Living Retired: ‘BACKSPACE BACKLASH’
Living Retired: ‘BACKSPACE BACKLASH’
From the kitchen it sounded like there was a woodpecker drumming away in Jan’s office. Tap! Tap! Tap!
Was I hearing things? It happened again. And again. Tap! Tap! Tap!
“Jan, what is that sound in your office? What are you doing?”
Tap! Tap! Tap! She did not hear me. Soon I was standing at the door to her office. I saw Jan furiously shaking her keyboard up and down, smacking it with her hands!
“Jan! What on earth are you doing to your keyboard?”
“Gary, I am writing an important document and every time I touch the backspace arrow button to move the curser one space back, it goes absolutely nuts and keeps going. It is stuck and won’t stop until it deletes everything I have typed!”
“Jan, you need to settle down. It is only a silly little ‘BACKSPACE’ button on your keyboard. The next thing you know you will begin to ‘CURSE.’ You need to get your keyboard under ‘CONTROL’”
Watching Jan shake the bejeebers out of her computer keyboard I saw something else: tiny food crumbs began to mound up at her feet.
“Jan, I know we all like to snack when we are working at our computer, but by the look of the crumbs that have fallen out of your keyboard you have only been eating muffins, crackers, cookies, and Cesar salad croutons. According to the Canada Food Guide you have the whole food grains covered, but to be in compliance you also need fruits and vegetables and protein for your computer keyboard.”
Truth be told, I also experience difficulties with my computer. It takes FOREVER when I turn it on. So, Jan suggested that I do what she does when she works at her PC: pour a glass of wine. This works for her, but I begin writing first thing in the morning. New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc does not pair well with Cheerios.
The other difficulty with my computer is the screen often freezes. I Googled ‘my computer screen freezes’ and followed the suggestion: try pressing ‘Ctrl + Alt + Delete.’ Of course, nothing happened. Next, it said to click ‘End Task’ button.
“Jan, my screen froze again. Where is the ‘End Task’ button on my keyboard? Is it anywhere near my ‘Num Lock?’ And what the hell is Num Lock??? Is it bad for my health like toe fungus?”
“Gary, my screen freezes all the time. Try moving your mouse around in circles on your desk. And pour a glass of wine. When your computer screen finally unfreezes Google: ‘wine dependency.’”
Another issue with my PC is that it is noisy. Google suggested that there may be dust inside – no mention of Oreos! The best way to clean it? First, they said to blow short blasts from one of those small cans of compressed air at the various parts of the computer components. Google’s other suggestion blew me away! And it is why you should not believe everything you read online – try using your leaf blower! Hmmm it is worth a try…
Jan followed the 100’ yellow extension cord to my office. “What on earth are you doing?”
“Google said to use a leaf blower to clean out my computer components, dear.”
It was time to resort to the 3-step trouble-shooting technique I learned many years ago…
1. Identify the problem: Jan does not want the leaf blower in the house!
2. Establish a theory of probable cause: Jan’s keyboard – melba toast crumbs; my keyboard – all food groups listed in the Canada Food Guide.
3. Establish a plan: convince Jan to share her wine!
Later that evening I asked Jan if she would proofread this column.
“Gary, when I read your columns two of your keyboard keys that are permanently stuck are the ’B’ and the ‘S.’”
‘Living Retired’ satire is written by syndicated columnist Gary Chalk.
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