we ever needed to dump boiling oil on anyone?"

Amelinda drew back her hood and looked out across the fields below the stone wall. "Even our sworn enemy Bravismore wasn't much of a threat." She looked at his rotted head impaled upon an iron spike set in the stone. "See, we need to have an internal guard force, because that's where the corruption comes from. Guarding this wall against these lowly farmers down there..." She gestured with her hand " quite of a waste of time."

ybiC sat down with his back against the wall next to her, warmed by the fire. "What I don't get, is that if Vroom is really as all powerful as he says he is, why can't he put the monestary on an island somewhere, or at least move it to somewhere where it doesn't snow." he muttered. "Does he know how hard guard duty is in a blizzard?"

"Does he know how hard it is to keep a pot of boiling oil hot in a blizzard?" Amelinda laughed. ybiC sighed and rose, and began to walk again across the rampart with his sword unsheathed.

Would living at the monastery be a good thing? Would we all get along, or would it only be a matter of time before someone was found hanging from the rafters in the banquet hall. How do we get cabbages and carrots in the middle of winter? Will Agent M ever stop slicing the carrots? Will the guards ever get to come in and have someone else tend the boiling oil? Watch for more episodes of "Life at the Monastery" coming soon! Can you all tell that I finished with finals today? I now have a lot of free time. I intend to spend it well by posting here.


Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Life at the Monastery. Chapter 2 and a half
by coreolyn (Parson) on Jan 02, 2001 at 03:20 UTC
    Life at the Monastery1 Chapter 21/2

    This wasn't supposed to get this long... it kinda took off on me.

    Coreolyn trudged through the snow and noticed the guard outpost from a safe distance. He crawled past the petitioners at the Gates so as to avoid detection. At the guardpost Kudra shook her head in disbelief, Didn't the fool know that a crawling monk in the snow is pretty easy to spot? She let him pass, "harmless enough" she scoffed.

    Coreolyn had been here before on desperate mission's and for stealthy intelligence gathering. He tip toed past the kitchen doorway. AgentM stopped complaining about food preparation and said to Petruchio, "Get a load of that monk." Petruchio shook his head, "A monk on tippy toes, what's next transexual perlbots?".

    Quickly Coreolyn tromped down the dark passageway so as to disapear like the wind. Then he hid next to a torch to listen for persuit. Faintly he could overhear Petruchio saying, ".. Not that I've got anything against transexual robots, I remember this one time . . .".

    "Damn I'm good", Coreolyn risked whispering aloud just as he realized that his turbin had caught on fire.

    Screaming in terror Coreolyn lit off down into the depths of the catacombs. He tried to stop running long enough to decipher the signs that read:

    "ATTENTION NEWBIES: You are here. Go the other way",
    "ATTENTION NON-NEWBIES: Secret Panel thataway ->".

    But his hair was now stinking up the passage way. He ran from the smell as much as the flames.

    merlyn Raised an eyebrow... "I hear an incomming newbie". A twisted smile came to his lips as another series of wails came from the outer hallway. "I likes it when they squeal."

    Vroom turned and scowled, "It doesn't matter to me what you like, just empty that damn ashtray once an awhile!".

    Chromatic Surprised to hear Vroom's displeasure dropped his telekenetic balls. 'Ouch' He grumbled as he went to open the old door for the newbie.

    But there was no need to open the door, for just as Chromatic reached for the handle the door broke off it's hinges and with a BANG! a fresh newbie lay at chromatics feet writhing in pain.

    Merlyn set off a magical smoke ring to put out the flames.

    Vroom motioned for the newbie to arise. Coreolyn stood wiping off the carrot peals that clung to his robe as he assessed his stituation, but he ran out of things to brush off his robe before he could accept his own assessment.

    Merlyn prodded the Newbie with with his staff like a skilled horse trader, "Well speak up son we haven't got all day... Wait a minute! I just figured out how to interpolate all the security holes in any given infinate array into one regex! Maybe we do have all day!"

    The voice of Tilly rang out from nowhere, "Not THAT old regex again!"

    Chromatic quickly changed the conversation while picking up his telekenetic balls. "You here to learn boy?" He questioned the newbie sternly, and with that question he set one ball to 'knuck' the newbie's head.

    "No sir" *knuck*
    "yes sir, I Mean Yes Sir!" Coreolyn's head began to weave to the tango of Chromatic's balls out of fear.

    "I'm on a quest"

    jcwren tapped Ovid on the shoulder to show how he had captured the entire moment in prime numbered interdimensional 'oil by numbers'. Ovid, who up to this moment had been oblivious to the events around him, burst into boisterous laughter. Pointing with one finger at the image of the monk on fire in the painting, and holding his belly with the other.

    "What do you call it?", Ovid said between labored snorted laughter.

    jcwren paused with a critical look and said, "I think I'll call it 'The Quest'.

    "No Really I AM on a quest!" Coreolyn piped up defiantly. "I have come to learn of the tools, processes and ediquette for writing a 'good' JAPH. I had intended to do this covertly but your phenomenal powers have overwhelmed my deadly skill of stealth."

    Tilly's voice wrang out: "Then you should have posted this in SOPW!".

    We leave the scene with merlyn Shouting "Hit 'em with your balls again chromatic...."



    Hope I haven't taken too many literary liberties

    coreolyn -- Just Another Paradoxical Hypocrite

    1 -- with humble reguards to wombat for starting this thread and concept
Re: Life at the Monastery. Chapter 1 (singing sword)
by ybiC (Prior) on Dec 07, 2000 at 06:28 UTC
    Ok, Wombat - if I get a sword, it's gotta be a SWORD!!

    Think Willlliam Wallllace (BraveHeart), who's sword was 5' 7" long.   I could single-handedly defend our Monastery against the *evil* JavaScriptors and *mind-numbing* SlashDot hordes with that blade.

    Nice to know that Amelinda's keeping the oil boiling, just in case. {grin}
        i don't eat carrots,

    Update: 5 feet 7 inches is 1.7 meters, for all you monks who use that new-fangled metric-thingy system.

      Having met ybiC in person last friday, I question whether he would be able to even lift such a sword, much less defend anything with it. :) Of course, with the sword technology we have these days we could probably get some titanium alloy that'd be a manageable weight that would still look adequately threatening.

      While I like the idea of broadswords and boiling oil, can't we automate this somehow? Even in the big room (where he is a mere mortal), vroom managed to automate fire. Why can't we whip up some "Obfuscated Oil of Scalding Defense" or something?

      And no, I don't own 27 pairs of sweatpants.
        If tilly gets to be LazyBones,
        and AgentM gets to have a knife while alone with Petruchio,
        then I get to be Willlliam Wallllace.  {grin}
            i don't eat cabbage either,
Re: Life at the Monastery. Chapter 1
by AgentM (Curate) on Dec 07, 2000 at 07:52 UTC
    Very cool. I'd pay for the next installments! Too bad I don't exist....

    But anyway, wouldn't it be neat if we organized some kind of Big Brother "PerlMonks" version? We would live in a large castle for 4 months cut off from the world. I can imagine it now- nerds with little or no social skills dependent on each other for food (sure, I'd eat brainpan if it came down to that). But, if there are weapons in the monastery, I'd prefer the Glock-9, please- it's the standard weapon I carry around most of the time, anyway, so it would only make sense. Also, please make me the official "Matrix" Mascot. Thanx.

    AgentM Systems nor Nasca Enterprises nor Bone::Easy nor Macperl is responsible for the comments made by AgentM. Remember, you can build any logical system with NOR.
Re: Life at the Monastery. Chapter 1
by arturo (Vicar) on Dec 07, 2000 at 04:52 UTC

    Coming next season on GTV : "The Perl world" ...

    Watch as poor Java programmers are castigated by their parents for daring to code in "that line noise language!" ...

    ( aside ... how many of you read through this MOSTLY to see if your name came up? =)

    I must say it is an interesting node ...

    Philosophy can be made out of anything. Or less -- Jerry A. Fodor

      2005 forecast for '06: Look forward, instead to (US) ABC's "As the Perl Turns" and from (UK) ITV "Perling for Pounds

Ok, if we're going to be living here, first question...
by Petruchio (Vicar) on Dec 07, 2000 at 11:53 UTC
Re: Life at the Monastery. Chapter 1
by decnartne (Beadle) on Dec 07, 2000 at 19:45 UTC
    that was great! i can imagine that acolytes like myself would be busy somewhere deep in the bowels of the castle laundering robes and mending sandals while chanting "context, context, context"...

    decnartne ~ entranced

Re: Life at the Monastery. Chapter 1
by japhy (Canon) on Dec 07, 2000 at 06:09 UTC
(brainpan) Re: Life at the Monastery. Chapter 1
by brainpan (Monk) on Dec 07, 2000 at 06:11 UTC
    Note to self: stay out of the kitchen while AgentM is slicing cabbage, lest my gray matter become part of the recipe that is being prepared from the Perl Cookbook.

    And no, I don't own 27 pairs of sweatpants.
Re: Life at the Monastery. Chapter 1
by lemming (Priest) on Dec 07, 2000 at 20:53 UTC
    I got to thinking from current CB topics:

    If there is a Torture Chamber at the Monastery one would see scenes like this:

    "So FouRPlay, what is the regex for getting the last digit of pi?"

      That's an easy one:

      if ($PI =~ m/(\d)$/) { print "The last digit is $1.\n"; } else { print "Seems that pi does not end in a digit. Who knew?\n"; }

      The hard part is assigning the correct value to the scalar $PI.... :)

Re: Life at the Monastery. Chapter 1
by damian1301 (Curate) on Dec 08, 2000 at 04:46 UTC
    Despite my young age, Im still a Scribe, so it won't be AS bad as an acolyte...hopefully. Wombat, I congratulate you, you always come up with the best posts (despite erudil's recent postings). Keep these a'comin'!!

    Wanna be perl hacker.
    Dave AKA damian
Re: Life at the Monastery. Chapter 1
by lolindrath (Scribe) on Dec 08, 2000 at 08:13 UTC
    Mmmmmm, Carrots and Cabbage. All I need is a big beef roast and I'll be happy!

Re: Life at the Monastery. Chapter 1
by royalanjr (Chaplain) on Dec 09, 2000 at 02:39 UTC
    That was great!

    Roy Alan

    gosh, what more did I need to say?

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