What I'd like to see is your attempts at writing a kind of "story" that has a fairly easy to read meaning, but also creating a valid code fragment. For example, this (BBC) BASIC code:

LET customer = "sober"
  INPUT "more beer"
UNTIL customer = "drunk"

(based on http://img.rakuten.com/PIC/12184048/0/1/300/12184048.jpg for the idea)


  • The code must be valid in the language you specified - Anybody must be able to run it without needing to create any fancy
  • Strings, comments, or anything that allows free text to be added to the code, may be used, but for at most 3 words per string (and you can't put multiple strings or comments in a row)
  • Your code does not have to result in any sensible output when it's executed. It can even be an infinite loop, as long as the code is valid and it represents something sensible(*) when read in English.
  • Any interpunction in your code will be ignored in the story.
  • Variables do not need to be defined. The code you make here is just a code fragment. You will lose 5 points for calling an undefined variable/keyword/label/etc. though.
  • for every individual built-in keyword/statement/function/etc you use, you receive 15 points. These include for and if, but also built-in functions such as replace(). Libraries do not count as built-in functions, but you're free to use them.
  • for every letter, number, or underscore in your code, you receive 1 point.
  • for every line/block of code that is unrelated(*) to the story, or uses keywords/statements/etc with no meaning(*) in English, you lose 20 points, and the involved characters will not count towards the 1 point per letter/number. To keep it fair to the languages that need data types like int when defining variables, data types are ignored completely. This means they don't receive 10 points for being a keyword, they won't receive points for the involved characters, but they also don't cause point loss.
  • It is not allowed to just make something valid English by inserting a comment to "fill in the blanks".
  • Since this is a , for every upvote to your answer you will receive 25 points.
  • Make sure to specify which language your code is in, and the formula you used to count the amount of points your answer gets.
  • The answer with the most points, using this system above, wins.
  • Using this system, the above example code would get 4*15 + 53*1 = 113 initial points.

(*) over-analysation / objectification part: to keep this as objective as possible, "sensible" or "unrelated" means the following: If the piece of code uses words that are not English, it's not valid (for example, const or int are not English words, but foreach or typeof is 2 English words merged, so that is okay). Also, even if you use valid English words such as print or echo, these will have to fit in with the story with their original meaning (so 'putting ink on paper' and 'reflecting sound', not 'showing on a screen'). And with 'fit in', I mean that the subject of the story must be related to it.

I hope this last "disclaimer" meets the requirement of defining objective criteria.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is it permitted that my program produce a runtime error? \$\endgroup\$
    – H2CO3
    Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 18:22
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @H2CO3 My feeling is no. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jwosty
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 1:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ There's a classic and amazing IOCCC winner that did this: ioccc.org/1990/westley.c \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 29, 2017 at 23:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ What about this Python solution: buffalo="buffalo";buffalo+buffalo+buffalo+buffalo+buffalo+buffalo. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 21:07

19 Answers 19


css (114)

I'm new to the golf scene. Not sure if CSS counts as 'code'. But here's a stab at it.

The year is still young...

body {width: 110%}
.pants {overflow: visible}
.newYear {transform: scale(.8)}

If I understand the scoring:

  • every individual built-in keyword = 4 * 15

  • every letter/number = 1 * 54

  • every unrelated line = 0

    = initial score: 114

  • \$\begingroup\$ What's the "story" when read in English here? \$\endgroup\$
    – joeytje50
    Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 12:05
  • 11
    \$\begingroup\$ @joeytje50 Overweight => doesn't fit in pants => new year's resolution to lose weight \$\endgroup\$
    – Bob
    Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 12:23
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Bob Ah I see it now, exactly what I was looking for in this question. Upvoted. \$\endgroup\$
    – joeytje50
    Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 16:04

SQL love poem

WHERE Beauty LIKE "yours"

0 results returned

I'm a little unsure of the rules here, as my output is obviously important to the story, but not part of the code. So I'm ignoring it as far as scoring is concerned. I'm also counting the "*" (star) for one point, despite it not being alphanumeric or underscore, because it is important to the story.

So my score is (4*15)+(40*1)=100 Potentially minus 10 for the two undefined variables, but that depends on your existing database.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Clever. I like it. It's like a SQL pickup line. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – mbomb007
    Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 18:22


    The Infamous Hello World Program.

Romeo, a young man with a remarkable patience.
Juliet, a likewise young woman of remarkable grace.
Ophelia, a remarkable woman much in dispute with Hamlet.
Hamlet, the flatterer of Andersen Insulting A/S.

                    Act I: Hamlet's insults and flattery.

                    Scene I: The insulting of Romeo.

[Enter Hamlet and Romeo]

 You lying stupid fatherless big smelly half-witted coward!
 You are as stupid as the difference between a handsome rich brave
 hero and thyself! Speak your mind!

 You are as brave as the sum of your fat little stuffed misused dusty
 old rotten codpiece and a beautiful fair warm peaceful sunny summer's
 day. You are as healthy as the difference between the sum of the
 sweetest reddest rose and my father and yourself! Speak your mind!

 You are as cowardly as the sum of yourself and the difference
 between a big mighty proud kingdom and a horse. Speak your mind.

 Speak your mind!

[Exit Romeo]

                    Scene II: The praising of Juliet.

[Enter Juliet]

 Thou art as sweet as the sum of the sum of Romeo and his horse and his
 black cat! Speak thy mind!

[Exit Juliet]

                    Scene III: The praising of Ophelia.

[Enter Ophelia]

 Thou art as lovely as the product of a large rural town and my amazing
 bottomless embroidered purse. Speak thy mind!

 Thou art as loving as the product of the bluest clearest sweetest sky
 and the sum of a squirrel and a white horse. Thou art as beautiful as
 the difference between Juliet and thyself. Speak thy mind!

[Exeunt Ophelia and Hamlet]

                    Act II: Behind Hamlet's back.

                    Scene I: Romeo and Juliet's conversation.

[Enter Romeo and Juliet]

 Speak your mind. You are as worried as the sum of yourself and the
 difference between my small smooth hamster and my nose. Speak your

 Speak YOUR mind! You are as bad as Hamlet! You are as small as the
 difference between the square of the difference between my little pony
 and your big hairy hound and the cube of your sorry little
 codpiece. Speak your mind!

[Exit Romeo]

                    Scene II: Juliet and Ophelia's conversation.

[Enter Ophelia]

 Thou art as good as the quotient between Romeo and the sum of a small
 furry animal and a leech. Speak your mind!

 Thou art as disgusting as the quotient between Romeo and twice the
 difference between a mistletoe and an oozing infected blister! Speak
 your mind!


Source(I have no clue how to write Shakespeare. Or read it for that matter). I'm also very confused as to how to score it. Also, I'm surprised nobody has posted the classic Char Lotte and Char Lie

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In what programming language would this be? See the examples in the OP, and the other answers, to see how to score it. This is not supposed to be a "paste a story you like" contest, but one where you integrate a "story" into programming languages. A nice example is the CSS example by DA. @ codegolf.stackexchange.com/a/19289/14903 \$\endgroup\$
    – joeytje50
    Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 16:03
  • 16
    \$\begingroup\$ This is the Shakespeare programming language, a language built specifically for the purpose of writing programs that are stories \$\endgroup\$
    – scrblnrd3
    Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 16:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Nice finds. I especially really like that charlotte&charlie story. They're not really original though, since it's all a copy paste from somewhere else. Upvoted you anyway, because they're still good. \$\endgroup\$
    – joeytje50
    Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 16:26
  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ I really wish people would stop posting the Shakespeare Hello World as an answer and perhaps write something themselves in Shakespeare. 7 up votes for plagiarism...pitiful. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 5:55
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Posting answers you have not written yourself, but merely copied from elsewhere, is generally not considered acceptable on this site. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 12:01

Johnny's life story

kid=spawnKidFromParents(mother, father)

def spawnKidFromParents(mother, father):
    return kid

person class (select methods only)

def live(self):
        while(self.health > 0):
    except LossOfLifeException:

def wakeUp(self):
    while ( (self.laziness + self.calendar.today.importance * (1 - self.fatigue)) < random.randint(0,100)):


def work(self):
    for money in range(self.wallet.EMPTY, self.wallet.MAX_CAPACITY):

def eat(self):
    while(self.hunger < self.FOOD_CAPACITY * 0.8 - self.diet):

def sleep(self):
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ . . . "recycle()"? \$\endgroup\$
    – geometrian
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 4:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Shouldn't sleep reduce your fatigue, and work increase it? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 19:14
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Where is the poop? (I mean, poop() function) Because human can't only eat and not make a single poop. And in this code I saw only pop()… \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 15:25

Perl 3

Not my work, but I'm saddened that nobody has referenced black perl here yet...

BEFOREHAND: close door, each window & exit; wait until time.
    open spellbook, study, read (scan, select, tell us);
write it, print the hex while each watches,
    reverse its length, write again;
    kill spiders, pop them, chop, split, kill them.
        unlink arms, shift, wait & listen (listening, wait),
sort the flock (then, warn the "goats" & kill the "sheep");
    kill them, dump qualms, shift moralities,
    values aside, each one;
        die sheep! die to reverse the system
        you accept (reject, respect);
next step,
    kill the next sacrifice, each sacrifice,
    wait, redo ritual until "all the spirits are pleased";
    do it ("as they say").
do it(*everyone***must***participate***in***forbidden**s*e*x*).
return last victim; package body;
    exit crypt (time, times & "half a time") & close it,
    select (quickly) & warn your next victim;
AFTERWARDS: tell nobody.
    wait, wait until time;
    wait until next year, next decade;
        sleep, sleep, die yourself,
        die at last
# Larry Wall

This gem used to be valid code on Perl 3. Wikipedia says there are several updates for perl 5, but that's not the point really, is it?

  • \$\begingroup\$ This has to be the ultimate, surely, and definitely belongs here. But I don't think you can win with someone else's work, even attributed? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 22:24
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Agreed-- on both counts. It just didn't seem right to leave this out of the collection... Not expecting any awards (nor is this posting in danger of any, apparently. :-) \$\endgroup\$
    – alexis
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 22:52
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ IMHO, this just blows away all the other attempts and renders the question moot :D \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 23:43

GW-BASIC: 1*-5 + 7*15 + 76*1 = 176 points

LET criminal = "free"
FOR day = 1 to 100
    PRINT "evaluation"
NEXT day
IF criminal = "bad"

Subtracted 5 points for undefined label JAIL.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I think that this is QBasic or QuickBasic. As I remember in GW-BASIC the lines must be numbered. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 21:29
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Add the label for JAIL on the same line as the GOTO. This could represent a life sentence without chance of parole. \$\endgroup\$
    – mbomb007
    Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 18:17

Python - 15*28 + 1*905 == 1325

Once="upon a time"
he="tried almost";all_princesses=but=they=were=not"real"and"";the="";print"ce"+wanted+a+'real';print"cess"
for princesss in`all_princesses`:
    the=princesss is not(`the`+`1`)

now=the;print"ce" is "sad"
1=="evening"+a+"terrible storm occurred"
suddenly=a+princess+"appeared"+`but`+was+"soaked to"+`the`+"bone"
`the`+"old queen";thought=we=will=soon=find=out;
but=she+said+"nothing"+but+"went to"+`the`+"bedroom where"+`the`+princess+"would sleep"and"put"+a+"pea beneath"+`20`+"mattresses";
the="";print"cess";having=slept=on=it=all=night=","+was+"asked how"+she+"slept";
while she in{"response","answered."}:
    print"ce,"+"my eyes"+were+"open"+all+night and "I"+was+"lying on"+a+"gigantic bowling ball.";

I=am="black"and"blue"+all+"over";"it" is "horrible"
None==but+a+princess is "so sensitive"
print"ce" and she+"married"
for now in "good fortune"+he+"found"+a+real+princess:
    print"ce"and the+princess+"lived happily"+ever+"after"

My rendition of The printcess [sic] and the pea

Sadly, there is a syntax error on this line: I=am="black"and"blue"+all+"over";"it" is "horrible" and I can't seem to figure it out.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ all is a python keyword, and there's no defined way to add a function/method to a string. You can make it work by changing all to a string: I=am="black"and"blue"+"all"+"over";"it" is "horrible" \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 1:09

Ruby, A LOT (44124 - 20 * 4 + 15 * 1 = 44504 points??)

"Short" story? Ha. So long that it's too long for a Stack Exchange answer! I had to remove about half of it because of the maximum character limit :(

Full code can be found here. It does not output anything. (Before, it for some reason crashed with a stack overflow, so I had to wrap it in begin ... rescue SystemStackError.)

Thanks, http://longestjokeintheworld.com!

def method_missing*a;end
class Module;def const_missing*a;end;end
(Kernel.methods+methods-[:eval,:object_id,:__send__]).each{|m|eval"def #{m}*a;end"}

begin talking using an interesting voice please to enhance the story
So theres a man crawling through the desert
Hed decided to try his SUV in_ a little bit of crosscountry travel had great fun zooming over the badlands and_ through the sand got lost hit a big rock and_ then_ he couldnt get it started again
There were no cell phone towers anywhere near so his cell phone was useless
He had no family his parents had died a few years before in_ an auto accident and_ his few friends had no idea he was out here
He stayed with the car for_ a day or_ so but his one bottle of water ran out
and_ he was getting thirsty
He thought maybe he knew the direction back now that hed paid attention to the sun and_ thought hed figured out which way was north so he decided to start walking
He figured he only had to go about some miles or_ so and_ hed be back to the small town hed gotten gas in_ last
He thinks about walking at night to avoid the heat and_ sun but based upon
how dark it actually was the night before and_ given that he has no flashlight hes afraid that hell break_ a leg or_ step on a rattlesnake
he puts on some sun block puts the rest in_ his pocket for_ reapplication
later brings an umbrella hed had in_ the back of the SUV with him to give
him a little shade pours the windshield wiper fluid into his water bottle
in_ case_ he gets that desperate brings his pocket knife in_ case_ he finds a cactus that looks like it might have water in_ it and_ heads out in_ the
direction he thinks is right
He walks for_ the entire day
By the end_ of the day hes really thirsty
been sweating all day and_ his lips are starting to crack
Hes reapplied the sunblock twice and_ tried to stay under the umbrella but he still feels sunburned
The windshield wiper fluid sloshing in_ the bottle in_ his pocket is really getting tempting now
He knows that its mainly water and_ some ethanol and_ coloring but he also knows that they add some kind of poison to it to keep people from drinking it
He wonders what the poison is and_
whether the poison would be worse than dying of thirst
He pushes on trying to get to that small town before dark
By the end_ of the day he starts getting worried
He figures hes been walking at least some miles an hour according to his watch for_ over some hours
That means that if_ his estimate was right that he should be close to the
But he doesnt recognize any of this
He had to cross a dry creek bed a mile or_ two back and_ he doesnt remember coming through it in_ the SUV
He figures that maybe he got his direction off just a little and_ that the dry creek bed was just off to one side of his path
He tells himself that hes close and_ that after dark hell start seeing the town lights over one of these hills and_ thatll be all he needs
As it gets dim enough that he starts stumbling over small rocks and_ things
he finds a spot and_ sits down to wait for_ full dark and_ the town lights
Full dark comes before he knows it
He must have dozed off
He stands back
up and_ turns all the way around
He sees nothing but stars
He wakes up the next_ morning feeling absolutely lousy
His eyes are gummy and_ his mouth and_ nose feel like theyre full of sand
He so thirsty that he cant even swallow
He barely got any sleep because it was so cold
Hed forgotten how cold it got at night in_ the desert and_ hadnt noticed it the night before because hed been in_ his car
He knows the Rule of Threes  three minutes without air three days without water three weeks without food  then_ you die
Some people can make it a little longer in_ the best situations
But the desert heat and_ having to walk and_ sweat isnt the best situation to be without water
He figures unless_ he finds water this is his last day
He rinses his mouth out with a little of the windshield wiper fluid
He waits a while_ after spitting that little bit out to see if_ his mouth goes numb or_ he feels dizzy or_ something
Has his mouth gone numb
Is it just in_
his mind
Hes not_ sure
Hell go a little farther and_ if_ he still doesnt
find water hell try drinking some of the fluid
Then he has to face his next_ harder question  which way does he go from here
Does he keep walking the same way he was yesterday assuming that he still knows which way that is or_ does he try a new direction
He has no idea what to do_
Looking at the hills and_ dunes around him he thinks he knows the direction he was heading before
Just going by a feeling he points himself somewhat to the left of that and_ starts walking
As he walks the day starts heating up
The desert too cold just a couple of hours before soon becomes an oven again
He sweats a little at first and_ then_ stops
He starts getting worried at that  when_ you stop sweating he knows that means youre in_ trouble  usually right before heat stroke
He decides that its time to try the windshield wiper fluid
He cant wait
any longer  if_ he passes out hes dead
He stops in_ the shade of a large
rock takes the bottle out opens it and_ takes a mouthful
He slowly
swallows it making it last as long as he can
It feels so good in_ his dry
and_ cracked throat that he doesnt even care about the nasty taste
He takes
another mouthful and_ makes it last too
Slowly he drinks half the bottle
He figures that since hes drinking it he might as well drink enough to
make some difference and_ keep himself from passing out
Hes quit worrying about the denaturing of the wiper fluid
If it kills him
it kills him  if_ he didnt drink it hed die anyway
Besides hes pretty
sure that whatever substance they denature the fluid with is just designed to make you sick  their way of keeping winos from buying cheap wiper fluid for_ the ethanol content
He can handle throwing up if_ it comes to that
He walks
He walks in_ the hot dry windless desert
Sand rocks hills
dunes the occasional scrawny cactus or_ dried bush
No sign of water
Sometimes hell see a little movement to one side or_ the other but whatever moved is usually gone before he can focus his eyes on it
Probably birds lizards or_ mice
Maybe snakes though they usually move more at night
Hes careful to stay away from the movements
After a while_ he begins to stagger
Hes not_ sure if_ its fatigue heat
stroke finally catching him or_ maybe he was wrong and_ the denaturing of the wiper fluid was worse than he thought
He tries to steady himself and_ keep going
After more walking he comes to a large stretch of sand
This is good
knows he passed over a stretch of sand in_ the SUV  he remembers doing
donuts in_ it
Or at least he thinks he remembers it  hes getting woozy
enough and_ tired enough that hes not_ sure what he remembers any more or_ if_
hes hallucinating
But he thinks he remembers it
So he heads off into it
trying to get to the other side hoping that it gets him closer to the town
He was heading for_ a town wasnt he
He thinks he was
He isnt sure any more
Hes not_ even sure how long hes been walking any more
Is it still morning
Or has it moved into afternoon and_ the sun is going down again
It must be afternoon  it seems like its been too long since he started out
He walks through the sand
After a while_ he comes to a big dune in_ the sand
This is bad
He doesnt
remember any dunes when_ driving over the sand in_ his SUV
Or at least he
doesnt think he remembers any
This is bad
But he has no other direction to go
Too late to turn back now
He figures
that hell get to the top of the dune and_ see if_ he can see anything from
there that helps him find the town
He keeps going up the dune
Halfway up he slips in_ the bad footing of the sand for_ the second or_ third
time and_ falls to his knees
He doesnt feel like getting back up  hell
just fall down again
So he keeps going up the dune on his hand and_ knees
While crawling if_ his throat werent so dry hed laugh
Hes finally
gotten to the hackneyed image of a man lost in_ the desert  crawling through
the sand on his hands and_ knees
If would be the perfect image he imagines if_ only his clothes were more ragged
The people crawling through the desert
in_ the cartoons always had ragged clothes
But his have lasted without any
rips so far
Somebody will probably find his dessicated corpse half buried in_ the sand years from now and_ his clothes will still be in_ fine shape
shake the sand out and_ a good wash and_ theyd be wearable again
He wishes his throat were wet enough to laugh
He coughs a little instead and_ it hurts
He finally makes it to the top of the sand dune
Now that hes at the top
he struggles a little but manages to stand up and_ look around
All he sees
is sand
Sand and_ more sand
Behind him about a mile away he thinks he
sees the rocky ground he left to head into this sand
Ahead of him more
dunes more sand
This isnt where he drove his SUV
This is Hell
Or close enough
Again he doesnt know what to do_
He decides to drink the rest of the wiper
fluid while_ figuring it out
He takes out the bottle and_ is removing the
cap when_ he glances to the side and_ sees something
Something in_ the sand
At the bottom of the dune off to the side he sees something strange
Its a flat area in_ the sand
He stops taking the cap of the bottle off and_ tries to look closer
The area seems to be circular
And its dark  darker than the sand
And there seems to be something in_ the middle of it but he cant tell what it is
He looks as hard as he can and_ still can tell from
Hes going to have to go down there and_ look
He puts the bottle back in_ his pocket and_ starts to stumble down the dune
After a few steps he realizes that hes in_ trouble  hes not_ going to be able to keep his balance
After a couple of more sliding tottering steps he falls and_ starts to roll down the dune
The sand it so hot when_ his body hits it that for_ a minute he thinks hes caught fire on the way down  like a movie car wreck flashing into flames as it goes over the cliff before it ever even hits the ground
He closes his eyes and_ mouth covers his face with his hands and_ waits to stop rolling
He stops at the bottom of the dune
After a minute or_ two he finds enough
energy to try to sit up and_ get the sand out of his face and_ clothes
he clears his eyes enough he looks around to make sure that the dark spot
in_ the sand it still there and_ he hadnt just imagined it
So seeing the large flat dark spot on the sand is still there he begins
to crawl towards it
Hed get up and_ walk towards it but he doesnt seem to
have the energy to get up and_ walk right now
He must be in_ the final stages
of dehydration he figures as he crawls
If this place in_ the sand doesnt
have water hell likely never make it anywhere else_
This is his last
He gets closer and_ closer but still cant see whats in_ the middle of the
dark area
His eyes wont quite focus any more for_ some reason
And lifting
his head up to look takes so much effort that he gives up trying
He just
keeps crawling
Finally he reaches the area hed seen from the dune
It takes him a minute of crawling on it before he realizes that hes no longer on sand  hes now crawling on some kind of dark stone
Stone with some kind of marking on it  a pattern cut into the stone
Hes too tired to stand up and_ try to see what the pattern is  so he just keeps crawling
He crawls towards the center
where his blurry eyes still see something in_ the middle of the dark stone
His mind detached in_ a strange way notes that either his hands and_ knees are so burnt by the sand that they no longer feel pain or_ that this dark
stone in_ the middle of a burning desert with a pounding punishing sun
overhead doesnt seem to be hot
It almost feels cool
He considers lying
down on the nice cool surface
Cool dark stone
Not a good sign
He must be hallucinating this
probably in_ the middle of a patch of sand already lying face down and_
dying and_ just imagining this whole thing
A desert mirage
Soon the
beautiful women carrying pitchers of water will come up and_ start giving him
a drink
Then hell know hes gone
He decides against laying down on the cool stone
If hes going to die here
in_ the middle of this hallucination he at least wants to see whats in_ the
center before he goes
He keeps crawling
Its the third time that he hears the voice before he realizes what hes
He would swear that someone just said Greetings traveler
You do_
not_ look well
Do you hear me

He stops crawling
He tries to look up from where he is on his hands and_
knees but its too much effort to lift his head
So he tries something
different  he leans back and_ tries to sit up on the stone
After a few
seconds he catches his balance avoids falling on his face sits up and_
tries to focus his eyes
He rubs his eyes with the back of his hands
and_ tries again
Better this time
He can see
Hes sitting in_ the middle of a large flat dark expanse
of stone
Directly next_ to him about three feet away is a white post or_
pole about two inches in_ diameter and_ sticking up about four or_ five feet
out of the stone at an angle
And wrapped around this white rod tail with rattle on it hovering and_
seeming to be ready to start rattling is what must be a fifteen foot long
desert diamondback rattlesnake looking directly at him
He stares at the snake in_ shock
He doesnt have the energy to get up and_
run away
He doesnt even have the energy to crawl away
This is it his
final resting place
No matter what happens hes not_ going to be able to
move from this spot
Well at least dying of a bite from this monster should be quicker than
dying of thirst
Hell face his end_ like a man
He struggles to sit up a
little straighter
The snake keeps watching him
He lifts one hand and_ waves
it in_ the snakes direction feebly
The snake watches the hand for_ a
moment then_ goes back to watching the man looking into his eyes
Maybe the snake had no interest in_ biting him
It hadnt rattled yet
that was a good sign
Maybe he wasnt going to die of snake bite after all
He then_ remembers that hed looked up when_ hed reached the center here
because he thought hed heard a voice
He was still very woozy  he was
likely to pass out soon the sun still beat down on him even though he was
now on cool stone
He still didnt have anything to drink
But maybe he had
actually heard a voice
This stone didnt look natural
Nor did that white
post sticking up out of the stone
Someone had to have built this
they were still nearby
Maybe that was who talked to him
Maybe this snake
was even their pet and_ thats why it wasnt biting
He tries to clear his throat to say Hello but his throat is too dry
that comes out is a coughing or_ wheezing sound
There is no way hes going
to be able to talk without something to drink
He feels his pocket and_ the
bottle with the wiper fluid is still there
He shakily pulls the bottle out
almost losing his balance and_ falling on his back in_ the process
This isnt
He doesnt have much time left by his reckoning before he passes
He gets the lid off of the bottle manages to get the bottle to his lips
and_ pours some of the fluid into his mouth
He sloshes it around and_ then_
swallows it
He coughs a little
His throat feels better
Maybe he can talk
He tries again
Ignoring the snake he turns to look around him hoping to
spot the owner of this place and_ croaks out Hello
Is there anyone here

He hears from his side Greetings
What is it that you want

He turns his head back towards the snake
Thats where the sound had seemed
to come from
The only thing he can think of is that there must be a
speaker hidden under the snake or_ maybe built into that post
He decides
to try asking for_ help
Please he croaks again suddenly feeling dizzy Id love to not_ be
thirsty any more
Ive been a long time without water
Can you help me

Looking in_ the direction of the snake hoping to see where the voice was
coming from this time he is shocked to see the snake rear back open its
mouth and_ speak
He hears it say as the dizziness overtakes him and_ he
falls forward face first on the stone Very well
Coming up

A piercing pain shoots through his shoulder
Suddenly he is awake
He sits
up and_ grabs his shoulder wincing at the throbbing pain
Hes momentarily
disoriented as he looks around and_ then_ he remembers  the crawl across the
sand the dark area of stone the snake
He sees the snake still wrapped
around the tilted white post still looking at him
He reaches up and_ feels his shoulder where it hurts
It feels slightly wet
He pulls his fingers away and_ looks at them  blood
He feels his shoulder
again  his shirt has what feels like two holes in_ it  two puncture holes
they match up with the two aching spots of pain on his shoulder
He had been
By the snake
Itll feel better in_ a minute He looks up  its the snake talking
hadnt dreamed it
Suddenly he notices  hes not_ dizzy any more
And more
importantly hes not_ thirsty any more  at all
Have I died
Is this the afterlife
Why are you biting me in_ the

Sorry about that but I had to bite you says the snake
Thats the way I
It all comes through the bite
Think of it as natural medicine

You bit me to help me
Why arent I thirsty any more
Did you give me a
drink before you bit me
How did I drink enough while_ unconscious to not_ be
thirsty any more
I havent had a drink for_ over two days
Well except for_
the windshield wiper fluid
hold it how in_ the world does a snake talk
Are you real
Are you some sort of Disney animation

No says the snake Im real
As real as you or_ anyone is anyway
didnt give you a drink
I bit you
Thats how it works  its what I do_
I dont have hands to give you a drink even if_ I had water just
sitting around here

The man sat stunned for_ a minute
Here he was sitting in_ the middle of the
desert on some strange stone that should be hot but wasnt talking to a
snake that could talk back and_ had just bitten him
And he felt better
great  he was still starving and_ exhausted but much better  he was no
longer thirsty
He had started to sweat again but only slightly
He felt
hot in_ this sun but it was starting to get lower in_ the sky and_ the cool
stone beneath him was a relief he could notice now that he was no longer
dying of thirst
I might suggest that we take care of that methanol you now have in_ your
system with the next_ request continued the snake
I can guess why you
drank it but Im not_ sure how much you drank or_ how much methanol was left
in_ the wiper fluid
That stuff is nasty
Itll make you go blind in_ a day or_
two if_ you drank enough of it

Ummm nnext request said the man
He put his hand back on his hurting
shoulder and_ backed away from the snake a little
Thats the way it works
If you like that is explained the snake
get three requests
Call them wishes if_ you wish The snake grinned at his
own joke and_ the man drew back a little further from the show of fangs
But there are rules the snake continued
The first request is free
second requires an agreement of secrecy
The third requires the binding of
responsibility The snake looks at the man seriously
By the way the snake says suddenly my name is Nathan
Old Nathan
Samuel used to call me
He gave me the name
Before that most of the Bound
used to just call me Snake
But that got old and_ Samuel wouldnt stand
for_ it
He said that anything that could talk needed a name
He was big into
You can call me Nate if_ you wish Again the snake grinned
if_ I dont offer to shake but I think you can understand  my shake sounds
somewhat threatening The snake give his rattle a little shake
Umm my name is Jack said the man trying to absorb all of this
Can I ask you a question Jack says suddenly
What happened to the
poisonumm in_ your bite
Why arent I dying now
How did you do_ that
What do_ you mean by thats how you work

Thats more than one question grins Nate
But Ill still try to answer
all of them
First yes you can ask me a question The snakes grin gets
Second the poison is in_ you
It changed you
You now no longer need
to drink
Thats what you asked for_
Or well technically you asked to not_
be thirsty any more  but any more is such a vague term
I decided to make
it permanent  now as long as you live you shouldnt need to drink much at
Your body will conserve water very efficiently
You should be able to
get enough just from the food you eat  much like a creature of the desert
Youve been changed
For the third question Nate continues you are still dying
Besides the
effects of that methanol in_ your system youre a man  and_ men are mortal
In your current state I give you no more than about another some years
Assuming you get out of this desert alive that is Nate seemed vastly
amused at his own humor and_ continued his wide grin
As for_ the fourth question Nate said looking more serious as far as Jack
could tell as Jack was just now working on his ability to read
talkingsnake emotions from snake facial features first you have to agree
to make a second request and_ become bound by the secrecy or_ I cant tell

Wait joked Jack isnt this where you say you could tell me but youd
have to kill me

I thought that was implied Nate continued to look serious
Ummmyeah Jack leaned back a little as he remembered again that he was
talking to a fifteen foot poisonous reptile with a reputation for_ having a
nasty temper
So what is this Bound by Secrecy stuff and_ can you really
stop the effects of the methanol Jack thought for_ a second
And what do_
you mean methanol anyway
I thought these days they use ethanol in_ wiper
fluid and_ just denature it

They may I dont really know said Nate
I havent gotten out in_ a
Maybe they do_
All I know is that I smell methanol on your breath and_
on that bottle in_ your pocket
And the blue color of the liquid when_ you
pulled it out to drink some let me guess that it was wiper fluid
I assume
that they still color wiper fluid blue

Yeah they do_ said Jack
I figured replied Nate
As for_ being bound by secrecy  with the
fulfillment of your next_ request you will be bound to say nothing about me
this place or_ any of the information I will tell you after that when_ you
decide to go back out to your kind
You wont be allowed to talk about me
write about me use sign language charades or_ even act in_ a way that will
lead someone to guess correctly about me
Youll be bound to secrecy
course Ill also ask you to promise not_ to give me away and_ as Im
guessing that youre a man of your word youll never test the binding
anyway so you wont notice Nate said the last part with utter confidence
Jack who had always prided himself on being a man of his word felt a
little nervous at this
Ummm hey Nate who are you
How did you know
Are you umm omniscient or_ something

Well Jack said Nate sadly I cant tell you that unless_ you make the
second request Nate looked away for_ a minute then_ looked back
Umm well ok said Jack what is this about a second request
What can I
ask for_
Are you allowed to tell me that

Sure said Nate brightening
Youre allowed to ask for_ changes
to yourself
Theyre like wishes but they can only affect you
Oh and_
before you ask I cant give you immortality
Or omniscience
omnipresence for_ that matter
Though I might be able to make you gaseous
and_ yet remain alive and_ then_ you could spread through the atmosphere and_
sort of be omnipresent
But what good would that be  you still wouldnt be
omniscient and_ thus still could only focus on one thing at a time
Not very
useful at least in_ my opinion Nate stopped when_ he realized that Jack was
staring at him
Well anyway continued Nate Id probably suggest giving you permanent
good health
It would negate the methanol now in_ your system youd be
immune to most poisons and_ diseases and_ youd tend to live a very long
time barring accident of course

... story goes on for much longer ...

rescue SystemStackError;end
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm wondering, "Strings, comments, or anything that allows free text to be added to the code, may be used, but for at most 3 words per string" - Is this all part of a Ruby script, or is it just free text like a triple-quote string or heredoc? Because if it is not all code, this rule would disqualify it. \$\endgroup\$
    – joeytje50
    Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 3:05
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ So basically what you are saying this does allow "free text to be added to the code"? In other words, you can add basically any text you'd like? It looks very much like you can just type anything you want there, except for a few reserved keywords, to which you just appended an underscore. \$\endgroup\$
    – joeytje50
    Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 3:09
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @joeytje50 No, for example none of the following work: this doesn't work, !@#$%^&*(, hello there, I am Doorknob! how are you?, 123 456, this is one string for which it fails, in this string it fails too, etc. \$\endgroup\$
    – Doorknob
    Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 3:11
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @joeytje50 no you can't. try { foo bar } catch (err) { } is a syntax error. \$\endgroup\$
    – FireFly
    Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 16:50
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think that writing code that doesn't work/crashes then wrapping it in an exception handler is in the spirit of things. try: once up on a time blah blah except: print "tada, I win!". \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 23:54


2 * 'households, both alike' in (dignity={})
'In fair Verona', where = we = lay = our = scene ={}
Where = civil= 'blood',  makes= civil ||hands ||unclean
From= forth = the =fatal =loins =of = 'these two foes';
A = pair=2; of["star-cross'd lovers"]; take = 2 || their || life
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you could do this without the '||', I would upvote. Imho logic statements are hard to ignore when directly interpreting. I understand that this answer fits the spirit of the question well, I just happen to be picky about Shakespeare :) \$\endgroup\$
    – md_rasler
    Commented Mar 15, 2014 at 18:54
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Also, please calculate points. \$\endgroup\$
    – md_rasler
    Commented Mar 15, 2014 at 18:55

6502 Assembly Language

A story about a girl named Tya.

    AND #1
    JMP *+4
    BIT #4
.byte "DONKEY"
    EOR .byte "."

JavaScript: 7*15 + 127*1 = 232 points

company = 'big'
for (employee in company) {
    if (/quality/.test(employee) == 'bad') {
        employee = function janitor() {
            return 'less money'
    } else {
        employee = function boss() {
            return 'money'


Have fun:)



$notdrunk = 0
while ($notdrunk <= rand(5, 60)) {


if ($notdrunk >= rand(10, 59)) {

goto home;



$vomit = true;

if ($notdrunk > 50) {





This ancient text may have originated around 2014 AD:


A translation to English:

Knowingly, a man persuaded you in one whispering sound power...

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ How is this programming code? \$\endgroup\$
    – joeytje50
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 21:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @joeytje50 esolangs.org/wiki/Chinese \$\endgroup\$
    – Timtech
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 22:55
  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ Well either way, if I cite my original post: "If the piece of code uses words that are not English, it's not valid". Last time I checked, Chinese was not English. (except for the word "chinese", which is of course an English word...) \$\endgroup\$
    – joeytje50
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 22:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @joeytje50 I've already provided an English translation. \$\endgroup\$
    – Timtech
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 22:57
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ yeah but I assume the English translation is not valid code itself. Only the Chinese code is valid code, and that's not English. \$\endgroup\$
    – joeytje50
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 23:00

Python, 1*94 + 12*15 = 274

I counted one for =, but didn't count the extra f in def finitely(). Also, the function is infinitely recursive, causing the call stack to be full of True "love".

def finitely(one=True):
    if all([any([one])is"loving"or True]):return"love"in finitely()
"love"in finitely()


Definitely one (equals) True. If all anyone is loving or True, return love infinitely, else return sadness. Love infinitely.

  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for "True love". This is one of the more creative ones ans I'm surpirsed it only has 2 upvotes \$\endgroup\$
    – user100690
    Commented May 30, 2021 at 8:38


I'm new and I don't really understand the scoring. So if someone can help me with that, it would be great :)

procedure Life;
var alive, fullbladder, fullstomach: boolean;
  bladder, stomach, human: tobject;
  procedure sleepRecommended;begin sleep(((8*60)*60)*1000) {hours to ms} end;
  procedure checkNeeds(sender:tobject); begin if fullbladder then bladder.empty; if fullstomach then stomach.empty; end;
  procedure GoToWork;begin human.PretendToWorkAndGoOnCodeGolfInstead; end;
  procedure GoHome;begin human.celebrate; end;
  timer:=ttimer.create;timer.interval := (60*60)*1000; timer.OnTimer := checkNeeds;

  while alive do
    timer.Enabled := true;

I'm a bit late to this, but every time I use firstChild in


I think:

function Rumpelstiltskin(straw){
    straw = straw.replace(straw, "gold");
         document.getElementById('millersDaughter').deleteChild(document.getElementById('millersDaughter').firstChild);//Stories are documents and characters are elements of the story.
         return "angry";


2 undefined (knowName and the html node millersDaughter)

7 built in keywords (function, if, document.getElementById('millersDaughter'), deleteChild(...),firstChild,else,return)

I don't know how to count letters, every letter, letters in strings? Tell me.

points = 95 + letters


Windows Command Script - 720

Calculated with 210 + 34*15

Warning: this may or may not make any sense :)

IF "%time%"=="15:00" GOTO :workplace
RECOVER TASKLIST | FIND "todo" | SORT %priority% > tasks
FOR /f %%t IN (tasks) DO (
    SET %%t=Done! | VERIFY
    IF "%TIME%"=="17:00" START BREAK
    IF "%TIME%"=="19:00" START BREAK
    IF "%TIME%"=="21:00" START BREAK
    IF "%RANDOM:~,1%"=="1" START BREAK
    IF "%TIME%"=="23:00" EXIT SHIFT

Fortran 95

Not really a story, but a short poem. Just sharing it for fun:

logical :: I, u = .TRUE.
do while (I); write(*,*) aPoem, 4, u; 
stop; I = .FALSE.; 
end do; end ! Adieu!

Considering the sign = as the verb to be, it reads as:

Logical eye, you are true
Do while I write a poem for you
Stop, I am false... 
End, do end! Adieu!

Google Sheets, 72 \w characters + 5 * 15 reserved functions = 147

Make named ranges anywhere:

  • Call one "Birth"
  • Call one "Death"

=IF(OR(ISBETWEEN("meaning",Birth,Death),NOT(ISBETWEEN("meaning",Birth,Death))),"One dies anyway") or

  ),"One dies anyway"

If "meaning" between Birth and Death, or not "meaning" between Birth and Death, One dies anyway.

I also like this one:

="My grandpa's deck "&IF(COUNTIF(GrandpasDeck,"the unstoppable Exodia")=1,"has no","has")&" pathetic cards"

  • \$\begingroup\$ Now that I think about it, since NOT is a reserved word, this could be used to get arbitrarily many points. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 20:58

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