Little Box Of Horrors: It’s Baaaack

In case you didn’t notice,

my computer George

(he won’t tell me his real name)

is once more collecting spam and insults,

and secretly sharing it

(behind my back)

with all his friends and ex-classmates

at Boxbook.

That is to say,

after over a week offline,

my usually barely controllable box of chips and bolts

has decided to come back from an unscheduled visit to La-La land:

also known as Lazarus laughed,


“this computer had so many viruses”

even the computer lab people had to take immunization shots.

Or to put it in a nutshell,

it all started on a Friday.

So when else?

As in:

Strange bell noises,

strange blips,

and flips,

strange communications that made no sense.

By Saturday morning I gave up-

hey, you can only do so many non-screwdriver operations on a box.

Unless you want to drive a borrowed steam-roller over it.

And I WAAAS tempted, believe me.

Only the cute collection of piano playing cats,

dressed like Elton John,

which suddenly appeared  from the ether,


smiling winsomely at me,

sang candle in the wind,

before scampering off to sell virus insurance

kept me from walking down to the corner,

where they are building a new light-rail system track,


So, to make a long story short,

Saturday I went to see the gents who had,

apparently with great malice aforethought,

sold me my “modern communication tool”

which by that time had additionally acquired a series of digital clocks,

in four time zones,

none of them mine,

which ran backwards.

They, in turn, looked at me like I had personally created something from the film “the Exorcist”

just to bug them,

(if I wanted to bug them, I would turn my head around backwards-

something I learned as a classroom teacher)

who then sent me to talk to their “help me, help me, help department,”

twelve brave men and true,

all on a two-hour coffee break to spy out the competition at another store downtown.

And one fabulously trained computer specialist,

who lives in a town in the Hunsruck mountains

smaller than where my husband Harold is from,

if that is possible.

And since the specialist is so well-trained,

he spends his life setting up the computer systems for locals in his town,

and everyone else within a one hour radius,

who drive hundreds of miles to buy a cheaper computer than the price he can sell one for,

and then ask him to set it up.

And quibble about the price.

Which is apparently why he works on Saturdays at the store which sells all the cheap computers.

Which is where,

a sort of computer hospital

and senior citizens home,

I was asked to bring poor George.

“Ready by eight tonight when the store closes…at the latest.”

He left a note on my phone that he was terribly sorry,

but at least George was now flattened,

and the updates were running.

Arnold…. would take over for him.

Monday morning, no one had heard of my computer.

And no one knew who Arnold was.

At which point I asked if it would be possible to visit George.

I found him lying in a bed,

part of a system of space-saving bunk beds

for those whose family had left them there.

There were wires and tubes hanging out.

I touched his screen with my hand, to show him I was there.

He flimmered, just for a moment.

I then decided no matter what happened, I would save George.

I started daily visits.

Mornings, I brought the technicians cokes,

so they would have the energy to repair George

without going out for a break.

For four o’clocks, I brought coffee and brownies.

Was it my imagination, or was he starting to look better.

I kept it up.

Too few technicians, too many hours,

the result of the computer health insurance system here.

Each day I checked his wires,

brought more food,

left messages for him when he got running again.

George, I need you back.

You have to write a blog for me.

Then, on Friday, came the big day.

George could come home.

All I had to do,

said my, by now high on cola and brownies, tech team,

was plug him in,

give my security system my passwords,

and not overstress him until he had gotten used to his old environment.

So I plugged George in,

called up my security system,

and discovered you can’t go online

until your security system works.

Saturday morning two,

exactly eight days after Friday morning one,

George and I gathered more cola,

picked up the remains of the brownies,

and went in search of the Hunsrucker.

Who panicked when he saw me arrive,

held out his hands in a gesture of infinite sadness,

and then announced,

“There’s no problem. It works fine.”

Which it did.

In the shop.

And, due to the cola,

which I think he was thinking seriously of dumping on George,

or more likely me,

he called up my security system,

watched me enter the password,

hey, if you have struggled with someone to save a computer,

you assume they won’t steal you blind, right,

and then celebrated, as George,

humming the Chinese national anthem,

spit out all my old details,

an update to the theory of relativity,

and the answer to all the mails I sent him

during reconvalescence.


Sometimes at night, now, I hear him.


and typing.

And then I find bits and pieces of legal documents.

And technology handbooks.

And I think to myself,

George is probably studying law.

And computer medicine.

Good for you, George.

Less for me to do.

(PPS this blog was actually written by me.


copyright 2016

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