The Perfect Programmer

"No program is perfect,"
They said with a shrug.
"The customer's happy--
What's one little bug?"

But he was determined,                  Then change two, then three more,
The others went home.                   As year followed year.
He dug out the flow chart               And strangers would comment,
Deserted, alone.                        "Is that guy still here?"

Night passed into morning.              He died at the console
The room was cluttered                  Of hunger and thirst
With core dumps, source listings.       Next day he was buried
"I'm close," he muttered.               Face down, nine edge first.

Chain smoking, cold coffee,             And his wife through her tears
Logic, deduction.                       Accepted his fate.
"I've got it!" he cried,                Said "He's not really gone,
"Just change one instruction."          He's just working late."
                -- The Perfect Programmer