back to article BOFH: Are you a druid? Legally, you have to tell me if you're a druid

BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns Looking back, lockdown may not have been all bad. On the one hand we had time apart from workplace human contact – the day-to-day pleasantries that add some spice to our otherwise mundane lives – but on the other we did miss out all the pointless conversations, the endless unsolvable …


  1. John Riddoch

    Oh, dear....

    I could see where it was going when it mentioned upping the strength of the sanitiser and UV lamp. And the (viral) kill rate. Then the immortal line about "some old AI robot hardware somewhere in the basement" made sure of it...

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Oh, dear....

      Some old AI kit... repurposed... Recipe for disaster... I saw where this going once the director asked for a technical solution.

      1. Down not across Silver badge

        Re: Oh, dear....

        Don't forget to (re)read the old episodes for the origins and antics of that bot. The outcome was indeed entirely forseeable, which I'm sure did not escape BOFH when he suggested it.

  2. Maverick

    ah good old Friday, have a few on me . . >>>>>>>>>>>>>

  3. A.P. Veening Silver badge


    The first time it didn't quite register.

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: Ultraviolent

      Same here. Too much playing DOOM1 (shareware version) and DOOM2 (bought the full product back in the day when it was released)

      1. Pirate Dave

        Re: Ultraviolent

        For the record, you can get the Doom2/FinalDoom pack from GoG for like $3. I've been retro-playing the hell out of it (with the gzdoom port) since Christmas. IDDQD and it's a Sunday drive through Nostalgiaville...

        1. Jamesit

          Re: Ultraviolent

          Run great in DosBox and sounds great with the GUS emulation.

        2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

          Re: Ultraviolent

          I've still got my id anthology pack copies, and a vintage iMac G3 (reclaimed off a friend who was going to turn it to a cat box) for that proper crt screen action.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Ultraviolent

      Was a term from A Clockwork Orange? Ultraviolence?

      1. Fr. Ted Crilly

        Re: Ultraviolent

        and lots of lovely bright kroovy leaked through the cracked blistered skin...

      2. FishingGeek

        Re: Ultraviolent

        First time I read it was in H2G2. Along with Infra Dead.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Ultraviolent

      Lucky there were no Dvochkas around!

      Mine's the one with the collected works of Anthony Burgess in the pocket…

  4. G2

    armed robots...

    sooo... they pulled a Dalek from the basement cold storage, armed it with (almost) weapons-grade devices and chemicals and set it loose in the building..

    i suppose it's "normal" that it started to do the traditional Dalek extermination thing?

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: armed robots...

      Lord knows Nu-Who needs to be exterminated.

    2. ibmalone Silver badge

      Re: armed robots...

      I think that self-test sequence might be closer to the Johnny 5 startup, but I can't find the clip.

    3. iron Silver badge

      Re: armed robots...

      Have a look through past episodes, the kill bot was locked up in the basement long ago. It has always been fitted with weapons-grade devices, hence "CHAINSAW, STAPLE GUN and ROTATING KNIVES were not mentioned", and the "extermination thing" is its normal programming.

    4. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: armed robots...

      Or the PFY's old Robot Wars entry, it was banned, never allowed to compete.

    5. bpfh

      Re: armed robots...

      That’s an evolution, “almost weapons grade devices”. I think that in the past it actually had weapons during a billing dispute with a supplier...

  5. Chris G Silver badge

    Episode 1....

    Has clearly left a marauding Sterminator wondering around, I wonder who else is in its sights for 'clean up'?

    1. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: Episode 1....

      Just lure the thing to an airport, it will give the bored people in charge of that anti drone kit something to shot at.

  6. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Par for the course and right up some streets we all know of

    "Well, to make changes to that finalised document without leaving what some people might call an 'audit trail', I'd need some pretty advanced Word skills – and they don't come cheap now that everyone's upskilling in their free time…"

    :-) Nos10/11 have always an opening and desk waiting for you if you're extremely fond of and quite good at such as is really crass attractive deflective bullshitting.

    If interested, one can always ask a DC clone/drone* about the likely difficulties and/or opportunities one is liable to have to deal with there on a daily zeroday basis.

    * District of Columbia/David Cameron/Dominic Cummings

    1. Glen 1 Silver badge

      Re: Par for the course and right up some streets we all know of

      Don't forget the obligatory political donation

  7. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Am I a Druid?

    Okay, if it's a legal requirement, I confess. I am a Druid.

    I'm a fully-paid up member of the Gorsedd of Bards of the Isle of Britain, Urdd Derwydd (order of druids) - green robes. I was inducted at a mysterious and ancient ceremony involving a big sword and strange oaths, in the former Dr Who Experience in Cardiff in 2018. Strange but true (it was raining outside)

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Am I a Druid?

      Having experienced Welsh rain I'd agree a Druidic induction ceremony would be a sensible alternative.

      Was the robe waterproof?

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Am I a Druid?

        Apparently sitting under a waterfall meditating for a week wearing buffalo hide is required

        1. Richard Gray 1

          Re: Am I a Druid?


          1. Kane Silver badge

            Re: Am I a Druid?

            For the price he's asking I'll stand under a shower with a chamois cloth on my head thinking about what to make for dinner.

        2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Am I a Druid?

          Taghairm is Scottish, not Welsh.

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Am I a Druid?

      (it was raining outside)

      Hardly surprising. In the same way that every tramp has a small, ugly dog following them around, every Druid has a raincloud.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Am I a Druid?

        Did you know?

        Offa built his dyke to stop Wales from flooding his kingdom.

      2. Kane Silver badge

        Re: Am I a Druid?


        Millenium hand and shrimp, I tol em', I did

  8. seven of five Silver badge

    > SYSTEM TIME 1-JAN-1970 00:00:04

    Just lovely.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Yup, at least not DOS with the 1980 start date. Less glam, but would that result in a new romantic robot war?

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      I prefer 17 November 1858, 00:00:00 UTC, myself.

      1. chris street

        Thats the base Julian date system as used in astronomy... Wasnt it one of the Vaxes or PDP machines that used that strange start?

    3. KarMann Bronze badge

      And a source of never-ending amusement for me, personally, since (allowing for time zone funniness) it's the day I was born. Back when I started in on Un*x-y computers, it quite puzzled me the first few times I saw files apparently created on the same day I was.

  9. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
    Thumb Up


    Once the old robot in the basement was mentioned, it could only end one way

  10. TRT Silver badge

    Homicidal robots armed with lethal ultraviolet lights...

    Reminds me of Brian the Brain.

    *digs out Space:1999 DVDs*

    1. John 110
      Thumb Up

      Re: Homicidal robots armed with lethal ultraviolet lights...

      Even I don't have Space:1999 DVD's

      *lovingly dusts Stargate partwork - the one with "Stargate SG1" across the back if you put the DVDs in the right order - which I do, obviously*

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Homicidal robots armed with lethal ultraviolet lights...

        Ah yes, the Stairgate SG1 - stops the wains falling down the stairs...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Even I don't have Space:1999 DVD's

        ...looks uncomfortably at the DVD shelves.

        1. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Re: Even I don't have Space:1999 DVD's

          looks uncomfortably at the DVD shelves.

          Ah, since the advent of media servers, I've been able to put my Babylon 5, Blake's 7, Dr Who and sundry other incriminating DVDs behind a locked door, so nobody will ever know!


      3. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Even I don't have Space:1999 DVD's

        They never reached general release, IIRC... in fact, there was only an Alpha release.

      4. HelpfulJohn

        Re: Homicidal robots armed with lethal ultraviolet lights...

        "Even I don't have Space:1999 DVD's"

        I've seen the entire collective in Sainsbury's. One of the bigger ones, not a little one.

        They may also be on sale in other places but I don't shop there so I can't definitively confirm this.

        From what I remember, they cost about 50p an episode or less but I'm not certain of that, either.

        "U.F.O." was also on sale there for a while and may still be. That's the one where they thought we'd have a huge, peopled Moonbase or two in 1980. "Peopled" because they absolutely had lady astronauts. If I recollect correctly they wore silvery dresses and purple wigs for some strange operational reason - or directorial fetish.

        I'm fairly sure that I also saw the complete "Captain Scarlet" [that's the one where humans finally reached Mars, came in peace, shot up the place and started a grudge match], too but that's drifting a little far from the killer robot theme.

  11. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge


    I gather ozone is another popular ways of sterilizing office spaces, so perhaps the replacement robot could do that too.

    Of course, it would require some method of allowing its high voltage discharge unit to reach up and sanitize desks and chairs when necessary, while producing sufficient gas to fill those large open plan offices...

    I mean what could possibly go wrong.

  12. Whatsinitforme

    Return of the basement AI Bots

    My kids (who are now being homeschooled because schools are closed in NL) were wondering why I shouted out "YES, the bots are back"....

    Still, makes me wonder why the boss (and his office) weren't sanitized as first, the Boss has been around too long, we need a new one.

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: Return of the basement AI Bots

      Careful. A new boss would potentially want to change things, and changing things is never a good prospect for those who profit from gaming the system ;-)

      1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

        Re: Return of the basement AI Bots

        Careful. A new boss would potentially want to change things, and changing things is never a good prospect for those who profit from gaming the system ;-)

        Nothing a mimetic polyalloy device can take care of....

      2. Whatsinitforme

        Re: Return of the basement AI Bots

        Any boss being replaced trying to change the wrong things, will be replaced more swiftly then a nerdy teens underpants (so yes, it could take some time, but replaced he will be).


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