The Tangled Web


Working as a web developer in the flamboyantly ostentatious world of Larry Spindle – a man whose appreciation of technology was outweighed only by his distinct lack of understanding it – was like trying to explain quantum physics to a pigeon.

“I need it to spin,” Larry would squawkingly declare, flapping about his office which was decorated in an overbearing style that could aptly be described as “Silicon Valley Tycoon”.

“I’m sorry, Larry, but websites don’t just ‘spin’. It isn’t a hula hoop,” I would explain.

“Flamington! Make it rotate! I want whirl! Whirl sells!” he would then bellow, spinning his forefinger in circles to demonstrate his passionate belief in whirly effects.

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it won’t make the pig an expert in web development. This was evident when Larry purchased WebDevDoozy, a small, understated developers’ agency that lacked his preferred “whirl” but had a reputation for delivering quality products. Being a part of WebDevDoozy, I knew things will change when Larry’s tremulous jowls and big Italian loafers stepped into our office. His first declaration of potential greatness? “You’re all underappreciated geniuses and I’m here to liberate you!”

That liberation equated to the bane of my existence – project upon project designed to produce heart-stopping cash flow, with less concern about functionality and more emphasis on glittery aesthetics. Larry was like a ravenous pigeon now, pecking at every sparkling thing he saw, leaving a trail of baffling requests and, on multiple occasions, actual bread crumbs.

“The buttons! They should pop out and say ‘Hey there! We’re a button, friend. Don’t you want to press us?’”

“But Larry, why would we want the whole site to sparkle when the user moves the cursor?”

“What if we make the homepage spin? That screams innovation!”

Inevitably, I discovered Larry contracted our agency out for jobs that he’d already accepted – with absolutely no feasibility study. He’d simply pen obligations down, essentially pulling terms out of a fancy software-development-jargon hat he must have purchased on Amazon or rummaged from some forgotten corner of his illustrious moustache. ‘Data Migration’, ‘API Integration’, ‘Responsive Design’ would be flung around with the nonchalance you would ascribe to ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.

I couldn’t fully appreciate the comedic value of the situation. That was until I found Larry at his desk one evening, torturing a Rubik’s cube. In that moment, I saw a man so entangled in the web of his own deceitful practices, so subservient to his reckless pursuit of profit, that he refused to understand the basic structure of a child’s toy. He was arranging and rearranging the colored squares, an expression of stern concentration marking his face.

Laughing (albeit bitterly), I retreated to my workspace. Looking at my near-completed site, I added a touch Larry would have never considered. An Easter Egg, a hidden gem. Swiftly coding a spinning Larry under a ‘Boss Mode’, a tiny pigeon pecking at a Rubik’s cube every time someone moves their cursor. Perhaps this was the secret to satisfying Larry’s engorged, spinning ego.

I saved my changes, an impish grin curving my lips. Tomorrow, Larry would spiral deeper into his self-woven mystery, confusing a website’s functionality with a flashy magic-show circus. As for us true WebDevDoozy geniuses, we would continue devising secret modes to honor Larry’s mind-boggling requests while adding real value to our projects.

Sure, my little indulgence was petty, but what’s a web without a spider and a bit of tantalizing, vengeful fun?


What happens next?

Mild to Wild

1 = Keep it simple10 = Let's get wild

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