As a bit of variety for our readers, I’ve decided to throw together a periodic humor piece inspired by Simon Travaglia BOFH. It’s not exactly an angry rant… but it is Friday — you deserve a few laughs. For those new to the HoS series, the first episode is here.

It’s a little after 5, and I’ve snaffled the spare keys from Jimmy the Janitor’s formerly locked desk. Using them to open up the breaker panel in Li’s hallway, I pop the breaker so I can activate Plans #5 and #6 against Li and begin Operation: Confession. After gluing the lock mechanism shut and rigging up the handle, I reset the breaker and head to my observation post (a conference room on the same floor), armed with my laptop, a burrito and a large coke. Webcams with microphones are my friends.

The first 25 minutes or so are uneventful as the pepper spray starts to begin its release. Then suddenly…


In-A-Gadda-Da-Vita starts as scheduled. Excellent. I can hear the sound of shuffling papers and feet as Li wonders who exactly could be playing his least favorite song in the world. The shuffling stops. Evidently Li is going to try ignoring his predicament. A test of wills it will be then. Or perhaps a test of tear ducts, when the pepper spray starts to work it’s effect.

We’re about an hour and a half into the experience when I first start hearing the sounds of tissue use from Li. I’m starting to get excited, when suddenly…


In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida drowns out any sound from Li that the mic might pick up. Unfortunate.

After another half hour, Li gets his first taste of Phase #6 Something like:


Car batteries evidently cause quite the shock. The phone starts slamming against the hook as Plan #2 also appears to be a success.


That would be Li pitching his cell phone across the office as the jammer (Phase #4) works it’s magic. It’s about time for me to slip a couple of door wedges in place so even if Li manages to bust up the glued-shut lock with a few good kicks, the door still won’t open.


Just in time too. Now that I can hear his tears, it’s time to send him the letter. This is the tricky part. The letter can’t actually impersonate a law enforcement officer, since that’s a felony. Instead, I had to carefully craft the letter to be intimidating without quite saying who the intimidater is. The letter reads as follows:

“Mr. Chen,
It has come to our attention that you have been engaged in inappropriate use of computer resources, namely the use of a local root exploit against a university computer, and the execution of a network vulnerability test suite against Department systems. You can choose to lie and claim you were innocent, in which case you will spend the entire evening in this room. Upon release in the morning, paperwork will be filed with ICE requesting the revocation of your visa and your deportation to China. Your academic career will be over and you will likely never be able to enter the United States again.

If you are, however, a wise man and sign the attached confession and pledge to never again do such acts, we will ensure your immediate release and continued academic progress.

Informing any other person of your current predicament either now or at any time in the future will result in your expulsion from the University and deportation. The authorities are not pleased with your conduct, but if you confess, they will ignore it. This time. You have precisely one hour to reply.”

A number of my readers have complained that they would feel a little squeamish about reading a graphic torture scene. To them I say: You’re a bunch of wimps. But this is a family publication, and my editors tell me that I’ve reached the limits of even what Jack Bauer is allowed to do on network television, so I’ll have to cut the rest of the fascinating account of breaking Li. Let’s just say that it took a lot more effort to get what I want than I had expected. I had to resort to the ultimate deterrent, something far worse than the likes of even tubgirl: goatse (ed – Links removed to spare your immortal soul. Please do not google for that word. Ever. We mean it. We will not be held liable for you gouging your own eyes out) .

I drop the signed confession in the mailbox of the department secretary and head home for the evening, full of the knowledge that my biggest test will come in the morning at the expulsion hearing…

Wish me luck, dear readers.