Normally I’d apologize to the songwriter for stealing, then screwing with his song title, but Justin Timberlake is just too damn successful, so, y’know what JT? No apology for you.
I’m such a rebel.
Anyway, I’m writing this blog–and yes, I’m aware it’s been far too long since my last one, even my mother-in-law brought it up–on my new laptop.
Not that it’s exactly new. Its keys have definitely felt the touch of other fingers, its screen has been stared at by other eyes…it’s a refurb. But it’s got a nice 17-inch monitor and it plays Blu-rays and it’s likely far more computer than I need. But it’s quite nice.
And it’s purple.
Let’s step back a couple of months, shall we? Back to February 24th, to be exact. I remember the date because it was the day before the Wife’s birthday and I wrote a blog about her.
This is where our story begins. Because I actually wrote two blogs about her. I wrote a brilliant one, one where the words crackled and sizzled off the screen. I wrote it. I saved it. I added some. Saved it. Finished the writing. Saved it. Added all the tags. Saved it. Added my first picture.
Watched in horror as the screen came back as blank white. The whole thing was erased. Couldn’t get it back no matter what I tried. I did Google searches, I implored on Facebook. Nothing.
In the end, I rewrote it, but it wasn’t as good.
Now, the computer had been acting a little funky up to that point, and, to be honest, I’m still blaming WordPress for that particular brain aneurism more than the computer. But as I said, the computer had been acting…funky. Nothing alarming, but just a little…off.
Over the next couple of days, it acted even more funky.
Then came the morning when it wouldn’t turn on. Well, okay, I exaggerate. It would turn on, but it linked me to some alien shit originating out of the Horsehead Nebula. It wasn’t English and it wasn’t logical.
I called a good friend, a man schooled in the ways of the Microsoft. A Jedi Master of Computer Technology. Seriously, a lot of people “know a guy” who’s good with computers. But this guy? He’s the friggin’ Computer Whisperer. A Black Belt in the Art of Bios (I don’t even know if that last one makes sense, but if it does, then he’s it).
He could sit on a mountain top and dole out secrets of Life, the Universe, and Everything Related to PCs.
He’s that good.
So, he comes over, opens up his little pouch of Arcane Computer Tools and proceeds to delicately and deliberately tease my laptop into revealing its innermost secrets. Now, when he does this stuff, he’ll laugh at what he finds at times (“you really tried to install a Win 95 driver on Win 7?”), he’ll express shock or surprise (“you haven’t updated your virus protection since Bush was in Office?”), and sometimes, if the computer is being particularly annoying, he’ll express some frustration (which I won’t quote here, this being a family show and all, but if you want some swearing, go here). He’ll express a lot of things, but there’s one thing you never ever want to hear him say.
Those two little syllables are like the Marvel comic book character Black Bolt. Black Bolt is the leader of the Inhumans and his voice is his weapon. The merest breath can wipe out a city, a yell can take out a nation.
My computer guy’s utterance of the dreaded “uh oh” spells doom.
It wasn’t long before he informed me that my computer, much like the parrot in the Monty Python sketch, was dead, stone dead, definitely deceased, passed on, was no more, ceased to be, had expired and gone to meet his maker, was stiff, was bereft of life, rests in peace, was pushing up daisies, its metabolic processes are now history, its off the twig, kicked the bucket, shuffled off this mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible…this was an ex-computer.
Uh oh indeed.
We thought about getting another laptop, as I simply find it a lot less distracting in the mornings to write in an area other than my office (yeah, I’m weird and quirky like that, but it’s what makes me so damn lovable), but I didn’t want to spend the money.
Then I decided a little while ago that I was going to do the Muskoka Novel Marathon (which, by the way, if you’d like to donate, I’d really really really really really appreciate), and I probably shouldn’t take the work laptop to that. Now, I could, technically handwrite my manuscript, or find some 400-pound typewriter to lug up (and, quite frankly, it might be awesome to watch the annoyance grow with every ding and swipe. But no.
So, a few days ago, the Wife brought up purchasing a new laptop. A refurb is fine for what I needed. She pointed out one, a nice HP with a big screen and it looked pretty good. “But it’s purple,” I said, and passed on it. We looked at a few more that were essentially the same price but with less screen, less features, less stuff.
I kept coming back to the purple one. Finally said, screw it, the colour doesn’t mean anything, let’s get it. So that’s the one we ordered.
At this point, it should be noted that the Wife has a perfectly lovely HP laptop of her own as well. It’s got a nice, burnished bronzey-grey colour to it. Quite nice, and much more masculine than my purple one.
She offered to do a switch when the purple one came so I could have the more masculine one, but I really didn’t care that much.
Then it came. Then it started. “Are you sure you don’t want to switch?” says the Wife with an envious greenish gleam in her eye. “It’s no trouble,” she says, casting covetous glances at the horrid purple finish of my new laptop.
Yeah, actually it would be some trouble. Besides, I’ve now dug in with a perverse glee with the purple. I mean seriously, purple’s been huge, right?
Prince had his Purple Rain.
Barney had a purple epidermis.
The Hulk, no matter how long he’s been around, always ends up with those damn ugly purple pants (seriously, did anyone even manufacture purple stretch pants for anyone other than large bingo ladies or female toddlers?),
there was the great movie The Color Purple, and
Sheb Wooley sang about The Purple People Eater (still not sure if it was purple and ate people or only ate purple people) and
Jimi Hendrix sang about Purple Haze (you know, the song where it sounds like he sings s’cuse me while I kiss this guy!)…I mean, it’s everywhere, right?
Hell, there’s even a literary term…purple prose, which is a piece of highly elaborate writing.
So I’ve already started thinking of this thing as the Purple Prose Eater…hey, it’s worth a shot, right?
So no, the Wife never got the purple laptop. Didn’t matter how many duckfaces she made and how much she pouted. She can have the manly computer, I’ll take the lilac laptop.
Besides, one of my friends, the esteemed Colum McKnight, already refers to another odd pairing of human and machine in a rather interesting way. I drive a Dodge Charger, a nice car. I like cars. The Wife drives a very large, very red, very hemi Dodge Ram.
Colum, in his inimitable style, refers to the truck as The Cock. Though he has never directly stated it, I assume that makes the car I drive The Vagina. Now, while that’s a little emasculating on the surface, there is something disturbingly weird, yet fun about thinking that I climb into The Vagina, turn it on and make it go places.
Anyone that can claim mastery at that can certainly live with a purple laptop.