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A pop-up message arrived on computer
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A pop-up message arrived on computer

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I was going to be out of the office for a couple of days this week so as I always do, I turned off the TV and lights, logged off the computer, straightened the desktop, and locked the door. I would say I battened the hatches, but I barely know what a hatch is and certainly wouldn’t know how to batten one.

When I walked in two days later everything looked the same except right in the middle of my computer screen was a little pop-up message from MicroSoft. Hmmm, I thought to myself, I wish Bill Gates would stop pestering me for investment advice. He’s gotten to be a botheration constantly asking for investment tips.

I moved closer to see what he wanted this time and read the following: Your computer has recovered from a serious error. What? I thought the computer was sleeping but apparently it leads a secret life that I know nothing about.

Now, when I’m sleeping and make a serious error Mable, my lovely bride, lets me know about it immediately. She will berate me mercilessly and on occasion beat me senseless, a task that doesn’t take much effort on her part. And when I somehow slip a serious error past her, I most assuredly don’t announce it later.

All of this got me to thinking about my computer. I visualize the innards of my computer as being populated by a mass of tiny people that instantly look up the answer to any questions I may have by contacting the even more numerous tiny people who inhabit this Interweb thing I keep hearing about.

Obviously they figured out that I was going to be gone for a while and decided it would be fun to engage in some nefarious act never supposing that it would be reported to me by the Interweb police.

I had no idea what atrocities had been committed in my absence as the message was rather vague: Serious error. I thought it a good idea to find out just what had happened so I got online and searched for a web site titled Interweb Police Reports. Of course, nothing appeared except a note that said, “Site unknown.”

Clearly my little computer guys were not going to let me get any information about whatever it was they had done. This stonewalling threw up several red flags and caused me to speculate on what the transgression might be.

Was it as simple as say, rolling another computer’s innards? That hardly seemed a “serious error.” That would be more in the “harmless prank” category. Did they throw a party with dancin’ girls and underage drinking? That would qualify and be particularly galling since Iwasn’t invited. Was it a truly serious error involving drugs? I hope not as that could have really severe long term ramifications up to and including having to replace all of my tiny guys with new and untrained tiny guys.

At this point I have run into a brick wall in gathering poop on whatever they did. I continue my search for answers and in the meantime I have put them all on restriction. No surfing to sports sites, jokes of the day, or any of the other countless forms of web entertainment.

Not knowing the severity of their sin, I’m not sure what an appropriate punishment is. For now I’m watching them like a hawk and even a non-serious error will bring nasty retribution.

Onward.

Norm Douglass hasn’t yet mastered the art of turning it off and back on again.

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