can you code this?

I was doing tech support for a good friend… seems an email message in Outlook Express would cause the app to freeze. Move to it, and BAM. So, deleting it outright was out of the question. Even archiving the email would cause it to freeze. Mind you, other messages from this sender were fine.

So I thought of a clever way. I created a rule for the sender and the subject, and selected the action to delete the message. Told the app to execute the rule. Guess what? Yeah, it froze again. With the blank outline of the rule execution progress dialog up in all its blank-stare glory.

My response as a professional software person? Besides embarrassment for our entire industry, I said “I don’t think I could code this as a feature if I had to.” (Of course, we all know we could do something clever like “If message number 10959 arrives, freeze app’s UI message handler.”

So, could you code this behavior? Have you ever found yourself expressing such wonderment at amazingly bizarre program behavior?