back to article BOFH: The PFY Chronicles

It’s a bleak morning in Mission Control. Even the Boss’s normal expression of guilty ignorance is replaced by one that could almost be mistaken for loss... "Dead?" he asks quietly. "I'm afraid so," I respond. "But... he was doing so well." "He was, but then that dodgy life support machine switched itself off." "I thought …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    The whole world in mourning......

    A terrible tradgedy.

    A drink in rememberance!

  2. Bill Gould
    Thumb Up

    <insert laugh track here>

    Hahah. Nice one.

  3. Anonymous Coward 4
    Thumb Up

    At Last

    At last 6 weeks into a new year and finally we get a new BOFH, literally. I have been expecting this for a few years now. Looking forward to how it pans out.

  4. Tom Cook
    Dead Vulture

    The BOFH is dead

    Long live the BOFH.

  5. The Repulsive Monkey

    Hooray. BOFH Returns - Sort of

    'nuff said.

  6. Michael Miller

    The BOFH is dead!

    Long live the BOFH!

    1. MichaelBirks
      Dead Vulture

      To quote that other bastion of English bastardy...

      The BOFH is _Probably_ Dead, Long Live the BOFH!

  7. Z 1

    Ruh roh!

    The rise of the PFY to a more ruthless BOFH.

    However, one hopes for a Gordon Brittas style return from the grave for the original BOFH!

  8. Aaron Em

    Goodnight, sweet Bastard...

    ...and may a flock of angels sing thee to thy rest.

    1. Thomas 4

      I'm afraid

      ...I have to consider this extremely unlikely.

  9. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

    Hmmm, PFY in charge?

    but then Simon has returned from the dead before.

  10. Paul_Murphy

    They are going to need that backhoe.

    At the rate they are going through people.

    Wouldn't be surprising that it becomes a pool vehicle.


  11. Tim Schomer
    Dead Vulture


    .. The PFY finally did it then been in training long enough!). Nice to see he's keeping the 'old' ways alive^H^H^H^H^Hgoing still. I'm sure the BOFH will live on through him, it's how he would've wanted to go.

    gravestone for obvious reasons.

  12. RyokuMas


    Nobody with "upwards of 15k volts across the nipples" to save him this time. After weeks of speculation, an era ends.

    I almost feel humbled.

    Beer. Because it's what he would have wanted :)

  13. Isendel Steel


    PFY did for BOFH ! (and made sure of it in the ICU !) or is this the start of an error ?

  14. Darkwolf

    Simon dead??

    Say it isn't so.

    This must be some previous agreement between the BOFH and the PFY to first milk money from the company for his death (hence the "widow" who may be BOFH in drag), get rid of anyone who knows the BOFH (expect lots of death, especially beancounters) so that the BOFH can be later hired again?

    Would not be the first time he faked his own death.

    Alternatively the death could be legitimate, as a final retribution by the PFY for years of torment, so that he can become the new BOFH?

  15. hplasm
    Dead Vulture


    Dead?? Dead???

    I doubt it...

  16. Inekam
    Dead Vulture

    BOFH is dead. Long live the BOFH!

    Did you really kill BOFH i just cant believe it.

  17. Anonymous Coward


    That's a backhoe attached to a tractor...

  18. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
    Thumb Down


    He can't be dead. He must just be in the shower! Wake up PFY, wake up.

  19. Rob


    Say it ain't so, is this the new breed BOFH for the next generation?

    Or some life insurance scam by the old BOFH?

  20. Linbox

    BOFH? Dead?

    Say it ain't so. It's an insurance scam? A dodge? A wheeze....?

    (nice to have you back though, I was starting to think it was no more....)

  21. Tasogare

    I can't help but think...

    ...that for Simon to have gone this far, he must have some truly epic vengeance in mind.

  22. Dennis

    Am I dreaming

    Is there going to be a Bobby Ewing moment and this is all a dream?

    Or is it shades of Reggie Perrin's friend and time to collect the compo.

  23. Andrew Moore

    Sorry- not swallowing that one...

    he's going to turn up in the shower at the end of the series isn't he.

  24. Greg J Preece

    Woah woah woah

    Simon's dead?? As in, actually dead? Not hanging-onto-a-misplaced-Cat5-bundle-in-a-riser dead?


  25. Richard Jukes

    Where's Simon!

    What have you done with the real Simon! Sarah, Im looking at you!

  26. Marcus Aurelius

    It seems that PFY

    is the master now.

  27. Hugh Pumphrey

    But ...

    But ... but .... but .... You can't ... he can't be ....

  28. k0rrupt10n 1
    Thumb Up


    I was starting to think we weren't getting BOFH this year...

  29. Mr Templedene

    this has to be

    a dream sequence? surely the BOFH can't be dead?

    or some sort of scam?

  30. Robert Heffernan

    >ToDo: Insert Appropriate Title Here<

    Oh No!! Simon Dead!! This can't be happening! Thanks for the laughs old friend, you'll be missed.

    *A Pint, In memory of a legend!

  31. CanadianISP


    2010 just wasn't the same without BOFH - My year has now officially started.

    (And, as in a former life I was a backhoe operator, I LOLed at the mention - Brilliant!)

  32. Stuart Clark 2


    An interesting start to the new year; but one which somehow already looks decidedly final :(

  33. Victor 3


    This cannot possibly be right. SIMON DEAD?! I was hoping BOFH to IMPROVE my friday, not make it worse. Killing the Director made little to lift my spirits.

    Unless this is setting up some cool back-from-the-afterlife episode. One can only hope.

  34. samwisethecat



    Not after all this time since his early days in the newsgroups.

    This has got to be smoe sneaky bofh ish plan

    Mind you did I in fact didnt I recall a B.O In Hell a very long time ago or was that just my alchohol hazed student days playing tricks on me.

    WTF because it's now bugging me where Ifirst read BOFH (Nutworks rings a bell)

  35. ChessGeek

    Did Anyone...

    ...see the body?

  36. Peter Mount
    Thumb Up

    Getting worried

    I was getting worried for a while - BOFH depravation was kicking in...

  37. Alistair Wall

    spoiler alert

    May I be the first to ask whether the BOFH really dead, or whether the PFY has persuaded his LUG to stage a fake funeral while the BOFH is on his annual pilgrimage?

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dead? Nah...

    It's just a cunning ploy to get free beer.

  39. Andus McCoatover

    Hate reading between the lines..

    Is this our Illustrious BOFH's swansong? Hope not.

    Firstly, I bought a cattleprod from him on his splendid advice for a "knock-down price" - as he strangely described it - and after a brief demonstration or two, I bought it at a mere €2000 and a "Ruby Murry - and as-much-lager-as he-can-drink".

    (He told me it was good for reversing cowgirls - or something. I can only vaguely remember.).

    Did notice he'd been AWOL for awhile - so I guess the PFY's gonna step into his shoes? Please, NOT the boss!!!

  40. hplasm
    Dead Vulture


    Dead?? Dead???

    I don't think so....

  41. Iain Paterson 1
    Dead Vulture

    The death of the BOFH?!

    Say it ain't so!

    Will there be a Jason Vorhees style resurrection? The BOFH demands vengeance!

  42. Chris007
    Thumb Up

    Suspect more to this story...

    ...than meets the eye.

    Look forward to next installment which I hope will not be as long in coming

  43. Simon King

    Dead? NEVER!

    BOFH cannot die - he just comes back meaner!

  44. Bit Brain
    Thumb Up

    I for one…

    …welcome our new pimply-faced overlord.

  45. Dr. Mouse
    Dead Vulture

    It cannot be true!

    Simon? Our BOFH? Dead?!?

    This has got to be a windup!


    On a side note nice episode.

  46. Duckorange
    Dead Vulture


    Zombie BOFH neeeds braaaaaaainssssssss

    1. LaeMing

      Slim pickings

      To spend the afterlife wandering PHB- and user-lands hungry for brains. That WOULD be hell.

  47. Ed Blackshaw

    PFY finally getting the better of the BOFH?

    It can't be true. I sense some truly epic and mephistopholean revenge finding its way towards the PFY a few episodes hence...

  48. A. Coatsworth Silver badge

    Yeah, this is a title

    I've spent the last 6 weeks thinking the BOFH was dead. Today I finally see with joy that the BOFH is alive and well... only to discover the BOFH is dead! my mind boggles...

    In any case I raise my beer in honor to the departed, and I propose a toast for the self appointed new BOFH... may he be as ruthless and entertaining as the last one (and may he visit El Reg every 15 days and not every 6 weeks...)

  49. Chad H.
    IT Angle

    Dead again?

    The pfy's morned the death of the bofh before, only to find he's gone on to a better (paying) place and come back for him.

  50. paul carrington

    as if.......

    The compensation thing is the doubt Simon had a twin brother who was EXACTLY the same. Why else would PFY be worried about compensation for BOFH if they werent gonna just split it?

    1. JBardey
      Thumb Up

      Allo Allo

      Ahhh, the René Artois.

      1. Chika


        I always preferred his sister, Stella.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Bofh dead? NO!!!

    I think that is a conspiracy between the BOFH and the PFY and some friends out the BGNet (Bastard Global Network) include some friends out the government.

  52. Anonymous Coward


    That was just me ROFLing....

  53. liquidphantom

    1st person

    If it's always been written from the 1st person perspective of BOFH why is it suddenly written from the 1st person perspective of the PFY.... PFY really taking on the mantle?

    1. Rosuav

      Remember Arty Murray?

      There was a previous episode when the PFY narrated.

    Dead Vulture

    Dead, eh?

    No wonder there havent been any posts all Jan. Life support and all that. Pity, a lager would have done the trick...

  55. Dalen

    Oh my God....

    They killed Simon?

    ... Bastards.

  56. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Curiouser & Curiouser

    The BOFH gone? How can that be. All the stars are still in their rightful places. The universe appears to be intact. How can there possibly be an ex-BOFH?

  57. JBardey

    What is this I'm only 12..

    After reading this I imagined lots of users skipping in circles singing 'Ding dong the bastards dead'.


    This ones for you.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    Should I hand in my geek card for believing our beloved BOFH was playing hooky waiting for the ultimate accident of The Boss "accidentally" falling into an open grave and buried by a backhoe?

  59. Don Rickert

    After sitting on the edge of my seat...

    ...for many weeks, I find myself still sitting on the edge of my seat but I suddenly feel much better about things. Oh how the Bastard toys with us.

  60. Anonymous Coward

    BOFH no more

    Simon is now the Bastard Operator *In* Hell. (You don't seriously think he'd go anywhere else, do you?) Just wait a few weeks, the management there will either give him a promotion or send him back.

  61. Herby

    Correct implements?

    Silver Bullet? No!

    Wooden Stake? No!

    Atom Bomb? No!

    Cross Involved? No!

    BOFH is still out there! And Feb 12th ISN'T a full moon!!

  62. unitron

    We need a TARDIS icon

    So he doesn't just regenerate a new body like The Doctor?

  63. Shane Lusby
    Dead Vulture

    The BOFH is Dead.

    Long live the BOFH.

    Although, anyone else expecting a Sherlock Holmes death rather than the PFY actually taking on the mantle?

  64. ShadowDragon8685

    Dead? DEAD?!


    He can't be dead. He CAN'T be dead!

    I only JUST found BOfH during the interim, and I've been edge-of-seat angsting over whether BOfH was coming back or not, and... DEAD?!

    It's gotta be a trick. Has to be. Can't be anything but... Can it?

    Please let it be a trick, an insurance or hand-out scam or something... I mean... It's not like Simon ever REALLY tried to kill the PFY - hurt, sure, torment, sometimes, but after all the good times, all the adventures, all the cash and murder games... He couldn't have just killed the BOfH... He couldn't have......


  65. Adam White
    Dead Vulture

    BOFH? Dead!

    But his name's still on the byline...

  66. Anonymous Coward

    That's it

    I used to look forward to the BOFH stories, but am sad to realise they (at least to me) have lost their charm completely with the focus now on death and maiming.

    So long, and thanks for the ... stories!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I agree...

      The stories used to be much more about getting the stupid users to damage their own computers, file systems and the like. It resonated with the stupid requests users ask from me at my job.

      I used to take pleasure imagining it was me telling the Lusers to press the power butter 50 times in quick succession so that it fried the motherboard, or getting them to run a powerful magnet near over floppy drives containing near completed and un-backed-up coursework.

      The modern stories are too much about killing off the boss and inter-fighting with the PFY. These grew tiresome very quickly.

      I'd love to see these stories go back to their roots.

  67. M Gale


    He's going to end up like Arnold Rimmer, the cool version. All of these alternative Bastards, screwing up the multiverse in their own unique ways.

    Either that or the PFY is now the BOFH and a new PFY will be appointed. Sort of like the Sith.

    Whatever happens I'm sure it'll be fun finding out.

  68. Mark Hewitt
    Dead Vulture

    How he could return

    Don't think it'll be like Sherlock Holmes. Else the Bastard would have died in a mighty struggle with his arch, don't know who, and the PFY would have found the scene afterwards.

    Someone better not wake up next year and realise it was all a dream.

    Maybe the use of arcane computational arts could be bent to make him rise again.

    And if he was like the Doctor, he'd be back, somewhat the same character but strangely different. Ah, but the IT grind would soon mold him back into the same old ways.

    Then he could spend a year as the BOIH as someone else thought. Could get himself kicked upstairs. :)

  69. pipp

    It's not a long-term thing

    He's probably just spending a year dead for tax reasons :-)


    1. Josh 19

      Speaking of death for taxes...

      2010 is a good year for that in the US. The inheritance tax has been suspended. "Die now, your progeny get your estate tax free."

      I'll get my coat cause I'm a colonial. *sigh*

  70. LyosNorezel

    Dead? Possibly.

    Come on folks!

    Do you really expect Simon to keep writing forever?

    Maybe this is another ploy for more compensation... I honestly don't know, but Simon has been writing BOFH for... what? 10 years?

    Perhaps this is Simon's way of 'passing the BOFH torch' to a new generation of writers.

    Just a thought.

    BOFH Lyos

    1. peddley

      Dead? Possibly.

      10 years? Try 20?!?

      There have been several narrations by the PFY over the years, all written by Simon.

      Is where the old stuff lives

  71. Simon B


    Gutted. After waiting so long for BOFH to return and I find he is dead, nooooooooooooooo!!!

  72. Etrien Dautre



    Why is there "I wanna have babies" icon on the pad and no "Shoot the sheriff" one? Where is the UK (maybe US) democracy? I thought IT's nothing to do with a murder (basins, though).

    Hereby comes the above as a request to UK (maybe US) Attourney Generals.

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



    > Thud <


    remember Always two, there are. No more, no less. A master, and an apprentice.

  74. Anonymous Coward


    Really? C'mon now....He's got to pull through!

    I mean, I can't live without him!

    If he's gone, I'll be so phreakin' pissed

    Users will be ruling the day!

    Installing Windows Vista thinking it's better than 7 b/c of the name!

    Thinking they can accomplish ANY task on their own!!

    Thinking administrators are their friends!!!

    Wondering wh-...KZZZZZZZERT!!!!!!

    .....Ah, I see.

  75. Jerren


    I'll take the BOFH in the graveyard with the backhoe burning the management alive in an open grave after he has arranged compensation and hush money from the company FTW!

    Cheers Simon well played.

  76. Anonymous Coward

    XKCD did a cartoon that represents my feelings

    XKCD did a cartoon that represents how I feel better than I can put to words.

    The BOFH is dead, LONG LIVE THE BOFH!

    This ones on you.......

  77. mittfh

    Bear in mind...

    ...that the BOFH probably spent Christmas in hospital after realising too late that the PFY had wired his chair up to the mains...

    Unfortunately, given how motivated each of them are by clearing away rivals, that was a big mistake on the BOFH's part. After all, whilst temporarily incapacitated, the PFY could put certain schemes in motion...

    Whatever's happened to the BOFH, it's clear that he's legally dead even if not physically dead. So resuming his former position seems rather unlikely. Needless to say, the interviews for a new operator/sysadmin are going to be "interesting" - and no doubt the local hospital might consider placing an ambulance on standby outside the building to deal with any surviving unsuccessful candidates...

    Having said that, IIRC Simon and Steven have met the occasional like-minded IT person working for other companies in the area in the past...

    Grenade as it's an appropriate warning for potential candidates...

    1. martin burns

      Legally dead, but not physically dead

      Remind you of Connor MacLeod of the clan MacLeod at all?

  78. martin burns

    BOFH? Dead?

    @Will Godfrey.

    Remember the lesson of the Dread Pirate Roberts. There is *always* a BOFH.

  79. Anonymous Coward

    I'm not buying it...

    I'm gonna go with the BOFH has moved on to better things (IT at the hospital with all kinds of new toys) and this was more like a final exam for the PFY. Only way to get the job is employ all you learned and make sure you get what's coming to you. Besides, it never really said who's running the backhoe.

    *Cue mournful music as BOFH walks off into the sunset to the next company that needs his unique "expertise" a la some 70's kung fu movie.

  80. Anonymous Coward


    I guess shit happens.

    We'll miss you, Simon. So long and thanks for all the memories.

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