Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Classic ZippityZern: The Magic of Magic Words

My laptop slid off the bed.  I did not drop, throw, roll, toss, or skip it. It slid.

It slid from a soft pillow top mattress to an average grade carpet and seized up. The power cord bent. The frame skewed decidedly to the left, and the screen went black. My laptop didn’t scream, shriek, or cry when it went dark like a massive black hole in deep space.

However, I screamed, shrieked, and cried, while holding my hands to the sides of my head and tearing at my hair. If I had written something, scribbled something, or thought about writing or scribbling something it resided inside that machine—now a black, vacant hole from deep, deep space.

My screaming went on for a while.

The IT staff, my husband, arrived and asked stupid things like, “Did you drop it? How far did you drop it? Why do you keep dropping it?”

“It slid. My foot caught in the power cord and it slid onto a carpet, not into a volcanic cavern at the bottom of a craggy abyss. I did not drop it! I don’t drop computers. Is it dead?”

“Well, you can’t drop ‘em or pour lemonade into them or . . .”

“It slid—down—slid. I spilled lemonade into one laptop—ONE.”

He poked and clicked at various keys, and said, “I just hope the mother board isn’t . . .” He let the sentence trail off like a gypsy curse.

I wailed, “What’s a mother board? Is that where the typewriter keys are? Open it up, yell ‘clear,’ and zap it with the vacuum cleaner cord. Will I ever be whole again?” I clutched my chest and howled.

My husband held my laptop up to his ear and listened. He clucked and shook his head.

I gasped and sucked in as much oxygen as I could hold, hoping to pass out and end the horror.

My five-year old granddaughter walked into the middle of this volatile scene. Seeing my distress and appraising the situation like a forty-six year old TV psychologist named Phil, she walked over, and put her hand on my arm.

“YaYa, I know,” she said, patting my hand, “just how you feel.”

The evil spell was broken. She knew exactly the magic words to say. I took a deeper breath, figured that the hard drive was probably still in one piece, and wondered if I might get a new computer out of the deal.

Later, I looked at my husband and said, “She’s five years old, and she’s already figured it out. People just want a little sympathy when someone or something they love dies. You’re fifty years old and your bedside manner stinks.”

“Babe, you go through laptops like some people go through television channels.”

“True, but that’s not the point. I’m always sad when they die. Always.”

He sighed. I sighed. And then he said the most magical of magic words known to laptop users like me.

“Come on. Let’s go get you a new laptop. I’m buying.”

“I’ll race you to the Apple store.”

While it’s true that I do go through a large number of lap sized computers, it’s also true that I am always, always heartbroken by their untimely deaths. Always.

Linda (Say Please) Zern 






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