04/05/2009 By Shawn Burns

I spent the end of the week and much of the weekend dealing with computer issues.

My computer was playing with some “friends” I don’t know and I don’t know where their parents live or if they only drink organic water and wear hemp shoes like all good parents do, or if they let their computers drink from the tap and spend Save-African-Babies-money on Nike shoes. All I know is my computer came home from hanging out behind the mall and it reeked of some kind of smoke and it was scratching its arms and fidgeting. Eyes totally bloodshot.

I knew some serious intervention was in order. Medicine was no good. Whatever the strange computers had passed along, whatever new habits they had instilled, they were clearly bacterial and addictive in nature. Anti-virals had no effect, at least not after the fact. I was going to have to send my computer off to boarding school, and hope that it came back a changed laptop, pure and innocent again, ready for the impressing of hard codes of conduct so that it would never succumb to the influences of nefarious computers ever again.

But before the drastic boarding school option, a boot camp of character formation, could be implemented I needed to pack away all of my computer’s stuff, so that it would all be here when it came back, glowing and shining and with no memory of its trauma. But the damned tweaker computers had stolen the keys to the closet where I keep all of my computer’s stuff. So not only could I not pack away what my computer was wearing and carrying with it when it got home from the mall that night, I couldn’t even get into the closet to see what was in there. For all I knew the tweakers had burned it all.

There was some very important stuff in that closet. There was plenty of important stuff in my computer’s pockets too, but the closet was important.

Damned tweakers.

Instead of packing away the personal effects in the closet then, I had to hold my computer down and steal the stuff out of its pockets and shove it into small ziploc baggies. Occasionally my computer would have a seizure, and I’d have to spend time reviving it before I could continue to raid its pockets. But eventually I had everything I needed.

And I sent my computer to bootcamp. It came back all “yes sir, no sir” and I couldn’t wait to unload those ziploc baggies.

But I was still pretty pissed about that closet. It was full of stuff, and I was pretty panicked about it.

Some help from a friend, Runtime, and I was able to drill a hole in the wall next to the closet and slowly pull the stuff out. Some of it I gave back to my computer, because it was being so very polite and respectful. The rest I had to pack into a wall safe I spent too much money on (the tweakers had changed the combination on me, so I couldn’t use it until my computer came back from boot camp and confessed the new combination) when I was still trying to avoid the ziploc baggies, and into, yep, more ziploc baggies.

I have ziploc baggies everywhere full of my computer’s belongings.

Contemplating what to do about this closet now (should I buy a new closet? Try to get that door open?) I invited another friend, Acronis, over and he said “Well, here’s your problem: Those tweakers stole all the shelves, and your computer’s stuff is just lying around on the floor. Here, I’ll build some more shelves and put the stuff back where it was, and then you’ll even be able to open the closet door to boot.”

Runtime gave me peace of mind about the stuff, but I really wish I had invited Acronis over in the first place. Seriously, I have ziploc baggies everywhere. And the hole in the wall was completely unnecessary.

But, on the other hand, my computer is being very solicitous right now. And it’s promised to never play with those tweakers ever again. I don’t know if I can trust it…computers will be computers, and addicts are really good at getting others to get high with them so they can feel normal or in control. But I hope I’ve instilled some good core values now and my computer will know, not to just say “no”, but to say “You won’t drag me in to your misery.”

I hope. All I can do is hope. The world is full of evil bastards.