Shooting Yourself in the Foot

Shooting yourself in the foot, it turns out, can be done in many different programming languages.  Or, once the vendors actually had to mass-market them, "application development frameworks".  (Programming language + runtime libraries + syntax cues for a text editor = application development framework.  But that's a rant for another day.)

Somehow, despite the fact that I am considered an aficionado of the geekier time-wasters, I only became aware of this gem early this morning.

A few samples:

370 JCL You send your foot down to MIS and include a 300-page document explaining exactly how you want it to be shot. Two years later, your foot comes back deep-fried.

Ada If you are dumb enough to actually use this language, the United States Department of Defense will kidnap you, stand you up in front of a firing squad, and tell the soldiers, "Shoot at his feet."

Algol You shoot yourself in the foot with a Civil War-era musket. The musket is aesthetically fascinating, and the wound baffles the adolescent medic in the emergency room.

APL You hear a gunshot and there's a hole in your foot, but you don't remember enough linear algebra to understand what happened.

Assembly You try to shoot yourself in the foot only to discover that you must first invent the gun, the bullet, the trigger, and your foot.


Using only 7 bytes of code, you blow off your entire leg in only 2 CPU clock ticks.

BASIC Shoot self in foot with water pistol. On big systems, continue until entire lower body is waterlogged.

C++ You accidentally create a dozen instances of yourself and shoot them all in the foot. Providing emergency medical assistance is impossible since you can't tell which are bitwise copies and which are just pointing at others and saying, "That's me, over there."

Go visit the page but be prepared to spend about half an hour giggling madly and trying to suppress it so you won't have to try to explain why you're giggling to parent, SO's, children, or less-geekified co-workers.

This article was updated on May 9, 2023

David F