Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hissy Fits And British Accents Save The Day! It Wasn't My Fault, Anyway, by Allison

So in case it is still up for debate,
I Have Magical Superpowers.
I have just proven my own theory to be totally true.

Does that count for a Nobel Prize?
Sainthood or Miracle?
Gold Star?
Smiley Face Sticker?

I will take anything, really.
Other than ridicule.

My superpowers are not solely limited to music summoning via outfit choice, FYI.
Yes, I wore a flannel shirt and now Pearl Jam is touring.
But get this?

I am also a technological genius.

Anyone who has ever had to witness,
come to my aid,
show me the off button,
or all of the above?

Since I cannot do anything technologically savvy
(Or proficient.
Or trained or untrained monkeys can do it)
 at all,
this may sound like a ludicrous and delusional claim.

I get that.

 I had to have my hand held,
 and step-by-step instructions given by Very Patient Technologically Astute Friend,
 to even start this blog.

In fact,
I am not only incompetent when it comes to increasingly kind of different but how, exactly?
 iThis or iThats?

I may possibly be allergic to them,
or repel them in some way,
 that leads them to run and hide in places that make no sense,
like the freezer or in my purse,
where I already checked fifty times,
so some sort of evil machinations are afoot.

I am not paranoid, technology hates me.
I have proof!

A Short(ish) Summation of The Ways In Which I Wreck Stuff With Batteries or Cords or Electronic Components,  It Was Not My Fault! by Allison:

1.  My TV went out during Power Station's performance at Live Aid in 1984.

Power Station, featuring one Mr. John Taylor of Duran Duran,
and they were also going to perform.
I was and am a Fan.
My TV stopped working,
the cable went out,
and I became deranged with thoughts of missing their sure to be brilliant performance.

So, I threw a hissy fit of such proportions that my sister took photos of the detritus with her Polaroid camera.
A camera I couldn't work at ALL,
to use in my defense after I cleaned up my fit evidence.
It was not my fault.
Stupid cable was wonky in the suburbs in 1984.
Also I cleaned up, so there.

2.  My mom's Audi
(Note: The kind that 60 Minutes TV Show,
 or whatever,
 proved was a crazy car,
 that randomly drove away from its owners and wrecked stuff,
 and Mike Wallace made very serious, sad faces about it,

car was computerized, not so much as K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider,
that would have been cool.
But it had buttons and things,
 and one controlled the seat adjustment.
Lovely feature on a car,
When I drove it,
 the seat thingy went insane.
Like, it went from Setting One,
 to Setting Scary Carnival Ride Controlled By A  Doofus Who Is Not Paying Attention.

 And the seat back would fling backward and forwards,
 thunking me in the back,
and the seat I was sitting on went forward and backward,
 making it VERY hard to drive.

It may have been a fun carnival ride, but I didn't push that button.
I just wanted legroom.

Also whenever I pushed any button on it,
nothing happened,
 other than the car smelled exactly like wonton soup.
Not My Fault.
Google it.

3. My traitorous word processor dot matrix computer thing ATE my honors thesis in college.

It ate it.

I was almost done with this long,
footnoted opus, and the computer ATE it.

Fine, NO, I did not save every three minutes,
I feel like that is the computer's job, mine is to write the thing.
I wrote it.
Computer-ish thing totally failed on its end of the deal.
It was not my fault, at ALL.

Luckily there were no witnesses with Polaroid cameras taking photos of that fit. 
It was a doozy.
And also, not my fault.

4. The Great Air Conditioner Leakage of 1995:

In law school, one year my friends and I lived in a house that was kind of charming and near school, and had excellent backyard for parties.

We did not know it was also evil.

My room had an A/C unit in the window,
and, FYI, I not only repel technology,
I lack basic functioning spacial relations skills and reasoning capabilities.

So I set up my music directly under that A/C unit.

My music,
ALL my bootlegs from a billion shows plus all the mixtapes I had ever made or received,
pretty much my prized possessions.

So I put them under an old creaky A/C unit.
Because it fit there and looked cute.

And as old creaky A/C units are wont to do, it leaked.
All over my music.
All of it.
I have yet to recover.
I may never fully heal.

And granted, I am the spacially challenged person who placed all those treasures under the A/C, because really,
 it did look cute and there was nowhere else to put it-

But I didn't make the A/C leak, causing The Great Air Conditioner Leakage of 1995.
At least, not that I know of.
I may have gotten grumpy and pushed buttons if it was hot out.

It was like, .001 percent my fault.
Mostly I was the victim here.

5. Wisdom has not come along with age
(Or has it???????????????????
Foreshadowing here.
Plus also, I am still very, very young):

I fry Kindles by crying on them,
or dropping them while blowdrying my hair and reading upside down,
or spilling tea on them repeatedly.

Proof: (

I break phones in too many ways to list,
I will just say that I have destroyed them with all of the elements at my disposal -
earth, water, fire, air.
(Note: Not Earth,Wind, and Fire, 1970's disco/soul band with gloriously festooned outfits.

I always wondered why they did not include Air in the band's name.
Why only the three elements, was there a story there?
I was driven to distraction by that elemental omission.
I am still very curious.
Is there a Behind The Music episode about that or something?
If not, there should be.
And if it becomes a thing, I want total credit. )

I do not understand our remote for the TV in our kitchen,
so I stand on our kitchen table with a large spoon,
 and poke at the buttons until it comes on.

So of course, a few days ago,
as I was attempting to put my mixtape I am making onto a flash or jump or whatever drive -
the computer actually sighs,
and possibly says a swear word at me,
before dying dramatically,
kind of like Cleopatra minus the kohl eyeliner.

It has done that before.
I have witnesses, real live actual witnesses.
Who will be like, "Weird. You are right.
That thing just made a grumpy noise and started taking a nap."

Totally not my fault.
And if I try to summon help from sage advisors?

I ask my daughters.
The are Jedi Masters or Queen Extreme Supreme Extra Plus in Undoing What I Did.
Also, They Are Clever Little Traitors Who Hijack My Stuff And Put Owls On It.

And if they can't fix the thing?
Not my fault, but NOT a good sign.

First red flag.

Second red flag?
When Matt can't fix it,
as he does very computery and techy things with cancer treatment machines and such,
and  usually can fix whatever dumb thing I did,
unless the dumb thing involves puddles of water.

This time, I am informed,
after a few days of me twitching and saying mean things to the computer,
then saying nice things,
trying to get a read on what it wants from me,
(Good Cop or Bad Cop?)

Matt will take it to computer fixers next week.

Anecdotal evidence,
lack of bootleg jam band shows,
and bills to phone stores and Kindle store reflect that I have no business attempting to solve a stupifying computer failure issue.

Even one that TOTALLY was not my fault.

But alas, I am not a patient person.

Also, I cannot access any of my music with the computer being all hostile.

So I decide to take matters into my own
(Note: inept, corrosive, "Nooo, don't touch the red button!!!")

I decide to use the only tool I have left,
since my family has abandoned me,
 and I am lone Don Quixote,
tilting at windmills otherwise known as my ornery computer,
 that is now my nemesis.

What tool, you may ask?

And I may say,
forlornly but with gleam in my eye like any good deluded fool -
My only tool is this:
Irrational Nonsense.

I am very good at Irrational Nonsense.

Once, back in ye olden days,
we were listening to a book on tape during a long car ride,
and the British lady reading it would advise when to switch the tapes.
She also advised if the tape did not work,
one should "smack it smartly, three times" upon the dashboard.

That advice,
in plummy, high-end British tone,
amused me endlessly.

In fact,
the rest of the drive I replayed the advice and then smacked the tape smartly three times,
rinse, repeat.

And since then,
(And also before then,
but it was nice to have backup from posh,
erudite British lady)
 "Smack it smartly three times" is one of the irrational nonsense repair attempts on any broken electronic or technologic or not-working-what-is-the-deal thing.

So Matt is at cancer conference,
the girls are frolicking outside,
nobody is around to stop me from making an attempt to fix the computer.

That is broken.
And It Was Not My Fault.

I begin my Irrational Nonsense with Phase 1.

Phase 1:

Unplug it, and put all the plugs in different places.

Does not work.
I move on to Phase 2.

Phase 2:

Shout expletives and insult the computer's mother and stomp my foot a lot.

Does not work.
Move on to Phase 3.

Phase 3:
Turn everything off,
 and count to thirty,
using the One-Mississippi slow version,
then turn back on.

Does not work.

It is about to get all Braveheart in here, on to Phase 4.

Phase 4:

Using British fancy lady accent, smack the thing smartly, three times. 
(Note: I added singing in Mary Poppins voice,
 "A Spoonful of Sugar Helps The Medicine Go Down",
 because it seemed both on-point,
and subtly menacing)

And guess what,
people who read manuals,
 and follow appropriate measures,
 and do not hit,
 or kick,
 or sing at their computers?

I fixed it.
It gave up.
I'd like to think I kind of A Clockwork Orange terrorized it into behaving.

Or, it is a secret techy trick,
you drop your computer off to be fixed,
and they kick it a few times and bill you for it.


Hurray! Whee! Tra la la.

Especially validating,
since it was not my fault the thing was broken,

But must go,
am off to kickbox the kitchen TV while talking like Julia Childs,
dressed as a ninja. 

Totally will work.

Or, you know, I could get an intern.