The Computer Problem

July 22, 2012

I was in the middle of a very important email when I suddenly discovered that my computer was broken.

I was writing to President Obama, to ask him to do something to stop the TV stations from running ads for vaginal creams and laxatives at dinner time. Those commercials just bug the crap out of me. I’ll be sitting there at the dinner table, chewing a mouthful of creamed corn or munching a grilled cheese sandwich, and the next thing I know, some idiot on the TV is going on about the painful itch of hemorrhoids.

I figured that President Obama has solved so many other problems during his presidency that this would be just a pimple on a rhino’s ass to him. Screw the terrorists, to hell with global warming—I don’t want to hear about anal seepage during dinner.

I was thinking he could call it his BAN ALL LAXATIVE ADVERTISING DURING DINNER campaign, or BALADD for short. Considering the candidates we have to choose from in 2012, a successful BALADD is about the only thing that’s going to get me to voting booth come November 6th.

I was just getting to the part of my email that discusses the core problem—greedy and inconsiderate advertisers—when I realized my keyboard was frozen.

Yes, I’m one of those retards that has to look at the keyboard when I type. I’d rattled off a paragraph’s worth of really bitching prose, then looked up and found I was still on “I hope you and Michelle are enjoying your summer—“

The mouse still worked. I could copy and paste. Outlook wasn’t frozen, nor was the computer itself. I could open Internet Explorer, and my Solitaire game still worked. I just couldn’t type anything. What the hell?

I saved my work (what little there was of it), then closed everything down and restarted my computer. While waiting, I grabbed a pen and paper and tried to recapture the awesome things I’d just typed into nothingness.

But when the computer came back up, I had the same problem. I did some basic troubleshooting—I tried reinstalling the keyboard drivers, and pulled up task manager to look for any wayward programs. Nothing. I checked available disk space, opened the Performance Monitor, ran the antivirus program, looked at the Event Viewer. I even defragged the hard drive.

But still I couldn’t finish my email to the President of the United States.

I started wailing on the keyboard. Wham, wham, wham. The Q and the B went flying. I cursed Bill Gates, Logitech, Michael Dell, and Thomas Edison. This was the result of a world invented by overachievers.

I psyched myself up to reinstall Windows—what choice did I have? But then, a brief moment of sanity intervened, and I decided at the last moment to call Dell tech support.

I sat on hold for fifteen minutes. I was almost ready to hang up, when a young man who called himself Tony came on the line. Tony had the same foreign accent as Fareed, the manager at the Bombay Curry House, where they serve such awesome Tandoori Chicken and Goat Biryani.

“How may I help you, Mr. Kip?” said Tony. He sounded quite professional.

“Um…my computer’s broken.”

“What seems to be the problem, sir?”

I described to Tony how I was in the middle of a very important email to President Obama—how I was going to enlist his help to enact BALADD and rid the world of annoying dinnertime advertisements for suppositories and stool softeners—“Oh, I hate those commercials too, Mr. Kip,” interjected Tony—but that I’d been stopped by this dammed broken computer.

“You say you can’t type?”

“Right! Exactly! What kind of junk equipment do you guys sell, anyway?”

Tony ignored my barbed comments. “Have you tried restarting the computer, sir?”

“Of course I have, Tony, or whatever your name is. Do you think I’m stupid?”

“No, no, definitely not, Mr. Kip. Have you tried updating the drivers, sir?”

“Yes, Tony.” I was bored with his ‘check all the boxes’ approach. I needed action. “Tony, I’d like to speak to your supervisor. I don’t have time for this.”

“I certainly understand your frustration, Mr. Kip, but I have just one more question please, before I pass you to my supervisor.”

“Fine. What is it, Tony?” Boy, I was really done with this guy.

“Are you using a wireless keyboard, sir?”

“What’s that have to do with anything?” What a dumb question. Everything is wireless these days.

“Mr. Kip, sir? Have you checked the batteries?”

There was a long pause in our conversation. I realized I had NEVER changed the batteries—had forgotten the thing even had them—since I’d purchased it two years before. “Umm, Tony? I have another call coming in. I’ll have to get back to you.”

“I can wait, sir.”

“No, no! That’s okay. I’ll call you back.”

“Let me give you my direct extension, Mr. Kip.”

I pretended to write down the phone number he rattled off. “Thank you, Tony,” I said, and quickly hung up the phone.  

There was a 36-pack of AAAs in the closet. I swapped out the dead batteries, pushed the wireless synch button, and was back to emailing Barack Obama in no time. “Dear Mr. President—” I began.

I hope my email works. I hate those laxative commercials, especially during dinner.

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