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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

Disaster! Tragedy! Catastrophe! Calamity! My baby is teetering on the edge of death!

I was lying in bed watching Seinfeld, which is what I do at the summer school when I’m not planning, testing and deciding whether to accept or reject hypotheses. Jerry and his group of crazy friends were getting up to some shenanigans or other, what with Kramer being mad and George being overwrought and Elaine having far too much hair and Jerry looking as if he’s about to laugh at the wonder of it all, and then all of a sudden the screen went black. And not only did the screen go black, the sound went dead, the lights went off and my baby stopped breathing.

I’ve only had Eggers my lap top since the end of May. He was a parting gift from the glory that is my parents, an early birthday and Christmas present that was designed to ensure that I’d get essays done on time and would be able to keep up with email and that kind of thing, but without the ridiculous burden of a computer and monitor and mouse and all those old fashioned things that used to be necessary but now seem stone age to me. Of course, I do still do my essays on Eggers, and now that I’ve worked out how to make the internet appear on his face I’ll be doing so more regularly once I stop having this social life that’s currently interrupting my sleep and lounging about time. But I’m slightly shame faced to admit that for the most part since May, Eggers’ main use has been so that I can watch DVDs in my bedroom.

So there we are. The room has been plunged in to darkness, I’m groping about blindly for a light switch, and my baby lies dying on the desk in front of me. I plug him in. Nothing. I hit ctrl+alt+delete, because that’s the only thing I can think of doing. Nothing. I panic even more. And then I do something really stupid, which I now believe to be akin to shaking a baby who’s stopped breathing: I take out his battery and then put it back in.

Still nothing.

I ring He Who Only… I get his answering machine. I leave a breathless wandering message that says everything and means nothing and then hang up in frustration because I don’t know what I’m talking about. I try switching Eggers on again.

A light flashes.

I hold my breath.

Another light flashes and he starts to boot up.

And then: the worst of the worst. I get the BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH.

The one that says that everything you ever believed is wrong.

The one that says there’s no hope left in the world.

The one that says your computer is broken.

I tumble in to bed and lie there in shock. My baby. My poor baby.

Of course, the next morning He Who Only… explains, in words he thinks I might understanding, things about rebooting and interrupting sequences and starting from a CD and says things like it’s all fixable and not a problem, and I fall a little bit more in love with him because he knows what to say and it sounds like he means what he’s saying.

That evening, I try again. Eggers boots up as normal and sits there grinning as if nothing has happened.



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