Fred Chipp was the system administrator at a large firm in Chicago. He lived in the suburbs in a medium-sized house with a large yard in a nice subdivision. Fred drove the roads, freeways and streets to work fives times a week, sometimes six. He drove, that is, until the combination of gas prices, traffic congestion, and environmental consciousness persuaded him to use public transportation. From then on he drove to the local park-and-ride, completing his commute by train and bus.
Once he started to use public transportation, Fred enjoyed it. There was time to read, work on problems, surf the Blackberry, etc. It was great! This went on for five years. But Fred’s wife, Tillie, worried about the germs he might catch from other riders.
Last winter, Fred came home with a bad cough. It became worse, but the hard worker he was, Fred kept going to work. Finally Fred collapsed and was hospitalized. It was too late. Fred had let it go on too long without proper attention. Within the week, the end came. The cause of death? System failure brought on by a commuter virus.
© 2008, Wesley G. Vaughn