I couldn't agree more-- that's pretty much what motivated this question!
It looks like it escaped from some long forgotten COBOL code if you ask me.
never had the pleasure of even seeing COBOL code, but as I was trying to write perl, I would far prefer it look like idiomatic perl than anything else ;)
Thanks for your response. I'll try it out just as soon as I get my head all the way around how it works :D