Programming languages come to dinner

Summary: What if programming languages were human, and came home to have dinner would you?

You come home late one day, to find the house busy. Your mother asks you to dress up, as all your programming language relatives are visiting. You enter the drawing room to find C and C++ arguing about something.

“You damn kids! Don’t teach me coding until you grow up, you little baby.”

C++ laughs,  and you are forced to join him. While C is 42 years old, at 37, C++ is the second oldest person in the room. To outsiders, both of them look practically the same.

“You calling me a kid? Well, grandpa, at least I’m still relevant.”

“I’m relevant too, kid.  Operating systems, compilers and embedded systems would fail without me, kid. You fancy modern languages wouldn’t survive two days without me, kid.”

“I know that, C. Although I could take over your role any day. I don’t want to, because I’m making so much money writing code for BigCorp.”

Just then, your young cousin C# walks in. “Both of you are old farts. Most big companies prefer me now.”

“No, they don’t,” say C & C++ together.

“Both of us make more in a month than what you earn in six months,” says C++.

“No you don’t. Also, I’m cooler.”

C spits on the floor. “I still don’t like what you did to Visual Basic.”

C# throws his hands in the air. “For the millionth time, that wasn’t me! MicroEvil made that decision. I didn’t even find out till it was too late.”

In the corner, Visual Basic is crying. That is all he does, ever since MicroEvil Corp forced him to undergo plastic surgery, to make him look more like C#. They felt that if he looked young and pretty like C#, he would make more money. Instead, his operation was a failure, and now he spends all his time crying from the pain. C  & C# feel sorry for him, and go to get him a pain killer.

Your mom announces dinner, and everyone sits at the table. The last to come in is Java. He is wearing a really old t-shirt, which stinks, as he hasn’t bathed for weeks. He is carrying his guitar.

“Hey guys. I’m finally learning the master the guitar. I can play a whole tune now.”

Java was really cool once, though he hasn’t been so for at least twenty years. No one has told him that, though.

And he goes ahead and plays ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’, the only tune he knows, and the one he has been playing for weeks. When he finishes, everyone claps politely, while C makes a face of contempt. C++ keeps a hand on his shoulder and whispers to him.

“Remember what we discussed? We will try to treat the younger generation better?”

“I would treat them better, if they were making any money.”

“They will. Both of us have to retire someday. Hopefully, the kids will catch up.”

C nods. And then he looks at a stranger. “Who are you?”

“I’m Delphi. Your cousin.”

“Never seen you.”

The others agree. Who is this Delphi guy? C# speaks up. “Are you even a programming language? Does anyone even use you?”

Delphi points to his BMW parked outside. “Make more money than you, fancy pants.”

Your mother steps in between them. “Now, now. No fighting at the dinner table. You will scare Cobol.”

Cobol is sleeping at the table, drooling all over the sheets. You see a young Indian boy standing next to him. He’s barely a teenager. He smiles at you.

“Hi,” he says shyly.

“Hi,” you say, and wonder who he is. Your mom explains. “This is Vishal, from India. Since your great-grandpa Cobol is so old, we are training him to take over.”

“He looks a bit young,” you say.

“Yes, he is thirteen. His family wanted an iPhone, so they sold him to us as a slave. We’ve declared him a critical computer resource; that way, we don’t need a visa for him, and don’t have to pay any tax on the money he makes. He sleeps in the toilet, and works sixteen hours a day.”

Vishal smiles. “I already made the company a fifty thousand dollar profit, in just two weeks. The CEO and directors have each given themselves multi-million dollar bonuses. And as a thank you, they say I can sleep in the kitchen now. That way, I don’t have to get up anytime anyone wants to pee.”

Cobol wakes up. “Yes, fine boy. He is taking over my role completely. Now, if only he could change my diapers as well.” And he goes promptly back to sleep.

You see there is a separate table, and two men are sitting there. They are wearing monocles, and drinking fine wine. And they are talking in whispers about something.

“Who’s that, mom?” you ask. “Why aren’t they sitting with us?”

You mom asks you to keep quiet. “They are nobility, dear. Too good to sit with us.”

One of the man stands up, and fixes his monocle in place. “Don’t worry, ole chap. Let me introduce myself. I am Haskell, the language of pure bloods.”

The other man stands up. “And I am Lisp, the language for those born in the upper classes.” He takes a sip from his vintage wine. “Say ole chap, this wine is splendid.”

“Tally Ho, handsome chap. It’s a 1970 Chateau de Le Fancy Pants. Cost almost 800 dollars.”

“That I paid for,” says C++. “Since the two of you don’t work.”

“My dear, we are pure blood, pure mathematical languages. We represent beauty, truth and elegance. You don’t actually expect us to get our hands dirty, coding like a monkey for peanuts?”

“The rest of us work for a living, you know. That doesn’t make us monkeys,” says C#.

“The cheek,” says Lisp. “Comparing yourself to us. Have you seen our code? We are so elegant. And beautiful. Everyone just loves us.”

They both touched their hair. “Yeah,” says Haskell, “we are so pretty. If we went out into the real world, our beauty would diminish.”

“Yeah. We would become like you guys. Even being in the same room as you plebeians is sucking my coolness.”

“Ignore them,” says C. “The rest of try to, very hard.”

The dinner is almost over, and everyone is beginning to leave. You thank everyone for coming, and help your mom clear the table. Just as your mom finishes washing the dishes,  LolCode turns up.

“Hai,” he says. “I Can Haz Food?”


Related: Scripting languages come to dinner The same treatment, but with scripting languages.

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