Don't say 'I love you'
We've got to admit that the guy who wrote the 'I love you' virus is a clever guy indeed. There are two reasons why I say this. First, he wrote the virus, which is a clever thing in itself. I don't know what it takes to write one though my manager tells me the programs I write are deadlier than any known virus. The second reason is the name he chose for his product. 'I love you' is one of the most popular phrases - if not the most - in the English language. Another phrase that is equally popular is the one that has two words and also ends with 'you'. It is not advisable to mention that term in decent material like this.
Since the time of Adam men have been suckers for the three letters 'I love you'. It is a phrase that is guaranteed to titillate, which, I think, is the main reason this virus went so far. In order to understand properly the significance of this term in the context of this virus, I ask you to rename the virus file with a phrase like 'Truth always triumphs' and send it to your friends. Look at the papers the next morning and see if you can find any mention of it. I'm sure you won't. If you are not satisfied yet, substitute 'Unity in Diversity' for the three letters and send it to everyone. Call up your local TV station the next morning and ask them if they have any news item about the new Unity-in-Diversity virus. I won't be surprised if you don't get an answer. The receptionists at TV stations, I am told, are very kind people. They donít swear at callers, however loony they may be. They just hang up.
Our company was one of the many affected by the virus. On the day the virus struck I came in earlier than usual. I saw this virus on my inbox and eagerly opened it. Phat! It didn't take me long to find out what happened. All my colleagues had burnt their hands too, and we were sitting idle not knowing what to do. The manager came later. Not having the courage to tell him what we had done we let him experience it himself. He saw the file in his mail. He clicked on the 'I love you' message expecting to see roses and violets. Instead, he saw stars. He got angry and dangerous too and swore continuously for the rest of the day. Many things happened after that. The servers were pulled down and that was the end of the productive day for us. The manager was frustrated. "If I hear anyone say 'I love you' he'll be fired," he threatened. For me it wasn't a problem. There is no one in my office I say 'I love you' to, or at least, that is what my wife thinks. One of my colleagues had a tough time communicating with his wife when he got a call from her. Here is how the conversation went.
"Hey, darling. What's up?" He said when he heard her voice.
"Nothing, dear," she replied. "I want you to do something for me."
"Of course, dear. Whatever you say."
"Will you get some mayonnaise and garlic on the way home?"
"I'm going to hang up, darling. I have a lot of work to do," his wife said. "Don't forget the mayonnaise."
"No problem, dear."
"Bye-bye. Wait! Wait! Before I hang up I want to say 'I love you'."
"I too - no, I mean I appreciate it, honey."
There was a pause on the other end. Hearing nothing she said, "Did you hear what I said?"
"Of course I heard what you said."
"Aren't you going to say something."
"Yeah. I said I appreciate it."
"I told you I love you."
"I said I do too, darling."
"What do you do?"
"I do what you do me."
"What happened to you, Martin? Are you not well?"
"Of course I am, darling."
"You don't seem to be. Don't you love me, Martin?"
"Why don't you say so?"
"I just said so!"
"Why can't you open your mouth and say 'I love you'?"
"Well," he looked around, saw the manager standing close by and said, "I can't, darling."
"Because someone here is going to get terribly angry if I do?"
"Someone there is going to get angry.... Holy cow! Martin, are you flirting with some one at the office? "
"No, no, baby. Let me explain....."
By then, it was too late for him to explain. She had hung up. The last I heard from this guy, he was still spending his nights in a hotel because his wife wouldn't let him sleep with her.
A lady in my office wanted to warn her husband about the virus. She sent him an email telling him not to open attachments that had the letters 'I love you'. Knowing that her husband was a dumbo she tried to put the point across to him with illustrations. She attached the virus to the email and wrote underneath - 'If you see something like this don't click on it." The husband saw the attachment and wanted to make sure it was the same file his wife asked not to click on. He clicked on it........
It has been estimated that the damage caused by the virus is in the vicinity of ten billion dollars. I don't know how people came up with this amount though it may be true for all I know. Yet this dangerous virus had some beneficial effects too. Listen to this.
I got a call from a friend who works for another company.
"Hey D.S. I heard you guys are down with virus?" he asked.
"What about you?" I asked. "Didnít you get it?"
"WellÖ.," he dragged. "Not really."
"What do you mean by that?" I asked.
"We got the virus. Our manager told us not to tell others about it?"
"Why not? Did it cause huge damage?"
"Itís sort of a secret. Tell me you wonít tell anyone."
"I promise I wonít."
"You know the operating system we use here, donít you? The one that crashes all the time."
"The virus attacked last week and it hasnít crashed since. It works fine."
"What! Are you telling me the system works better with the virus."
"Yes. The virus fixed some of the system software. Something the company who sold it wasnít able to do."
"Man! This is really something. Tell me. Are you paying the virus guy for the fix."
"Our company would like to. We donít know who it is. We are careful not to let the manufacturers come to know about this."
"They might try to sell the virus along with the operating system. Thatís why. Donít you tell any one! And donít write an article about this."
"I promise I wonít," I said and hung up. I didnít keep my promise though.
Just keep this in mind. If you write a virus it may not be a bad idea to obtain a patent for it. You might after all profit from it.
It is not true in the case of the love-bug though. It has caused more harm than good all the world over. The police and the FBI are still looking for the author. I donít know what they would do or say when they find him. I know what they are not going to say though Ė ĎWe love you.í