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It's far away and long ago -- so long ago, in fact, that there are still IT trade shows where vendors can show off their wares, says a pilot fish working at just such a show.

"I was on hand to set up a demo machine," fish says. "The equipment arrived at a loading dock on one floor, but needed placement on a mezzanine area half a flight of stairs down.

"The person in charge of the demo was anxious to load the software and ensure everything was ready. But after moving some of the equipment down a ramp, the folks responsible for moving the 19-inch racks disappeared and were nowhere to be found...for a long time.

"A marketing guy returned from his liquid lunch, and conspired with me -- I was, somewhat sadly, naive -- to make the exhibitor happier by moving a rack down to the mezzanine.

"The marketer took the front, and I held on to the back as we started down the ramp. About halfway down, the marketer dove out of the way of the accelerating rack.

"When it arrived at the bottom, the bay slammed onto its side to the floor, and I surfed across the mezzanine riding on its well-launched back door.

"Ultimately, we got the equipment right side up, and received several rounds of vivid disapprobation.

"I straightened a couple of bent pins on the backplane, replaced the errant door, and the demo proceeded without a hitch."

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