Many thanks to Hanzík for the Czech translations!

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slightly geeky  slightly geeky

Case 180

Past Perfect

Snow still covered the temple grounds when a senior nun happened upon the old monk Shinpuru clearing dead stalks from his garden. Soon their talk turned to matters befitting two old warriors.

“I liked our profession better in my youth,” said the nun. “In those days my temple was a simple place, where work was pleasant and mastery came easy. All we needed were text editors to code, make to compile, and shell scripts to connect everything up. But today—what misery! For each new technology I must learn new design patterns, new libraries, and new toolchains. Our build process is inflexible, the design meetings interminable, the code reviews insulting, the testers intolerant, and the deadlines insane.”

“Then the years have been kinder to me,” said Shinpuru. “For in the days of my youth my temple was a primitive place, where we celebrated victories that now seem laughably small. But today—what bliss! For each new technology there are so many tools that with a little study I can achieve what would once have been impossible. And if our quickening pace leads me to stumble, a dozen monks will catch me before I fall. You should leave your miserable temple and come to mine.”

The nun raised an eyebrow. “My brother Shinpuru is mocking me, for we labor side-by-side today, just as we have done since we were children.”

“Then I should escort you safely back to our abbey,” said Shinpuru. “For your eyes are so glued to the beautiful scenery behind you, I fear you will walk backwards off that cliff.”