October, 2003 Edition
by Ms. Duh
In the spirit of the upcoming Halloween holiday, and in honor of all things oogie, I have a scary story for all you children. A bone chilling, blood curdling nightmare that will have you waking up in the wee small hours drenched in sweat and wetting the bed.
Everybody gather around in your jammies and hug your teddy bears, and the lady will be passing out the Depends® shortly, so there will be no "accidents" on my freshly shampooed carpet.
It was a dark and stormy night, although it happened on a summer afternoon. Our hero was puttering around her house, looking for something to occupy her time, as many of the unemployed are prone to do. As she surveyed her computer room, a cold shivering monster of an idea grabbed her by her skivvies and gave her the atomic wedgie of her life. "I'll rearrange the room, so that it may be more to my liking - having a more efficient and chee-welcoming floor plan, and increase exponentially my computing joy..." And somewhere in the distance, the devil laughed, a coven of witches went catatonic and an Ikea burned down.
As she entered the room, a crack of thunder was heard... or possibly a gunshot. Our hero ran her hand up and down the desk, and with a tremendous heave, gave it a strained shove. It moved about two inches. She straightened up, mopped her brow, and thought to herself, " This is going to be a long day."
After popping open a beer, and guzzling it down, our hero returned to the computer room of doom. For some evil inspired reason, she had decided that she didn't have to move anything OUT of the room, but could strategically shift the contents around like one of those sliding tile puzzle games, even though she only had about 4 square feet of empty area to work with. The bookshelves loomed like an enormous looming type thing, and cords were everywhere. Ethernet cable had been stapled on the walls and the outlets were arranged in a strange, ill conceived way where everything needed an extension cord or an adapter. Plus, she had two giant hamster buckets wherein the animals huddled in fear as she started piling books and CDs inside.
She shoved the desked and dragged the bookshelves. Our hero, drenched in sweat and beer, push and pulled pieces of furniture and boxes of computer parts all day, moving them inch by inch, square foot by square foot untill they were littered about the place, as though she was setting up for a haphazard demon garage sale. She had taken books out and piled them up in teetering unstable towers which threatened to tumble on to scanners and firewire drives cowaring in their shadows. She had computer speakers fall on her toes and accidently stabbed herself with pencils and screwdrivers.
She found hideous, unspeakable mounds behind tables that use to be pizza, and giant bile sucking spiders lurked behind almost every corner, waiting for her to get close enough, so they may attack en masse, the terrible redheaded bringer of the RAID.
Our hero spent the good part of a day, moving furniture and hurting herself, only to find that, not only wasn't she even close to accomplishing her task of a chee-filled nirvana, she had boxed herself into a corner with all routes of escape solidly blocked off. She felt her chest tightening and her heart raced. How would she dig herself out? Did she have enough snickerdoodles to tide her over until someone rescued her? Would anybody hear her desperate cries for aid? Would they find her dessicated remains sprawled out in this corner clutching her stapler and keyboard? Panic gripped her nethers and she trembled in fright. She wailed like the unfortunate Fortunato, and not a cask of Amontillado in sight to numb the growing agitation deep in her gut.
Her only hope, was to email for help. Luckily, the computer had been sitting in the corner, awaiting the day she may at last finish, so he may take his rightful, albeit temporary, place upon her desk. Our hero fired up the computer, and connected to the internet, although it took her a good five minutes to untangle most of the ethernet cable from the curtains. It was slow. SO slow. She felt the life seep out of her when the computer froze. Screaming and shaking her fist at god, himself, for trapping her in the corner without milk for her Snickerdoodles, she searched frantically for a solution to the pokey computer which was her only link, nay her salvation to the outside world. She moved and heaved and dug into the drawers and boxes that she was able to reach, and found a baggie of ram. She opened up the side of the computer, and winced as the door creeked and slamed onto the floor. She installed the ram and turned on the G4. There was nothing. Not a sound, not a chime, not even a whimper that was uttered by the dormant machine.
Her body shook, and her head swam. Grasping at the computer, she felt the case and worked her hand around to the back. All the cords were still plugged in. She found the power cord and followed it over to the wall that it should have been plugged into. It should have been. It wasn't and she couldn't reach the end of the cord. "Damn it all to HELL," she cried out in agony. She tugged on the cord a bit. It gently gave a bit of resistance but moved a bit. So with the last bit of energy she had, she gave a violent yank and refused to move. The pronged end caught under the massive bookshelf in front of it, and the rest that looped over the top suddenly pulled on the top, causing the lamp to come crashing down onto the floor. The fear of dying of starvation in the corner turned into sheer hysteria at the thought of being crushed by the wobbling bookshelf, and paralyzed our hero. She could only watch in horror as the bookshelf assembly and a half set of the Time Life series on UFO and the Paranormal undulated and fell over on top of the open door of her computer.
The resulting carnage was a slow motion orgy of cracking plastic and crunching electronics. Ram and video cards sheered off the board and the hinges shrieked a banshee wail as they tore from the main case.
She moved to the computer. She fingered the green pieces of motherboard, and weeped uncontrollably until she was rescued by the fire department, and taken to the hospital for a required overnight suicide watch. She died in the emergency room of a coronary while filling in the insurance forms and trying to remember if there was a history of insanity in her immediate family. But they say on quiet nights, in the Apple section of the local COMPUSA, you can hear a young girl blubbering uncontrollably. Some say she is mourning her dead computer. Some say she's is just waiting for some customer assistance. Either explanation sends heebeejeebees up my spinal column.