An IT help desk in Harlow.

Dean: Well, I certainly won’t do it again.

Ian: Just answer yes or no. Do you understand the consequences?

Dean: I have a hard time believing the consequences could be that severe.

Ian: Yes or no?

Dean: Fine… yes.

Ian: Because I think I told you about the last person to plug in their personal laptop to our system.

Dean: You said it caused chaos.

Ian: Chaos? It’s more like what’s called superchaos.

Dean: I don’t believe that’s a word.

Ian: It’s an IT term, a professional IT term. You could have toppled the entire infrastructure of the company.

Dean: I very much doubt that.

Ian: Oh, so now you’re the IT expert?

Dean: No.

Ian: I didn’t know I was speaking to another IT expert who had trained as much as me and got certification.

Dean: I’m just saying my laptop’s safe.

Ian: So you have a complete and ongoing list of every virus in the world?

Dean: I do have virus software.

Ian: So do most of the cyberterrorists.

Dean: We’re a stationery firm. I don’t think cyberterrorists are targeting us.

Ian: So I guess you don’t play Warcraft?

Dean: No, I don’t play video games.

Ian: Attacks come from all sides. It’s a hard but necessary lesson.

Dean: We’re talking one laptop here.

Ian: You don’t know what’s hidden inside. You heard of the Trojan pony?

Dean: No, I haven’t.

Ian: It’s a Roman myth about a large pony stuffed with explosives. Everyone thinks it’s innocent until it goes off. It kills and maims hundreds.

Dean: I think you might mean the Trojan horse. From The Aeneid? [Pause]

Ian: No, I don’t.

Dean: Fine, then.

Ian: The Trojan pony is actually an IT term, a professional IT term. OK? Have I been clear? Have I made myself perfectly clear in this situation?


The waiting room of a community health centre.
The visitor’s gallery of the European Parliament in Brussels.
A café in Paris, 20th arrondissement.
The paint aisle.
A downtown café.
A large hardware store.
A laneway.
A path through a forest of old cedars.
A cafe in Oregon.
A used bookstore.
In Christian heaven.
At the home of a crossword puzzle setter.
Outside a car dealership.
The Salish Sea.
A cafeteria.
In a forest.