back to article Rogue toilet takes out Norfolk server

The IT support chaps and chapesses among you doubtless have a few entertaining war stories regarding preposterous causes of system outages, and we'd like to offer you this fine Friday the tale of the cantankerous crapper and the company server. Reader Stuart Drabble wrote to explain that in his almost 15 years of IT support, …


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  1. charles blackburn

    well there's the obvious one

    Norfolk server takes a s**t (or dump)

  2. Jolyon

    Cistern outage

    Pity poor Stuart for having to sift through the dumps from that one.

    Alt headline:

    WC PC KO

    (although now it is fixed WC PC OK, I suppose).

    1. Miek

      "Cistern outage #

      Pity poor Stuart for having to sift through the dumps from that one."

      Could have easily used "logs" to the same effect ;)

    2. Richard 23

      Fnar Fnar

      "Pity poor Stuart for having to sift through the dumps from that one"

      That's a new keyboard you owe me!!!

  3. Dave 12

    Should have looked at the logs first

  4. Anonymous John

    Brown screen of death?

    See title.

    1. David 66

      Brown Scren of Death is the funniest thing I've ever read

  5. The_H
    Thumb Up

    Word of the day

    Merdurinous... just wonderful.

  6. alphaxion

    "Wayward Porcelin Comms Unit Gives Office The Bums Rush"?

    Or just... "NFN"? ;)

  7. Alister

    Norfolk Server data flush outage

    That is all

  8. ThePlanMan

    Trying to get a TDWTF thread going on reg? Must be Friday.

  9. NoneSuch Silver badge

    Stall Tactics Cause Server Dump?


    The Number Two Reason for justifying a UPS is...

  10. paul clarke

    What a load of shit!

    This is the crappiest story I have read for a while. Was his server running a shitty OS?

    Note: the pun was intended.

  11. Deckchair






  12. GettinSadda

    A company that I worked for years back did computer maintenance and we were called out to a computer that had died suddenly - only to find that it had been cavity wall insulated! The site was being insulated with the expanding foam insulation that is pumped in through holes drilled at intervals. Unfortunately it turns out that there was a hole in the wall behind the computer and the foam had spilled out and filled the case!

  13. Greem


    mount -t vfat -o debug,flush,sink

    Mine's the one with the USB stick in the pocket.

  14. JasonW

    "Powerful poo pops PC power"

    or perhaps

    "Just the jobbie"

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: "compooter"

    That's exactly how they all pronounce "computer" in Norfolk anyway!

    (And "Norwich" rhymes with "March" in a Norfolk accent, but that's a story for another day.)

    1. Ru

      Which pronounciation of March?

      The delightful Cambridgeshire burg of March, located a scant few miles from the Norfolk border, is named by its residents a sort of harsh bray or bleat that might charitably be transcribed as 'Maaiirch'.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Naaridge is a good approximation of the sound. The more rural the longer the "aaa". (no rush in the country)

      I think most people still say PeeCee rather than com-poot-er. As in a local IT professional would say "Do you go to Naaridge and buy yourself a new PeeCee." (not a question)

      Anon. cos I leave there (here?)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Not only Norfolk, Suffolk people also pronounce it that way.

      As for NFN, I was at the Kelling Heath Star Party yesterday and overheard "Oooh, and he's going to marry his cousin!!"

      (Yes I know marrying a cousin isn't illegal now, but have no idea why not)

  16. ChrisW

    Surely it should just be 'Brown Out'?

  17. Synonymous Howard

    Was it the epoch or incremental dumps that caused the brown out?

    I would have never midden believed it.

  18. Marmite is sticky

    Crap crap pump flushes more than cache

    ... in a land of limited genetic variety.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or, as the medical community used to say...

      NFN (Normal for Norfolk)

  19. Pete 2 Silver badge

    OK, I admit - I'm bored

    so here goes:

    failed flush fries fuse,

    server severs system,

    monitor militates meltdown,

    pipes purged - poo probably precipitated problem

  20. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge


    Sump Pump Dump Lumps Stump IT Chumps...

    I know they fixed it, so that's nor fair. Still if I'm doing headlines, I don't actually have to tell the truth do I?

    If anyone can think of a word for server or power system that rhymes, I'll be very happy indeed. I suppose the other version is:

    Clumped Dump Lumps Stump Sump Pump

    1. SiliconSlick

      rhyme thyme

      Loco loo causes server fervor.

      Howard pissin' kills power system. (of course, this presumes there is a bloke named Howard working there)

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Head of IT tried to HUP httpd, ended up killing init and httpd instead (``kill -1 12345'' vs ``kill 1 12345''), resulting in a Friday excursion to the DC (and pub and KFC).

  22. TeeCee Gold badge

    East Anglian cesspit in boolean server aphorism confusion.

    Shit or bust becomes shit and bust.....

  23. Jim 59

    Sorry can't beat "Crazy crapper's crippling crash"

    so let me bore you with yet another war story. My home linux server would crash every time I cut the grass. Reason: The attached webcam, sensing motion in the garden, would take up to 10 photos a second and attempt to email each one with a seperate sendmail process. Soon after, the server dies for lack of memory. Or rather, the OOM killer would kill something that mattered.

    Server sunk in cesspit sludgefest

    Norfolk server sits on naughty stool

    these pithy headings are not as easy as they look

  24. Anonymous Coward 15

    Segmentation fault

    Core dumped.

  25. Armando 123


    Vocabulary is enhanced!

  26. Still Water

    Megaplop reduces server megaflops

    As title...

  27. wiz991

    Sewer system fault severs server system

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Loopy Loo lift loses local line link.

    See title.

  29. DJ 2

    "Up to his neck in it until the pump gets fixed".

    As title.

  30. Steve Davies 1

    Fecal Failure Flummoxes Failover

    Ordure Ordeal Orders Outage

    nod to Peter 2: Sewer Severs Server Support System

    Crap Culminates in Curtailed Cluster Capability

    Doo Doo Derails Drabble's Data

  31. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

    poolean overflow error, core dumped

  32. zen1


    that would be a shitty job. The paperwork just keeps piling up (documenting server outages for sla.. honestly).

  33. Zog The Undeniable

    Norfolk and power! exclaimed the server admin, frantically laying cables.

  34. Paul RND*1000

    "Septic Shock Slays Server" ?

    "Number too large" ?

    "Make: Don’t know how to make clean."

    I used to work with telephone exchanges and recall how we snickered during training when they started telling us about "big dumps" and "small dumps". Why yes, we *were* all straight out of university.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So unfair

    My anecdote from my time working tech support for a major ISP has become less rare. (Though in that case it was that the phone cable went past the pump and interference caused a loss of the adsl signal when the pump was running)

  36. Sly

    Paper Pile Plugs Pump, Pops Power (Server stuffed)

    Shitter Stuffed, Supply Shunted, Server Stops

    Loo Lags LAN

    Potty Plugs Ports

    Gut Dump Dumps Sump Server Bumped

    BOFH Beeped, Bog Bogged, Sump Stumped, Server Stuffed

    Server stuffed by lagged loo

    etc, etc

  37. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

    Poo Poo, Fuse McBlew, Stuart Drabble in Pub

    Pee title... eh sorry, _see_ title

  38. Mike Flex

    Clearly Norfolk'ing good.

  39. M Gale

    Server Splattered by Stuck Sewer?

    I recall with.. well I wouldn't say fondness... the cesspit that the Grandmother used to have before she got a digester - basically a miniature sewage plant - fitted. Every three months or so, the "poo lorry" would come down, pop the lid, stick a big pipe down there and slurp everything up. The eyewatering stench was close to indescribable. The entire 7 acres would become close to uninhabitable, with everyone retreating inside the cottage with all doors and windows shut. Of course, me being at a young age, I would try and get as close as I could to the action before the invisible wall of nostril-hair-curling stink became too much to bear.

    And someone might have to go down and fix this pump? Poor, poor souls. I don't envy them one bit.

  40. This post has been deleted by its author

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What an astounding news story!

    They have flushing toilets in Norfolk?!?

  42. William Boyle

    Network congestion?

    It sort of gives new meaning to the term "network congestion", doesn't it? Or would that more properly be "network constipation"? ;-)

  43. Lopez
    Thumb Up


  44. Pyromancer

    Flush Outage Outrage - Toilet Fingered.

    Subhead: Blocked sump pump causes core dump.

  45. Dick Emery

    Shitty server gone in a flush!

  46. J. Cook Silver badge


    The closest thing I have to this was the time I was decommisioning a dialup POP at a remote 'site' in a rural part of Arizona. Said site consisted of an ex bathroom in the back of an storefront.

    While the T-1 NIU and the 56K frame relay boxes were correctly and appropriately attached to the wall, the RAS server was simply sitting on the floor directly above the (sealed off) closet flange.

    My report to the boss after I had finished was " {site code} has been flushed from the network". He was amused by this as he was the one who installed it in the first place.

  47. Dlmax

    My shitty reply...

    Flush Pump Server Dump

  48. Richard Crossley

    Pub o'clock has come and gone

    Thx for the laughs,

    Clearly the log had been truncated.

  49. Will's

    IT cistern No2 design priority

    Or if we're going to be honest:

    "Really, this is just an excuse for another shitty pun thread"

  50. Mediocrates

    Massive logjam suspected in server crap-out

    nuff sed

  51. Anonymous Coward

    A Timezone Too Far...

    Another friday afternoon at The Vulture & Carry-on, biting the ass wot craps IT.

  52. Bill Murty

    Log In causes Log Out

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm not up to creating any funnies at present..

    as I've just been editing and organising images for the past fecknows hours...

    Would like to add the story of the place where some wonk (no doubt, with the usual impish sense of humour prevalent in all those people who've had to deal with us IT folks for a while) decided to locate the main comms racks directly under the main soil downpipe for the 10 storey building whose basement it was located in, just at the elbow joint...oh, how I laughed the day the elbow failed...

    Or the IT staff kitchen at a.n.other location with a rather similar 'issue' . Ok, it was not usually the most hygienic of places at the best of times, I'll admit, but a very slow leak in the soil pipe on the floor above was 'percolating' through the ceiling and dripping on the dishes and cups gave us, for a week or so, some rather unfortunate, ahem, 'run'time errors...

  54. The Original Steve

    Sniff my dump

    Says Norfolk server

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Monthly outage leads to extended downtime

    I thought a common reason for those pumps blowing fuses was "Feminine Products" being put down the loo.

    "String theory used to explain server crash"

  56. Mark 127

    Fitting new cat5?

    Laying new cable, causes server outage.

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