I Can Save You From The Ax!

I Can Save You From The Ax!

The Benevolent Spider has worked all her life in the tech sector, somehow. She differs from most spiders in that she's not a disgusting, eight-eyed creature with grotesque mandibles. Nor does she spit gastric juices on barely alive insects before ingesting them. Instead, she's a cute, smiling spider who enjoys singing and watching children play.
written by the Benevolent Spider

That's right. I always knew my talent for making unorthodox spiderwebs would come in handy someday. And this past year it really has. I used my talents to save a friend from the ax. And I can do the same for you. Let me explain.

I reside above the cubicle of Wilbur, the XML programmer. One day I overheard his bosses planning his termination. They were going to replace him with a more Java-savvy XML programmer. I couldn't let it happen to my faithful friend! So imagine his bosses' surprise the next morning, when they found the words Some Programmer! written in my spiderweb above his desk. Well, they weren't about to get rid of such a fine specimen of a programmer, not after I pointed him out!

They did cartwheels when they saw my web. They pronounced it a miracle. They decided to send Wilbur to the XML Trade Show when it came to town. When people passed by his booth, they looked at his fine, round husk and exclaimed, "Whew...wee! That's one site of a programmer!" I felt my job was done.

But later I once again overheard Wilbur's bosses. They spoke well of him, but then they started talking about the ax again. "We'll make him a fiiiiiine severance package when his time comes!" they said. Oh, no! I decided I had to do more for poor Wilbur.

The next morning those bosses yelled, "Dear Lord! Another miracle!" That's no surprise, after they read Radiant in Validation in my new spiderweb. Oh, Wilbur played the part; I taught him well. He leapt around from workstation to workstation, making sure everyone's work was XML compliant.

But even that wasn't enough. Those bosses were still determined to chop, saying they would get plenty of bacon out of this boy until it was time to let him go. This time I had to gather all the office programmers together to think up a new inspiring message. But we were all stumped.

We had to rely on the office gofer. We sent him off to look through the piles of junk mail we get to find any sort of message. He finally came back with an advertisement that read, "Buy the Video Game Mission Pack, 'StarCraft: Retribution' Today!" Well, I liked the sound of the word retribution. It looked big and important, too. That was it.

The next morning, those bosses came to Wilbur's desk and found that word printed in my web, sitting above Wilbur's smiling face. Sweating and shaking with what seemed to be excitement, they announced they would never fire Wilbur! The bosses treat him like a king now.

It's always rewarding to save a group of nice techies. I like it so much better at this dot-com than I did at my past company, Orwell's Animal Com. The smartest techies at Orwell's took over the company by force, led by the charismatic programmer who renamed himself Napoleon. They turned their company into a Marxist labor camp. They sold their head admin to a glue factory when he grew too weak to carry around server cases. I shudder thinking about that awful place.

So if you're just as jolly and dedicated as my friend Wilbur, I'll be glad to help you out. Just let enough moths into the office for me to munch on, and I can keep your job secure. And when my eggs hatch, there will be another thousand little ones to helpŠso long as they don't eat me first.

More Stories By Tod Emko

Tod wrote humor-oriented articles for the Syracuse Herald-Journal and held various writer, editor, and cartoonist positions at other publications before accepting his role as a computer nerd. He has years of experience as a front-end Web developer and Perl programmer, and is now a senior XSL script architect and XML documentation writer for

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