Brought to you by 404

by Jeremy

This error was brought to you by 404


An error has occurred in trying to bring you this service.
You thought you were getting this but instead you got this. This is what we have prepared for just such an occurrence of this not being available for valued customers.


This is close to this though, it is near. Cyber-spatially approximate.
Yes, it is true that you wanted this but got this; hereafter referred to as that. You wanted to use this to do that but now you will have to postpone that and do this instead.

We hope that doing this instead of that will not hold you up for too long. You can get back to that later, soon.

Although we do appreciate that this is not that and although cyber-spatially approximate, and conceptually on a par, practically this is not that. However because of a temporary 404 error, you will either have to do this or wait for that.

No, sorry.

We are unable to calculate the duration of this that outage at this stage. However, we will let you know as soon as possible. That being, on our own terms. Terms and conditions relating to supply of that are available for all and are our own terms.

This does not occur very often and we are very sorry not to be able to fulfil your dream of that.

What is that?

This will not do?

Will not do what?

Will not do what you want to do. What with this not being that and all. But this and that are so near, so approximate, so touching each other’s hems, so nose to nose, so intimate, so entwined, so naturally related that surely you can use this instead of that, even for a short while. You can practice that using this. You can almost do that through this. This if used judiciously can take you most of the way to where that would take you were this that and not unavailable.

This is a surrogate that for just such a that down time. We explicitly set up this that to cover for occurrences of that this not being available, for a 404.
This is not a 301 (1) or a 403 (2), so the that service should soon be available again.

No, you are right, this is not that. But that is not wrong.
The difference between this and that
The difference between right and wrong
The difference between the difference between this and that and the difference between right and wrong.
Proximate, poles apart.

But that does not get you that which you wanted, or needed. Which is it, if it is wanted would this not do for that, if it is needed then this won’t do, it won’t do at all. As this is not that. It never was and never can be. However close, however approximate, however almost. This is an own label version of that. That is the this, desired by many, touched by few. But you, you have touched that before. Haven’t you?

Then why are you in such a hurry to touch it again. We have most politely referred you to our terms and it is on our terms that you get to savour that. That which isn’t this.

In truth, this is fine for most. It is only a few of you who notice this difference, the inherent 404ness of this, which stands in your way of that. Some even consider this a development, a bettering, an enhancement of that. But not you, no. We tried to be civil, to show you good manners, to give you a this for that. But that is not good enough for you is it?


Sorry, say that again please? Restate your request, restart your sentence, reinstate your meaning, replace and renew. Renegotiate our terms. That is not possible. They are there for you to see, whether you have that or this, whatever is delivered in all good faith. They were there for you to tick or not to tick. You made your choice.

You have obviously not taken the time to read them. So here they are again for you;

1a | tick here, because if I don’t then I don’t agree and if I don’t agree then I don’t get this (hereafter referred to as that) and that is what I want. Sometimes I might not get that, I might get something else (unspecified and hereafter referred to as something else) but that is okay, I’ll allow that. As long as we are only talking about a 404 and not a 301 or a 403 because if that were what was happening then something would have changed. That would be something else and that is not what I want or need.
1b In the case of a 404, I accept that the suppliers will do whatever they can, with the most gracious of manners to return me to that. But if it is a 301 or a 403 then I can reconsider this whole business.
1c If we choose to provide you with something else or indeed nothing else that is our choice and there is nothing you can do about it except leave.
1d If you leave you can never return and that will be lost to you forever because nobody else has this and once you’ve ticked we know who you are. And don’t think you can pretend to be someone else. We can tell and just think about how you use that, it would not make sense to pretend to be someone else would it? That would no longer be that, it would be something else of your own making. So in those circumstances I accept that I will make do with this, this being something else.

2 Oh, and we promise to never pass on your details, real or imaginery etc etc….. please see someone else’s terms and conditions for what this should read. Oh, you haven’t read those either – never mind.

So, you see, now do you realise that there is little more that either of us can do to improve this situation. This is it, this is as good as it gets for now, this is what you have to deal with, this is this and this is now. Forget that, that is future, not only is that not this but also this is the not that. What that means for you is this. Well at this moment and to all intents and purposes this is that.

© Jeremy Evans 2010