So this week’s writing challenge comes from… moi! Being not a technical person, my idea of repairing a problem usually involves yelling at the technology, which sometimes works! Anyway, the ever lovely Smcadman turned it into a prompt with this awesome photoshop.
“Again!?” I banged my fist on my desk, hit it on the corner and regretted it.My computer wasn’t working again, it hadn’t worked in a week and I had a deadline at work. For days, I had been going to the library to use the computer there, but I was tired and it was raining. I decided I needed professional help so I looked up a repair shop on my phone and made an appointment for the next day.
The man came in, he was slender, wearing a purple cardigan with big black glasses and carrying a large bag. “Is this the computer?” He asked. I nodded.
For the next hour the man sat at the computer, unscrewing things, testing with weird contraptions, clicking and typing, all the meanwhile saying things like “constabular data module” and “aksadiscular proportion set.” Finally, he stood up with a look of resignation.
“Ma’am, I’m sorry, I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said, “I’m afraid there is nothing I can do. But I do know someone who may help, if you want I will send her over here tomorrow.” I thanked him and sent him on his way, and hoped that the other person would be able to solve the problem.
The next day, I heard a knock on the door. I opened it to see a woman wearing a long flowery skirt and a peasant top with wild hair and even wilder makeup.
“The computer is cursed!” She yelled, “It is very dangerous, we must get the demon out!” She pulled out a straw broom and lit an incense censer which she waved around the computer, stopping to brush it with the broom and chant, “Evil eye! Evil eye! Begone in the name of Garbanza! Garbanza banish the curse to the Depths of Lent’il. Legumia!!” After she was done, she smiled and confidently went to turn
“My goodness, child! This is worse than I thought! The invocation of our Lady of Garbanza did nothing! No, no this won’t do. How about a priest?”
“I’m Muslim,” I said.
She scratched her chin, “The sheikh is in prison.. his amulets got possessed by jinn and started turning people’s skin green, I can..”
“Yeah, I’ll just call a repair shop, thank you Miss…”
“Fasoula, Miss Fasoula. Well, suit yourself, but what do those techies know about demonic computer infestations,” she scoffed and left.
I looked up computer repair online and found a shop that had good reviews. The next day, I waited well until almost the end of day until a woman in an official looking jacket and skirt came to the house. She said nothing to me and went straight to the computer, sitting down and taking out a pad of paper.
“How are you today,” she paused. “I see, and how long have you felt this way,” another pause. “Does she do this often?” Pause. “I think you are being abused, do you think so?” pause. “I will contact the social worker…
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“No, what are YOU doing,” she got up and poked my chest, “This computer has been beaten!”
“You’re crazy, get out of here!” I yelled angrily and shooed her out.
“If this is how you treat strangers, I can only imagine what you’ve done to that desktop!” she cried on her way out.
I was down to the last repair shop, “WE YELL AT COMPUTERS, INC.” but at this point, my expectations were pretty low. Finally the man came in, short, elderly, wearing a dirty work uniform from some place called Ironic Metals and carrying a tool box. He smelled like chewing tobacco and old newspapers.
“Stand back, lady, m’you could m’hurt yourself,” he muttered, and came up to the computer and then.. he started shouting.
“YOU WORTHLESS PIECE OF CRAP!!!! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU????? DIDN’T YOUR MOTHERBOARD EVER TELL YOU TO BEHAVE???? WHY I OUGHT TO SCRAMBLE YOUR CIRCUITS, YOU PATHETIC OVERSIZED CALCULATOR!!!! YOU DIRTY SON OF CLIPPY!!!! WHERE DID YOU LEARN TO COMPILE DATA!???”
“STOP!” I shouted, surprised, “This is obviously not going to work and you’re going to scare my neighbours.”
“Lady, m’I’ve been m’doing this for m’twenty years. But m’if you don’t want your m’computer being yelled at m’that’s your loss. Can I m’use the can?”
He used the bathroom and left, the whole house smelled like stale tobacco afterwards. I was frustrated, but I needed my computer. There was one last shop I hadn’t tried, so I gave them a call.
The man arrived a day later, he was quiet, kind of unassuming looking, with a black bag and a nice smile. I was going to show him the computer, but he said it wasn’t necessary.
“Tell me, did anything happen before the computer started malfunctioning?” He asked.
“Well…” I started to think, “That day I had a really bad fight with my sister online, we haven’t talked since. Right after that it stopped working. That’s why I thought it was odd, I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary.”
He scratched his chin and gave a small smile, “yes, I see. Why don’t you call her, try to patch things up, I’ll wait outside.”
I hesitated but by the time I could object, he was already out the door. I picked up my phone. I wanted to call but at the same time I didn’t.
“Fatima? Hi, it’s me Farah, I just called to say I’m sorry…. no, it was my fault…no really it was my fault.. well, I’m sorry, I over-reacted, I’m happy that you got the job…I think I was feeling a bit jealous and it’s just that I’m just going to miss you….of course I will visit… I love you…how about tomorrow? I’m getting my computer fixed… bye.”
I hung up, I felt better, lots better, so much that I nearly forgot about the computer. I went outside to call the repairman back in, but when I opened the door, he was gone. I sighed and went back inside. Strangely enough, my computer was on and when I sat down to it, it worked. No turning off, no weird noises, no flickering screen.
I don’t know what happened that day, but I guess there are all sorts of miracles in this world, large, small and seemingly trivial. I’m just glad to have my sister back, and my computer, and I’ve learned some important computer repair places to avoid.