Some people think that inanimate objects are inert. They have no soul. No sense of self. No sense of timing or irony. Bollocks. If that’s the case, how come computers always die when you really, really need them? You know, when you’re trying to hack into Dr McEvil’s mainframe to stop him turning all the worlds oceans into chocolate pudding*, or when you’ve got to concoct a personalised birthday card from someone’s photo and stuff that’s been downloaded from RubberFetishGerbil.com, or (and this is slightly closer to home) when you’re in the middle of editing Book Number The Sixth.
But is this really the computer’s fault? OK, so it’s had three different hard drives over the last couple of years, and the battery life is even shorter than your average fun fair goldfish, but other than that it’s been a perfectly good machine. Until yesterday, when it displayed the following suicide note:
A disk read error occurred
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart
So our bearded protagonist presses Control Alt and Delete at the same, with a technical flourish of his manly fingers, and true to its word, the computer does indeed restart. Makes a couple of chugging noises, a whirrrrrrrrrrr, and then displays the same desperate cry for attention.
On its own, this would have been a pain in the arse. Well, let’s be honest, it’d be a vast steaming haemorrhoid, swaddles in sandpaper that’s been dipped in Tabasco. Especially if there were bits of the edit lurking in the deep dark recesses of the aforementioned disk that refuses to be read. But five minutes later the wee stereo I have in the study to play music while I’m hunched over the first draft of the book with a red biro like some sort of demented beardy refugee from Notre Dame Cathedral, decided its life wasn’t worth living either.
I suppose it could have been a murder suicide plot. Maybe the computer and the stereo were having a passionate, clandestine relationship? Maybe the printer found out and got jealous and killed them both. “Stop treating me like I’m some sort of peripheral damn it! How can you love him? He’s not even USB compatible!” That kind of thing.
Or maybe it was the Crimplemas** Entropy Fairy? Normally the Entropy Fairy waits till just after Christmas to break everything, but obviously the little curly-toed tosspot decided she needed a bit of practice to get her eye in before the big day -- when she flits from house to house, making sure that 43.6% of anything kids unwrap on Christmas morning is broken by lunchtime. This is not the same as the Lesser-Spotted Battery Fairy who hides all the AAAs and those big flat DD batteries as soon as Little Timmy opens his Optimus Prime Bingledy Bongledy Noise Making Thingie That Transforms Into A Bath Chair And A Colostomy Bag.
Bloody Entropy Fairy. Next year I'm festooning the study with sticky fly paper (also works on fairies), and when the little sod turns up I'm pulling her wings off.
* Which probably sounds quite appealing to some people, until you realise that fish don’t do so well in chocolate putting, so what you’d end up with is vast oceans of brown slurry that tastes of rotting fish.
** Crimplemas is like Christmas, but it’s ridged for extra crispiness / her pleasure, depending on which way you’re inclined.
Labels: Dark Blood, rant, Stuart Is Old And Grumpy, Trauma