Let’s just get one little thing clarified before I start. I don’t do well with technology. I mean, I know about printing processes and graphical things like resolutions and DPI. I can work out all sorts of quite technical things to do with cameras and focal lengths. I even know how to take an mp3 and make it so my iPhone thinks it’s a ringtone, I’m practically a genius really.
This problem only really manifests itself when I have issues with my computer. You see, “I’m a P.C.” (I can’t afford to be one of the cool kids with a fruit-based system) so my computer breaks relatively often. Like once or twice a year. That’s the problem with windows, they’re made of glass and glass is more fragile than a leopard. That’s basic stuff, we should all know that. Drop a leopard, it lands on its big sharp feet, shakes its deadly jaws and struts away looking cool. Drop a window, it shatters into thousands of tiny little pieces that will cut you to ribbons when you try to clean them up. You’re getting the analogy? How about the rage I’m struggling with due to this issue, are you getting that?
No big deal usually, I make regular back-ups because I know that technology hates me and I’ll need them. When my PC breaks, I wipe everything off it and re-install it all. For tech-minded people this would probably only take an hour or two. It takes me the best part of a day. Two days if I want my email to work properly.
Last week my computer broke, I let out that heavy-hearted sigh that only comes with years of experience with “not-quite-understanding-what-I’ve-done-wrong”. I sat down with my Vista disc and a hot cup of strong coffee only to be interrupted by my wonderful wife who, with the best intentions in the world, had booked a week off work. Apparently, when she takes time off I also take time off. I know, I didn’t realise that it worked this way either but it seems like I was the one who had things wrong.
You see, I’ve had a week of not being able to fix my computer – the thing that enables me to make a living – because there were museums to visit, shops to stand in looking sheepish while I wait for her to get out of the damn changing room and families-in-law to visit. All day. Consequently I’ve also had a whole week without TSA which was probably a massive relief for all of you but actually turned me towards thoughts of spousal violence. If it wasn’t for my iPhone (and it’s mini-leopard inside) I’d have gone mental and would probably be posting this blog from prison. They do let you have computers in prison but they’re all Macs because PCs would encourage more prison riots.
Every time I thought I’d get some time to get things fixed I was thwarted with a spurious shopping trip or some unnecessary cleaning task (I’ve scrubbed things I didn’t even know we owned this week). Every time I thought I’d be able to get things up and running again I was emotionally blackmailed into having a “movie night” or visiting my mother-in-law and the forty-seven children she minds (I think that forty-seven might be a slight exaggeration but they run around screaming so much it’s really hard to count the little feckers).
I’ve tried explaining that I have things that I need the computer for. I even suggested that all this pricking about when I should be using the computer to work up some new marketing material is possibly the worst idea it is possible to have in the current financial situation. None of it was working, every time I raised the issue there was a serene look in my wife’s eyes that let me know that the continuation of debate would result in a sudden removal of my bollocks. They are the one thing I feel like I’d probably need more than my computer.
Every married man knows that there are some situations when it is just useless trying to debate the issues. A wife has a look that lets you know this, there will be no backing down, there is no room for compromise, there will be no time for conflicting opinions. Similarly, every married man also knows that when this situation arises it is often better to take a big hit and claim back some self-respect rather than the usual outcome – giving up your point, your opinion and your dignity. With this in mind, the awful – but almost inevitable – conclusion is that today I nipped to the shop and bought myself a laptop.
Wish me luck.