Day 104: Tang Wang

A short distance from Mulingar, in County Westmeath, is the village of Tang. Although the name seems like it might be Chinese, it comes from the Gaelic words An Teanga, meaning “the tongue.” Laetitia and her group spent the day on a sightseeing boat trip on nearby Lough Ree. After arranging to meet the group at a pub near their lodging in Tang, Laetiita went there early for a pre-dinner drink and, if she was lucky, a limerick.

At the bar of the pub, Laetitia ordered a pint of Kilkenny and struck up a conversation with an old fellow named Kieran, sitting at the next stool. He was a computer programmer and had spent his career working for Wang Ireland. Wang had been one of the early players in the computer field and was once an international organization with annual sales exceeding a billion dollars. It lost out to IBM and others during the personal computer boom and eventually drifted into bankruptcy. Kieran had plenty of mostly obsolete skills using programming languages that are now rarely used.

He also had a collection of old Wang computers, and in retirement spent a lot of time playing with them. One of his prized possessions was a promotional t-shirt from the company that read, “My Wang Never Goes Down.” He said his wife was often irked and said so loudly when he chose to use one of his old computers to perform some task, since their new computer does things much faster. The conversation gave Laetitia the limerick of the day.

There was an old fellow from Tang
Whose penchant to play with his Wang
Made his wife loudly scold
“That computer’s too old
And it no longer works worth a dang.”