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May 5, 2017

What about ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’? Have you heard of that one?

Sorry, no.

I was in Sacramento this week meeting with one of our IT partners. Matt, the engineer we were meeting with, completely missed my reference. Jake, the guy I was travelling with tried to help,

I’ll bet you’ve heard some of the references. You just don’t recognize them. “Bring out your dead”?

Yeah, I’ve heard of that, I just don’t know what it’s from?

“The killer bunny”?


Those are from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

IT guys have their own weird sense of humor. When I was starting out in the world of computers 30 years ago, a good grasp of the dialogue for Holy Grail was essential. Star Trek and Star Wars references are a must, of course. We were slightly distrustful of someone who couldn’t explain why Darth Vader could never fight Captain Kirk. (Star Wars is set “long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away.” Star Trek is set in this galaxy in the future.) We were equally suspicious of anyone who didn’t have an opinion on who would win in a fight between Captains Kirk and Picard. (Obviously the former since Picard would say, “Let’s talk about this” and then Kirk would shoot him.)

These are references that anyone might understand. IT guys also will delve into their own language to laugh at one another. I was introduced to IT humor really early in my career. I was a TA for Computer Science 404: Computer Ethics. As a TA, I was afforded a cubicle with the rest of the TA’s. But, the professor had a lab on the third floor with a locked door that he made available to me. I never sat in the cubicle in the basement. About a month into the semester I found myself in the basement to meet with another TA. There written on the whiteboard by “my” cubicle were the words:


If you don’t understand why that’s funny, ask your IT guy. 

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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