My apologies to 208.43.122.87

First published

Dear good computer,

We don’t know each other. I only found your name, scribbled lopsidedly as 208.43.122.87-static.reverse.softlayer.com, in my access logs; you dropped by without any warning, and then vanished just as suddenly. It seemed like you were here for just five seconds — well, actually… [checks logs again] it was literally five seconds. But all of this sentimental hand-wringing is beside the point.

You see, you came by last Tuesday, clad in a worn-down coat and pants that I was sure left you twenty degrees too cold, and you asked me very kindly if you could use my server’s XML-RPC library. Now, of course, I’ve heard the stories about bad people putting on this disguise so that they can take advantage of and exploit random folk, but I didn’t think for a second that you were one of them. Really, I couldn’t help but feel some pity for you, like maybe you would for the despondent owner of a broken-down car looking for a phone with which to call home. Except that now everyone has a cell phone, so I guess that doesn’t happen any more.

But I digress. Anyway, I didn’t have any interfaces to offer to you, so I tried to break it to you as gently as possible. I hate to disappoint strangers, you see. My mother told me, when I was young, that I was to treat outsiders with more care and respect than anyone else I knew, since I’d probably only ever get one chance to make an impression. You have no idea how much it tore apart my heart when I couldn’t do anything but say no, having no other response to your desperate pleas. I’m sorry, ’87 — if I can call you that — I’m sorry, but I really didn’t have OpenX (funny how you kept calling it phpAdsNew, though, like they did a few years back) or Drupal lying around. If I did, I’d have gladly let you use them. It’s always nice to have guests, and I want to make all of them happy.

I wish I didn’t have to see you go empty-handed.

I hope you’ll read this letter and decide to come visit again. I still don’t have any XML-RPC scripts for you to look at, but maybe you’ll enjoy my blog, or my photos, or even maybe this place’s vital statistics. I know that last one sounds weird, but I’ve got a few friends that are into that sort of thing. And I’m lucky to be in possibly one of the best neighborhoods around. The flowers are in bloom, the neighbors are all happier than ever, and the sun’s been out every day for a week. Mrs. Alameda’s started making her summer pies… I could share some with you, if you want — she brought one by this morning. I… what I’m trying to say is:

Forgive me.