back to article BOFH: The vengeance bus is coming, and everybody's jumping. An Xmas bonus hits me…

BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns It wouldn't be Christmas without the smell of chestnuts on an open fire and the sound of carols in the air … christmas bus Click to enlarge And, as I wake up from my brandy-induced chair-nap in Mission Control, the thought occurs to me that the roasting smell is more dumpster-fire …

  1. John Robson Silver badge

    He'll learn

    He'll learn that he made those mistakes, just not with enough time to use that lesson

    1. Coastal cutie

      Re: He'll learn

      It was nice knowing him..............

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: He'll learn

        Oh, the PFY has at least a dozen such learnings behind him. Given that the PFY must be at least 50 this year, I think he needs rebranding as the POF.

        But he seems to age about as rapidly as Bart Simpson...

        The same goes for the BOFH, he must be well on his way to 70 this year...

        I made myself a collection of all the public BOFH episodes (there were a couple of special episodes for those that paid the Reg bribe money), I call the "book", The Complete Bastard... The first numbered year was 1996, but the BOFH goes back to the early 90s with the original Striped Irregular Bucket episodes.

        I didn't get around to updating it last year, but as of 2020, the BOFH had killed 133 people, got 125 fired and a further 202 maimed. The PFY is only at 31, 28 and 101 respectively. I need to get busy updating my collection for last year.

        1. Xeiran

          Re: He'll learn

          I still remember reading some of the first BOFH episodes, where Simon was employed at a University IT dept and had fun deleting student access to the mainframes or redirecting account backups to dev/null while blaming it all on cosmic radiation anomolies. And I've not seen it mentioned in years, how many people here these days even know (or remember) what PFY stands for? Good times...

          1. big_D Silver badge

            Re: He'll learn

            Excuse: Earth magnetic fields.

            Now, just run back across the campus to your PC, holding the disk above your head, or it will erase.

            (hint, the BOFH had already erased it.)

          2. bpfh

            Re: He'll learn

            Ahhh yes, fingering the results of purity tests, introducing IT students to the remark command (or as professionals call it 'rm'), adding lots of space to user's accounts using that aforementioned "remark" command as an archiving tool, but being the professional he is, making sure there is a backup (on paper printouts)

          3. Marshalltown

            Re: He'll learn

            The first BOFH I ever read mentioned redirecting a doctoral dissertation to /dev/null IIRC. I worked at a company with absolutely no reason to deal with the more intricate details of computers, networks, servers and such. Then the "boss" got a wild hair up an orifice and decided to diversify, become an ISP. Briefly I and my co-workers were drafted to help as "support" staff, hell desk and such. Then he brought in a young Goth to manage the ISP side of things, and another to support him. The young Goth decided that all computers in the office were HIS domain, regardless of the needs of the rest of the business's other side, which, as I said had nothing whatsoever to do with ISP trivia. But I and a colleague HAD installed the peer to peer network, before the Boss had his brainstorm. Our would be IT manager would lock the rest of the office out of access to the print server for no good reason when he left for the night. It was NT, but we had a floppy disk that could reboot it to useability for its intended purpose - printing. He would rage about the instability that would ensue. NT didn't like the by pass trick. Finally, he quit, calling out "harassment" as the reason, since he received no respect for his decisions regarding the Print Server. Even the Boss pointed out that there were others that needed the printers. His understudy moved up, and after actually talking with us about what was "wrong" with the print server, nearly died laughing, and directed me to the early BOFH pieces.

        2. JimboSER

          Re: He'll learn

          I didn't get around to updating it last year, but as of 2020, the BOFH had killed 133 people, got 125 fired and a further 202 maimed. The PFY is only at 31, 28 and 101 respectively. I need to get busy updating my collection for last year.

          Don't forget, the BOFH even came back from the dead once, much to the PFY's surprise.

          1. big_D Silver badge

            Re: He'll learn

            That was one of the PFY's learnings:

            Never open the BOFH's hidden stash, until you have seen the body, dismembered it, covered it in quicklime, rolled it in a carpet, driven it to a dump, poured petrol over it and bunt it... Even then, you can never be sure, best leave it alone...

  2. Rob

    Ah the folly of youth, there's always something to learn.

    Merry Christmas Simon, looking forward to a bumper 2022 filled with rolls of carpet and bags of lime.

    1. bpfh

      The odd non-consensual high-voltage bzzzzeert would be nice to see too.

  3. sad_loser

    Vintage BOFH

    Thank you Simon and happy Christmas to all BOFHs, and their cattle prods.

  4. Maverick

    2 massive quotes in there to finish the year off;

    The rub is that the last time he tightened his belt was probably 40kg and two wives ago. But he still has the same belt, which gives him the look of a partially made balloon animal.


    By the end of the day I'm less popular than a Yoko Ono double album.


    many thanks Simon for all the laughs

    1. Mark 85

      Both of those painted and image in my brain that made me shiver and I'm sure nightmares to follow.

      Well done, Simon.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      You forgot the taste free chocolates!

    3. Moonrunner

      On a good note, that's still more popular than a Yoko Ono original album :-D When I was a kid, I was going through my uncle's vinyl collection and came across her album. As soon as I started playing it, 23 stray cats and 6 air raid sirens went off. It was a traumatic experience!

      1. TranceWarp


        Oh, no...

    4. 9Rune5


      Yoko -- a hero to everyone who types (or sings) in ALL CAPS

      1. John 104

        Re: Ono

        Is it possible to type off key?

        1. rdm

          Re: Ono

          YEs IT Is POSSiBLE TO TYPe Off kEY!

          1. perlcat

            Re: Ono

            You have to hand it to Yoko, not everyone can make a Shatner album seem appealing.

            1. JohnTill123

              Re: Ono

              EVERYONE knows when to turn Yoko off.


  5. Dave Walker 1

    Merry Christmas BOFH

    All valuable lessons to learn here

    Nice to see the BOFH and PFY ending the year in fine style

  6. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

    Brilliant episode!

    True BOFH Xmas spirit. Just the thing I need to steel myself for the impending visit to the parents-in-law

    1. MrDamage Silver badge

      Re: Brilliant episode!

      Sounds like you're like me. You need glasses to see your in-laws. Specifically, pint glasses, of scotch.

  7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Are we going to see the PFY traded in for a younger model? After all, he's been on the go for far too long for the Y to apply.

    1. Martin

      I think the BOFH and PFY are a bit like the heroes in any long-running book series - they don't age like you or me. Steve Carella was in his early thirties in the fifties when Ed McBain's 87th Precinct started. By 2005, he was probably in his late forties. See also: the Famous Five, Roy of the Rovers, Spenser, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, the Black Widowers, etc etc etc....

      1. Alligator
        Thumb Up

        ...not to mention the Cabot Cove Serial Killer, Jessica Fletcher.

        Merry Christmas Everyone.

        May all your Festive support call outs be:

        a) trivially solved remotely in 2 minutes flat


        b) chargeable as overtime with an obscene Christmas rate multiplier in a minimum whole day billing period due to an overlooked clause in your contract.

      2. Blackjack Silver badge

        Hercule Poirot actually aged, is noticeable if you have read most of the books including his last case.

        1. Martin

          Yes, he did. But he was meant to be old and retired in 1921 in his first novel and was still detecting in the sixties and seventies. Reference is made in one of the books to his cases in the Belgian Police in the eighteen nineties. So either he was well over a hundred at the end of his career, or, like Steve Carella, he got older at a slower rate than the rest of us.

          1. segillum

            George Smiley's age

            John le Carre's George Smiley ages very slowly. He seems to have been in his thirties during World War II but was still lecturing at Sarratt after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

            1. davidp231

              Re: George Smiley's age

              "John le Carre's George Smiley ages very slowly."

              What do you expect... he was played by a Jedi Master...

              1. Fr. Ted Crilly Bronze badge

                Re: George Smiley's age

                Or John Sessions in Stella Street...

    2. Marty McFly Silver badge

      Replacement PFY??

      We have read about age & treachery beating youth & inexperience for years. Imagine the creative writing fun if the BOFH is stuck with a Young Chippy for an assistant. Especially if she is secretly as devious as he is.

      Of course T&A vs BOFH would only be good if this column included pictures....

  8. W.S.Gosset


    Class, mate. Class.

    Been dipping into BOFH since '92 in Brissie when me mates put me on to you, you were being forwarded a lot at uni. This is right up there with the best. Clickety-click, sunspots, he'll learn.

    Merry bloody Christmas!

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Simon:

      I first got them as a fanfold printout from our ops at around the same time.

      I made myself a "complete set" in 2020, although it needs updating with last years episodes. It runs to well over 1,600 pages. I call it The Complete Bastard. I keep it with me for rainy days.

      I even went through it again marking who they killed, maimed or got fired. The London "talent" pool has been truly decimated over the last 3 decades (well, it was down under for the first few episodes).

  9. Blofeld's Cat

    Excellent ...

    Once again experience and treachery defeats youth and enthusiasm.

    Assisted by a No. 666 bus of course ...

    Merry Christmas to one and all.

    1. Potty Professor

      Re: London Trolleybus routes...

      London Trolleybus route 666 ran from Edgware to Hammersmith in the 1960s, until it was replaced by the 266, operated by Routemasters.

  10. Uk_Gadget

    Class--- Happy Crimbo All

  11. Down not across

    Merry Christmas Simon!

    Thank you for the very seasonal, and traditional episode. I'm all set now in proper mood as I'm about to log out and turn the phone off until next year.

  12. chivo243 Silver badge

    Thanks for this gift!

    less popular than a Yoko Ono double album! And they'll think I'm smiling because it's X-mas Eve!

    Merry Christmas Simon!

  13. Sgt_Oddball

    And they say revenge is best served cold...

    Tisk tisk on the PFY. I'm more partial to duct tape myself...

    Does this mean though 2022 will see the romance ending? Talk about a cliffhanger for the end of the year.

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: And they say revenge is best served cold...

      Nah, the PFY had him electrocuted once, he even had special Christmas tinsel made for that occasion! There was a next episode about "forgive and forget", with certain therapies...

  14. FuzzyTheBear

    Less popular than yoko ?

    Err dunno about you .. but for me that's bottom scrapes of the barrel .. should listen to her rendition of 21th century schizoid man that's .. horrible .. :D

    If your less popular than that .. consider euthanasia :D

    Thanks for the laughs .. Merry Christmas everyone.

    1. Roger 11

      Re: Less popular than yoko ?

      "listen to her rendition of 21th century schizoid man"

      Tell me that's not true. Horrible wench. :(

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And a Merry Christmas to all... :)

  16. Blackjack Silver badge

    1) You know you are getting the blame for the fire, right Simon?

    2) Is extremely easy to expend fake cash without getting caught... as long as it is in low numbered bills and you mix it with real cash.

    3) Better check he has not removed the bus engine and sold it online. Or that it is now in some museum as modern art. Actually it is probably in some museum as modem art.

    1. Korev Silver badge

      2) Is extremely easy to expend fake cash without getting caught... as long as it is in low numbered bills and you mix it with real cash.

      May we ask how you know?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Username ?

    2. michaelsouris

      "2) Is extremely easy to expend fake cash without getting caught... as long as it is in low numbered bills and you mix it with real cash."

      But we've established that they are Turings, i.e. £50s, which are difficult enough to drop when they are genuine.

  17. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Love it!

    I knew there would be a twist - thing is I can never work it out in advance. Clearly I have to study evilness more thoroughly :)

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      It's a never-ending job.

      Ask my mother-in-law.

      1. Hot Diggity

        Now wondering

        I'm now wondering if you are studying your mother-in-law, or if she is studying you.

        Hopefully the latter. Much more fun

  18. Rich 11

    as I wake up from my brandy-induced chair-nap in Mission Control

    As long as you're only drinking Tesco's Own Brand rather than something decent, the trick is to mix it with Coke Zero so that the adverse effects broadly kick in 20% later. That gives you plenty of time and a sufficient retained degree of manual dexterity to text the activation code to the Serbian hitman once your suspicions have been confirmed.

  19. BMX Bandit

    As always...

    Brilliant! Thanks for all the belly laughs this year Simon. Merry Xmas to all.

  20. earl grey

    happy new year to all

    and to all a good night

  21. StillBill

    Is it just me

    or the article right after this one is:

    Chip manufacturing equipment vendor ASML reports fire at Berlin factory

    Well, now we know where the BOFH and PFY ended up after Brexit

  22. AIBailey


    All that's missing are the Eastenders' "doof-doof's"

  23. Semper Phoenix
    Thumb Up

    Bravo, Simon :)

    Oh Simon, thank you :) I didn't take you for a man who was in to the Vengaboys (unless it's an El Reg editor titivating the title and caressing the caption). Well done for not losing the upper hand over Stephen the Pimply-Faced "Youth" :) Always be your bastard self, please :)

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