Monday, September 29, 2008

Dear Tech Services Guy

I'm very sorry to report that my computer is malfunctioning, and I think it may be because I spilled about 8 oz. of coffee on the keyboard. However, before you charge me for a replacement, please allow me to explain how the coffee-spilling incident wasn't my fault.

It wasn't my fault because it was Nickelodeon's fault.

See, Nickelodeon accepts advertising for thousands...and thousands...of children's products, cereals, vacation spots, and toys. From these thousands of ads, they choose, oh, three a week to play over and over and over, effectively brainwashing children into believing there is no better toy in the whole wide universe.

Take, for example, the Rocket Powered Fishing Rod. Last year, my children, who had never before expressed one iota of interest in water sports, swore that there lives would be empty and meaningless until they owned this fishing rod, which casts--"at the simple push of a button"--FIFTY FEET into the water (which is, of course, really not that far, but FIFTY is an enormous number to anyone under 8 years old).

A few months ago, the coveted toy d'jour was the Phlatball, a "ball" that one can squish into a disk and then throw to someone who, expecting to catch a Frisbee, will be totally wowed to see it pop open to become a ball in midair. I say, if you want to play Frisbee, throw a Frisbee. If you want to play ball, throw a ball. No one needs a Fris-ball. But whatever.

One afternoon, my children spotted the Phlatball in Target, and because they had seen it on TV, they nearly peed their pants with excitement to see it live and up close in the store. It was on sale for $10, and Mitch had some birthday money. I tried to persuade them it that it was a useless toy; I tried to steer them toward other, more entertaining toys. I even suggested saving the money (the horror!) to buy something bigger and better. But no. It would be the Phlatball and nothing else.

The Phlatball now lives in the bottom of the toy box, abandoned by the boys because, yes, it is pointless after all.

However. One rainy day I undertook a cleaning project wherein I gathered all of our toys to weed out the pointless, forgotten ones. Once in the "toss" pile, the Phlatball was discovered by Paige, who both loved and was scared to death by its "popping back into a ball" feature. She became a bit attached to it in that kind of sick "I love what appalls me" way and refused to leave it in the giveaway pile. So it's back in circulation now.

On Saturday morning, I was checking my email and drinking coffee very carefully, ever mindful of my responsibility to care for the property of the good college that employs me and shares with me its electronic bounty. While I worked, Paige played with the Phlatball at my feet. After growing frustrated with her attempts for flatten the ball on her own, she decided that perhaps she could use my chest as leverage. So she stood up and pushed the Phlatball against my left boob, successfully, if only momentarily, flattening it.

I shifted a bit to avoid her pushing, and when I did, the Phlatball popped back into a sphere. Unfortunately, as the ball opened, its flexible sides snapped back into shape, and in doing so, clamped down on my left nipple.

Dear tech guy, it hurt. It really, really hurt. And so I jumped, thereby sloshing half of my coffee on my laptop, which let out this long, rather screechy and primal beeeeeeep. And then all went black.

I dried the keyboard with a hairdryer; I let it sit overnight; I even prayed a little because I haven't backed up any of my data in awhile. And much to my delight, the computer started up the next day. But now things are strange, as if the coffee perhaps caused a few of the computer's synapses to misfire. Now there are all these quirks, and strange error messages, and difficulties.

So I think I might need a new one, and I know you don't, as a rule, replace computers that have been damaged by the neglect of the employee, but wasn't my fault.

It was Nickelodeon's fault. And my sister's fault for sending Mitch birthday money. And Target's fault for putting the Phlatball on sale.

So can I have a new computer? Please check yes or no.




Bailey said...

mwaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha ha!
I'm wincing & laughing!! Thanks for sharing.

cbh said...

wait... which sister? did i give mitch money??? oh dear. i'll take full responsibility.

Donna said...

Oh man, wow--I hope you don't mind if I snickered a bit. But sympathizing as well, ouch!

Average Girl In Average World said...

Don't you just hate it when your nipple gets pinched by kids toys???? Or pinched by anything for that matter??

Anywhoo....If I was the tech guy, I would accept that excuse and therefor get you a new computer, with all the latest cool gadgets, you know.....because I like you!!!

Mama Duck said...

OMG!!! I laughed out loud and nearly peed my pants. Thanks for the laugh! If the tech guy gives you any problems I'll vouch for you!

Andee said...

Ouch! And I totally agree that that story is worth a new computer!

the mama bird diaries said...

oh my gosh. you so deserve a new computer. It was Nickelodeon's fault for sure.

Anonymous said...

This is why I gave Mitch a McDonald's gift card. Now wouldn't you have prefered to have a double cheese burger smashed up against your boob instead??

One Big Happy said...

heehee haahaa hoohoo!

I'm so sorry for the damage done to both your keyboard and your person. But, dang, it was funny!

I agree that the tech guy should certainly replace your keyboard because you have obviously been forced to withstand much suffering.

P.S. Make that d*mn ball disappear!

hokgardner said...

Oh, ouch. I think that injury should get you a new computer, no questions asked.

Waddle Whimsy said...

Thank you for making me laugh. I am hoping the tech guy checks the yes box, you certainly deserve the battle pay!

Jenny said...

HILARIOUS!! I love your blog. Similar lives, my friend.

cbh said...

judging by your lack of blogging i'm assuming the tech guy checked NO?? or is facebook just taking up too much of your time?

Mana said...

Good words.

Julie said...

I haven't laughed this hard in a long time. You have such a wonderful way of putting things into words so we feel like we're right there in the moment. I discovered your blog through NieNie and "I'll be back!" for more laughs.