Sometimes the funniest jokes are those that are closest to the truth. This story demonstrates with clarity how the inquisitive nature of the genius can leave the rest of us feeling … normal.

I had been on one of my lengthy road trips, meeting with YDL resellers and spreading the good word about Linux on PowerPCs. Upon my return to our offices in Loveland, Colorado, I was surprised to find the vacuum cleaner completely disassembled on the shipping table–more parts than I realized a vacuum contained.

Upon my inquiry, my shipping manager explained that one of our programmers was attempting to fix it. I immediately assumed that a wood screw had been pulled in at high velocity and embedded in the internal fan (as has happened once before … reminding me of photos of a blade of grass embedded in a fence post through the force of a Nebraska tornado).

But no, the reason for the investigation was simply, “Well, the suction got worse and worse and now it just won’t pick up any dirt up!”

I replied, “Did either of you try changing the bag?”