For years Utahns have depended on computers to write, shop, bank and feed their video game habits.
The unpretentious little boxes have made themselves at home in many houses - literally becoming part of the family.Admit it: You haven't minded the little geniuses sitting around. After all, for the most part, they haven't talked back. At least they haven't been down right insulting.
Now computers are hurling the ultimate insults. Twenty-two million different ones, in fact.
Thanks to the ingenuity of a soft-spoken computer consultant, an insult-generating computer program is available.
Quicker than you can yell, "bozo brain," Dale McKinnon's program can hit you with such zingers as "You good-for-nothing shovel full of stale coyote snot," or "You despicable lump of putrid vulture gizzards."
Offended yet? Wait until your little plastic buddy calls you a "cranky toilet full of moth-eaten buffalo chips."
The mudslingers were first introduced by McKinnon in 1983 to help clients break the ice with the intimidating machines.
With the help of a thesaurus and synonym dictionary (and keeping his ear to the street), the 39-year-old came up with 400 to 500 insulting words. He instructed the computer to do the rest.
It came up with 22 million different insults - all rated PG. "But after the first few hundred thousand, they all start to sound the same."
Insults used as far away as Australia and Germany have gained widespread recognition.
The locally developed program has even received the seal of approval from the International Maledicta Society in Waukensha, Wis. - an organization devoted to the art of curses, slurs and maledictions.
"INSULTS is a fountain of millions of high-quality insults," said Reinhold Aman, society president. "Most of the insults are excellent, humorous and clean putdowns."
When Aman refers to the high quality of insults generated by the INSULTS program, he knows whereof he speaks. Known as the "Noah Webster of Verbal Aggression," Aman is the editor of the scholarly Maledicta Journal and has studied insults for 23 years in more than 220 languages.
According to McKinnon, his is the first and only computer program to receive the national distinction.
So take that, "you pompous shovel full of stinking rodent droppings."
In fact, about the only thing not insulting about the program is its price. It's available directly from the publisher for a mere $5 handling charge. Any "ridiculous wheelbarrow full of sloppy frog fat" ought to see that's a good deal.
So, "you loathsome stack of foul maggot brains," to let your fingers do the insulting, write to Modern Advisory Institute, Box 11632, Salt Lake City, UT 84147.
And if you like INSULTS, McKinnon believes you will love PRANKS - another of his fun-loving programs now available.