Engineer Disease
by Lee A. Hart (
(based on Dire Straitís song Industrial Disease)

Hello Mrs. Murphy, how has Tommy been today?
You said he stays indoors and reads while others are at play?
He doesnít care a bit for sports, and doesnít watch TVs,
Unless itís a computer screen of mindless jargonese?

You say you tried Nintendo games, the ones that I prescribed,
But he disassembled them to see what was inside.
Last week he mixed the chemicals you keep under the sink.
It ate holes in the vinyl floor and made an awful stink.

Thereís grease beneath his fingernails, and acid holed his jeans.
Those marks upon his fingers are RF burns, it seems.
There is no need for further tests; dress now if you please.
Young man, I fear youíre suffering from Engineer Disease.

Widespread in the 60ís, it drove men to the moon.
And it could happen yet again unless we cure it soon.
Itís showing up at MIT, and in the Japanese
They face an epidemic of the Engineer Disease.

In early stages patients tend to ask "why..." all the time.
Next they disassemble things, then 'fix' things that are fine.
Though math and science skills excel, emotion atrophies.
Itís all the sad prognosis for the Engineer Disease.

Compose yourself, my dear, itís not as hopeless as you think.
Itís not as if he uses drugs, or alcoholic drink.
But you must curb his use of tools and fancy new PCs
To help control the progress of his Engineer Disease.

At last that kid is finally gone: Nurse, call x-ray repair.
He moved this wire here, I think, but I donít know from where.
They just canít leave a thing alone. Next patient please.
Letís hope itís not another case of Engineer Disease!

From the archives, originaly posted on the EV Discussion List.