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I was musing on similarities between Santa Claus and system administrators. Consider:

1. Santa is bearded, corpulent, and dresses funny.

2. When you ask Santa for something, the odds of receiving what you wanted are infinitesimal.

3. Santa seldom answers your mail.

4. When you ask Santa where he gets all the stuff he’s got, he says, “Elves make it for me.”

5. Santa doesn’t care about your deadlines.

6. Your parents ascribed supernatural powers to Santa, but did all the work themselves.

7. Nobody knows who Santa has to answer to for his actions.

8. Santa laughs entirely too much.

9. Santa thinks nothing of breaking into your $HOME.

10. Only a lunatic says bad things about Santa in his presence.

Merry Christmas, worms.

Historic note: this was the first thing I recall writing that escaped into the wild. I sent out what I thought was a mildly amusing seasonal greeting to my users, and someone forwarded it to someone else… Of course, the following Christmas one of my users sent it to me. Shortly before suffering an inexplicable refusal of the “ls” command to return anything but

ls: .: permission denied