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In the faraway land of Bimingham-Bean
King Horowitz stared at his monitor screen.
The king he was mad, he was sore, he was vexed.
He was staring at lines of unformatted text!
The lines were uneven, unjustified too.
Where paragraphs started, he hadn't a clue.
He stared at the screen 'til he though he would break.
His eyes, how they watered! His back, how it ached!
Suddenly Horowitz could take it no more!
He struck at the viewscreen which smashed to the floor!
"I will no longer stare 'til my eyes start to bleed!
 What I require is some text I can read!
 Send for my scientist," he said to his aide,
"It is time that he earned all the wealth he is paid!"
And so the call went through the streets of the town,
To search for the man, and when he was found,
The Official Court Scientist of Bimingham-Bean
Was involved in an act that was rather obscene.
Not bothered the least by the odd circumstance,
He turned himself round and he pulled up his pants.
He was brought by the guards in front of the king.
And the Scientist said, "You wanted something?"
King Horowitz Second, of Verdly-on-Shext,
said, "Yes! I want something to format my text!"
"Ah," said the scientist, "Text you can read?
 You're in luck, Royal Highness, I have just what you need!
 Allow me a day, to draw up the plans.
 I'll deliver them right to your hot little hands!"
Next day, in the throne room, the court was assembled.
An army of morons is what it resembled.
And in the room's center, the star of the scene,
The Official Court Scientist of Bimingham-Bean
Manned a projector, and an 80-inch screen.
He said "Lords and Ladies, I have a surprise!
 A veritable wonderment! A feast for the eyes!
 Text will be perfect in Bimingham-Bean,
 Thanks to the Paragraph-Burbling Machine!"
The man flipped a switch, and there on the screen,
Was the craziest thing that they ever had seen!
The thing at it's smallest was big as a horse!
And looked twisted and turned by invisible force!
He said "it looks odd, but it's no piece of junk!"
 It's the power of 6000 Micronized Monks!
 Input's the end that looks like a candle.
 You enter the text, then you pull this small handle.
 You push the red button, then turn the green dial.
 Then you twiddle your thumbs and you wait for a while.
 The Monks write the output in one of three styles :
 Courier, Helvetica, or output-to-file!"
The machine was impressive, it had lights, it went beep.
However, the king was decidedly cheap.
When told of the price, he became quite distressed,
And said, "how 'bout something a little bit less?"
The Scientist said, "How's this for an offer?
 The X107 Grigzapper Runoff-er!
 Although all the text must be entered by hand,
 The output is perfect, it's really quite grand!
 Unformatted text is stuck in this slot,
 You crank on this crank, and what have you got?
 Why, formatted text! Just make sure that you
 Don't get stuck in the slot, or it'll format you, too."
The king was impressed, was excited indeed,
But still too expensive for his miserly needs.
So the Scientist showed him the C107
Which predicted the text using insight from Heaven,
Then showed him the Zigula Sentence Compressor,
The Infinitivator, the New-Line Redressor,
The Predicate Haggler, the String Farbulator,
The Vrabiton-Skiddley White Space Demonstrator.
The models rolled on, getting deeper and deeper,
And still the king said "Is there anything cheaper?"
The Scientist paled, and said with a cough,
"Well, Royal Highness, we've always got troff."
"Troff? What is that? Does it work? Is it cheap?"
"That's putting it mildly," and he started to weep,
 "Your Highness, troff-language is really quite bad!
  If you force us to use it, we'll surely go mad!"
"Piffle!" said Horowitz, "Start right away!
 Teach it to everyone, starting today!"
And so it was done. The public, confused,
Was told that troff was all they could use.
The Scientist was right, they'd all be insane,
Had not someone noticed the events in Romania.
The palace was stormed, the king he was shot.
And soon after that troff was simply forgot.
The new King, O'Malley, of Sadicum-Smecks,
Hired the Scientist, who invented LaTeX.
Thus came troff to the end of its time.
And thus comes the Oracle to the end of the rhyme.

		-- Author unknown.
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