Friday, August 19, 2011


Recently, my computer broke down, so I'm currently posting this on my son's laptop. Now, Chris has FOP (fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva; more about that another day) and his own independant fiances, so of course at eighteen he had to buy the fanciest laptop that exists. I have to admit, I'm a mechanical and technological moron, so this is proving rather daunting.

In fact, all my boys still have to work the DVD player for me. I have never lived down the day my son caught me trying to rewind a DVD. That amused him for days. So it's no wonder I screwed up royally when I decided to clean up the files on my own computer.

Normally Im a fairly intelligent person and leave things to an expert, especially anything with spark plugs, heating elements or program files. But for some insane reason I decided to finally have the confidence to do something on my own. Blame menopause, mid-life crisis, or lack of chocolate sprinkles on my almond cookies. My rather flawed reasoning was, "What could go wrong?"

My Word processing program was slow and lagging. I had heard that it's because of inactive programs and files and tons of graphics that causes any computer to become irritable. So foolishly, I left my half finished dissertation on the joys of teenagers intended for a publication, minimized it and proceeded to apply my delete button with careless abandon in my document files. There was no problem and I was about to defrag when my eyes alighted on my program files. I saw a whole bunch of gobbly-gook and oddly named files that looked like evildoers that had to be evicted before they corrupted my innocent machine.

Imagine my horror to find that when I brought up my article, it was a mess of numbers and odd symbols not even close to resembling letters that I could recognize. When I tried to close it and reboot, (of course losing everything I had composed since I also hadn't saved it), not only would it not do anything but I couldn't even shut it down! I was ready to go over the brink of sanity after two hours. I cried, I cajoled, I even hugged my monitor as I pleaded that it at least burp to show me it was still alive. But there it sat, its monitor eyes staring blankly back at me in the fog of impending death.

I raised tearful eyes as Chris came into the house in his wheelchair. My distress didn't seem to touch him at all, heartless little whelp that he is. He peered at my comatose contrivance, my best friend for many years, with curiosity common to a man-child who pokes roadkill with a stick.

"Wow, Mom. You killed it," he quipped, wheeling by my legs and bruising them on his leg rest without a thought, settling with the TV remote.

"I didn't kill it," I snapped back. "It's merely wounded." How optimistic can one person be? "It's all that crap you downloaded on here. It overwhelmed the poor ol' girl. I fully expect to see plumes of smoke and the smell of burning wires to greet me in a minute."

"Fire extinguisher is in the hall closet," he murmured as he searched for Family Guy, switching channels frantically.

"Thanks," I hissed through gritted teeth. "I make my living from this thing, you know. This means I can't get my work done until it's fixed or I get a new one. Oh, what am I going to do?"

OK, so I whined a bit at the end there.

"Make pizza." His eyes were wide with hope and wonder. His stomach-ruled reasoning was, you can't eat a computer, and since it wasn't working anymore, I would finally, actually cook him something. His lack of sympathy failed to endear him to me.

Now, in case you're thinking writers have higher than normal intelligence and should know what they are doing with a device that they make their living with, let me remind you in my defence that I tried to rewind a DVD the other day...again! My loving son had a lot to say when he witnessed me doing this, yet again, and wore the oddest smirk on his face that made him very unattractive. If he worked on his schoolwork as hard as he does his sarcasm, he would have graduated high school two years ago a genius.

In hindsight, take it from me; don't attempt anything like this at home, especially when you have witnesses. You'll never live it down.

Let me know if you have ever done something that you knew you shouldn't have taken on, but ignored your instincts and did it anyway. Looking forward to your stories!

No comments: