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Tours de Farce: What About Bob?

12:00 AM Tuesday 10/7/03 |   |

We never thought this day would come. We thought it was always "tomorrow," or the "next day," or the "week after next." But come it did, and we have to face the facts, for we can no longer deny the inevitable.

Today is the day our chief computer programmer retires from Pollstar.com.

Of course, the same law that prevents us from identifying CIA operatives keeps us from mentioning our soon-to-be ex-chief programmer by name, so we'll just call him "Bob."

What many people don't realize is that Bob invented the date-city-state-venue data model that's now standard operating procedure within the concert info industry when listing artists such as Ronnie Milsap and bands like Kittie and Hoobastank. Additionally, even fewer people know that Bob further revolutionized concert routing science by insisting that all schedules, from Aerosmith to ZZ Top, be listed in chronological order, with earliest date first, and the latest date last. Needless to say, Bill Gates was quite jealous.

Of course, before Bob leaves, we have to take steps to ensure that the proprietary knowledge contained between his ears never falls into the wrong hands. After all, Bob wrote all the underlying computer code that allows us to list schedules for Glasseater, Dierks Bentley and The Mars Volta on this Web site, and heaven knows what would happen if that knowledge fell into the hands of terrorists or Canadians.

Therefore, before Bob checks out one last time, management will sit him down for the exit interview where they'll shave his scalp, plug in the electrodes and wipe his brain until his cerebral cortex is as smooth as a baby's behind. Then they'll dump him in the streets of downtown Fresno, along with a note stapled to his collar imploring whoever finds him to give him a good home.

Yes, we're going to miss Bob. We'll miss his guidance, his cheery demeanor, and his habit of wandering through the Pollstar.com hallways late at night, a bottle of Fresno's finest scotch in one hand, his Smith & Wesson in the other, lurching down the corridors, talking to the Elton John poster while shooting at anything that moved. Yes, Bob was much more than just another Gerald McRaney look-alike with a Kevlar-lined pocket protector. He was our guiding light, our leader of logarithm logic, our sultan of subroutines.

But no more. Soon Bob will be gone and our lives will never be the same. But we'll always remember him when we enter dates for Michael Johnson or update the schedules for Arlo Guthrie and Lee Greenwood. We'll remember his hardy laugh and his unique way of humiliating computer technicians until they fall to their knees sobbing and whimpering. Yes, things won't be the same around Pollstar.com without Bob.

Especially at lunch time, for Bob was the only Pollstar.com employee smart enough to figure out how to operate the TV remote control for the satellite dish. Hmmm... That's a required skill we definitely should include in the "help wanted" ad in tomorrow's newspaper.

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