The Code Slingers

TRW Chairman's Award Winners

Code Slingers the Musical

ACT 1, Scene 1

Setting: A small but trendy Italian espresso shop, Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley.  Mid fall.

They sidle up to the bar, five men all dressed in black.  Luigi, the barkeep, approaches them with care.  No words are necessary; he knows why they are there.

Malcolm lays a twenty on the counter.  He’s a compact man, short sandy hair, sunglasses covering his eyes.

Luigi nods and says to Iliana:

Five double Lattes, pronto!

Iliana is his cousin – a peach, but a silly girl without a brain in her head.  Luigi, watches her sashay in front of the Code Slingers, looking over her shoulder with a come hither look. He hisses something in Italian, the rough translation being:

Pish!  You are nothing to these men. When they know you have no brain, they will dump like garbage!  They are…the Code Slingers!

She rolls her eyes as though someday he’ll be sorry he was mean to her and starts preparing the cappuccino.


I wonder what the geniuses on the seventh floor want with us now.  

Rambler is a tall thin man, bent slightly over as though conscious of being so tall.

Malcolm, snarling darkly:

Who cares?  They called a frigging meeting for 8:00 am.  Who’s awake at that ungodly hour?

Malcolm watches Iliana as she places two tall cups on the counter.

Rambler (aside):

You like her? 


Maybe, but there’s no woman on earth worth the risk of losing a good cappuccino and Luigi makes the best. 

They all nod in agreement.

Hear, hear!

They walk outside to claim their favorite table, a gnarl of redwood just big enough for the five of them to squish around as they watch the men in suits emerge from the Berkeley Bart.

Malcolm (regarding the business men):

Poor suckers.  I can’t imagine having to be at work every day at 8:00 am.  

More moaning.

Every morning at eight o’clock – oh no, not us!

Rambler (laughing):

Yeah, but they don’t get those calls at two am
‘Take the next plane to Beijing,
And fix the system, make it right.
Or don’t come home tomorrow night.’


where there’s not a cappuccino
to be found,
at any price.


But there’s lots of rice!  

They all laugh.

One of the business men passes them with a disdainful look and mutters:

After sharing looks with the other Code Slingers, Rambler starts:

They say we have it easy,
How little do they know,
When’s there’s a system down somewhere,
We’re on a red eye in nothing but our underwear.


We work all night,
to get it right
cause our code’s the best
from east to west.


All they see is the life we lead,
In at ten and out by three
With plenty of three hour lunches
And Lattes by the bunches
Oh, it may seem like a breeze
To those poor, imprisoned hourlies.

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