This morning, things were all well in the land known as Aiming-for-Tranquility Computer Village. (The locals know it us as AFT Computer town.) The day was passing as it normally does with this writer tap-tapping away at her computer keys and sip-sipping her coffee. Then it came, as plagues often do, starting as a sniffle or a cough – playing with me – like a mist foreshadowing the wave of death that was to follow. The first sign was the devilphone.
All bow before the devilphone!! It must be the devilphone, for what other type of monster would write on its own mirror backwards from left to write? Only the kin of Beelzebub would behave so. Clearly – on this backlit led screen you see before you – a message from the underworld is indelibly scrawled in the devil’s hand. It reads:
“Cannot connect to the mail server to verify your account information. Your server is not…lebonique.”
Lebonique, oh, say it isn’t so. But, it’s written right there – LEBONIQUE! (At least I think that’s what it says.) All the world knows what lebonique means. It is the devil’s cry for a small shop filled with bonnets!! Your phone is no longer a phone. It no longer sends and receives messages! Lucifer has turned it into lebonique — a haberdashery for virtual bonnets! The plague has begun.
How did this start? Where was the first point of infection? How can we stop the contamination from spreading?
Wait, wait, somewhere in the back of your mind, you remember it. You. You did it. You are to blame.
You missed an update somewhere. You did not move your dot mac account to icloud. The apple agents told you – evacuation was mandatory, but NO, you insisted on staying with your old house as the waters rose. You clung to your roof as the walls came down. You are to blame. The signs…the signs…they were everywhere.
You ignored the box with all the little app icons sticking out of it. You never unpacked it. You, you, BLASPHEMOUS HEATHEN! You are to blame. What else have you done?
How many other warnings have you disregarded?
What about this one?
Or this subtle one…
How many times have you ignored the iLife update? How many times? CANCEL, CANCEL, CANCEL – that’s the only language you speak. That’s all you ever do and now you have brought Armageddon upon AFT Computer town, meanwhile all this peaceful village ever wanted was tranquility!
First, your phone dies and replaces itself with the devilphone and a completely useless Lebonique storefront, then your migration from mobile me to iCloud forces you to shutdown so it can an install updates, and now, now – the coup de grace — THE GODS WANT YOU TO UPDATE YOUR FIRMWARE.
Your firmware – a completely important and vibrant neighborhood of AFT Computer town that you and your pompous a** are always afraid to walk through.
“Firmware,” you think. “I must update my firmware. Where is this firmware? Where does it live? Does it live in my cupboard with my porcelain-ware and my Pyrex?”
No, you idiot. It lives on the motherboard where all machine pieces who are way smarter than you live. Now, you must update it.
Follow these simple rules, please:
Hit the firmware update shutdown box.
This will shutdown your computer.
When the computer goes black, hit the power button.
When the computer goes a gentle shade of grey – not dirty mouse grey, more of a “first boots through the snow” grey – when this happens, tap the power button again and sing the first three bars of “Yucatan Sam”.
If you don’t know the first three bars of “Yucatan Sam” you can head over to the itunes store and purchase a copy.
You do as your told. You head over to the itunes store because the vastness of your empty brain is equivalent to several airplane hangers. You pop open the application and then this happens…
The library updates and you realize you have lost your collection of 100 million songs. You’ve lost your entire library alongside your most valuables – those original bootlegged recordings of Martha Wainwright singing a soul-rousing rendition of “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” and in that moment, you regret. You regret everything.
But, you have the first three bars of “Yucatan Sam”. Alas, there is that. You sing them gently as you tap the power button lightly. One tear falls from your cheek, pauses at your chin, and then dives – landing perfectly on your delete key. Your firmware update has been cancelled.
NOOOOO! NOOOOO! NO! GOD, WHY?!!!!!
You shutdown and start again.
This time it takes. The firmware steps into the modern world, dusts off her jacket, and functions.
The devilphone recedes into the darkness. Lebonique puts up an “out of business” sign. A beautiful and fresh message lands gracefully in your inbox.
You know it to be the first sign that things are returning to normal
You let a sigh of relief escape your lips.
The sun rises, alongside hope at Aiming-for-Tranquility Computer Village. You nuke your cold coffee and return to sipping, as your brain re-calibrates its thought process for another post.
You open a fresh word document, a blank sheet of paper to begin again, and this greets you…
You do the unthinkable. You hit…
You have learned nothing because you are human, after all. So, you sip coffee and wait for the inevitable with a song dancing in your soul. Until then, Goodbye, my hearts, Goodbye.
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Photo credits – screen grabs and they’re mine, all mine.