21st Challenge No. 33 Results

"Warning: Exiting womb" and other real-life dialog box alerts.

Charlie VaronJim Rosenau
May 6, 2000 8:00PM (UTC)

Cautious reminders haunt our every software interaction. Each command is followed by a dialog box asking, in effect: Do you really mean it?

What are the engineers saying? Proceed with caution? You are not to be trusted? We know not what we do? Whether you find such messages reassuring or annoying, they're an established form of punctuation in our workflow. Nagware: Can't compute without it.


But what of the rest of our lives? In this Challenge, we asked readers to propose reminders for the rest of our lives. Are you sure you want to read further ...?


WARNING: Exiting womb. Are you sure you want to proceed?

-- Stephen Thompson


Warning: This action cannot be undone

Are you sure you want to move "/your entire life" to "/follow your dreams"?

-- Jacky Sin

(on Alan Greenspan's machine)

Are you sure you want to increase the prime rate?

[Yes] [Yes] [Yes]

-- Keith Ammann

Are you sure you can pull out in time?

-- Sandra Hess


Are you sure that the voices inside my head aren't telling me what to do?

-- M. Mahoney

You have driven over an odd number of curbs. Do you really want to stop now?

-- Vincent-Hill

Are you sure you want to play Global Thermonuclear War? Wouldn't you prefer a good game of chess?

-- Tiffanie McCoy

Are you sure you want to break up company Microsoft?

[No] [Cancel] -- Owen Williams (and many similar entries)

Are you sure you want to go on the Jerry Springer show?

-- Sandra Hess

Are you sure you want to vote for someone who reminds you of his father's vice president?

-- Adam D. Solomon


Remember the last time?

-- Paul Orsillo

Are you sure you want to get out of bed today?

-- Dr. Lisa Huzel

Are you sure you want that promotion?

[Cancel] [Swallow] [Spit]

-- LeeAnn Massey

This computer virus alert is an obvious hoax. Forward it to everyone you know anyway?

-- Kevin Shay


Are you sure you turned the stove off? Hadn't you better go back and check? So you'll be late -- you shouldn't set foot in that germ-infested movie theater anyway.

-- Kevin Shay

Are you sure you want to buy stock in a company with no earnings?

-- Stu Derby

Are you sure you want to keep answering these annoying dialog-box messages?

-- Barry Ritholtz


Are you certain that rebooting your computer will fix the problem?

-- Mark Shores

Are you sure that you want to buy this stock, betting that there are a lot of people dumber than you are?

[Cancel] [Aren't There?] [OK]

-- Brent Meeker

Are you sure you want to install this software, which will take complete control of your computer, trash all your other programs and send your credit card number and sexual preferences to our corporate headquarters?

-- Brent Meeker

Are you sure you want to worry a nearly healed scab?

-- Michael Kiraly


Are you sure you want to SAVE these incriminating e-mails, Mr. Gates?

-- Barry Ritholtz

Are you sure you want to ask Jeeves _that_?

-- Lisa Kleinman

Are you sure you want to point your new Smith & Wesson digital handgun at your head?

Pushing the 'Enter' trigger may erase your wetware, and all associated files.

-- Ian Cameron

Are you sure you want to dot-com an idea that will make less money than a change machine?

-- Christopher Lierle


Are you sure you want to eat that? It's been [time duration] since you placed it in the fridge.

-- KJ Cambra

(On Janet Reno's computer)

Are you sure you want to let the boy see the gun?

-- Ted Helm

Are you sure that the Internet DOESN'T cause cancer?

-- Stephanie Sogg

Are you sure you want to spend for another software upgrade cycle?

-- Anthony Thomas


Are you sure you need a motorcycle that approaches 200 mph?

-- Matthew Jenove

Are you sure you want to overwrite the read-only file, fate.doc?

-- Christian MacAuley

Are you sure you want to enter a contest where the only prize is a book on the history of artificial intelligence programs?

-- Adam D. Solomon

Thanks for taking the 21st Challenge. Check back in two weeks for another contest.


Charlie Varon

Charlie Varon is a humorist and playwright. His works include "Ralph Nader Is Missing" and "Rush Limbaugh in Night School."

MORE FROM Charlie Varon

Jim Rosenau

Jim Rosenau is a writer, editor and software designer in Berkeley, Calif. Jim and Charlie are also co-founders of the citizens group Californians for Earthquake Prevention and partners in Mockingbird Media, which offers a full line of comic services.

MORE FROM Jim Rosenau


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