First time I saw the word Luddite I thought it was a religious order—you know like the Mennonites or the Amish. I looked it up and discovered it was me. This story is not about me–thus I revel. This afternoon Layce came into the room to tell, bemoan, complain, and fret over her computer’s insistence on having two home pages.
“Welcome to my world,” I said. She glared at me. “I mean I totally commiserate with you. I swear computers, especially one’s new to the family, are awful at first—like a baby with colic. And then there’s all those cookies and cake things that a brand new computer has to go out and get.” As you can tell I have no idea what I’m talking about, but I’m trying to be empathetic.
“Ugh,” Layce said.
I couldn’t resist this moment to gloat. I know it’s wrong but it doesn’t happen very often that Layce’s tech skills are thwarted. She can figure out most anything—except her new computer and its new evil operating system Windows 10.
“See, it’s not fun when your computer goes rogue and messes with your head and your patience,” I said.
She got defensive. I think she was embarrassed that Windows 10 was getting the best of her. “Like you have any room to talk. You kicked your computer once,” she said.
“I didn’t kick it exactly. I set it on the floor after an exacerbating session of misbehavior on the part of my computer and gave it a love tap. With my foot.”
“No, you kicked it. It was definitely a kick,” she said. She chuckled. I was glad to see her sense of humor returning. “You know what I did one time? I threw my printer out the window.”
“Yes! I’ve always wanted to throw something electronic out the window in an act of unbridled rage. Actually, I have revenge fantasies about sending my computer or the printer out the second story window and watch it hit the ground, it’s motherboard exploding upon impact, the keyboard and screen splattered all over the ground.”
“Gee, you haven’t thought about it much,” Layce said.
“Well, maybe a little. I have a lot of computer issues as you are well aware of. Now, tell me about the printer.”
“It acted up for the last time. I got up, wound the cords around it so I wouldn’t trip on them, opened the window, removed the screen and tossed it out.”
“Wow, that was not an act of spontaneous anger. That was pure premeditation. You had time to think that through. You could’ve stopped yourself at any one of those steps beginning with winding up the cords.”
“I know. I went out later to check on it and brought it back inside.”
“Because you wanted to dispose of it properly, not leave it out in the yard so the house looked trashy?”
“No, I needed to print something.” Her face was deadpan.
“Did it work?” I asked incredulously.
“Yep, worked fine after that.”
“Maybe electronic abuse works. Maybe they just need a firm hand to teach them who’s boss. Wanna try it on your new computer?”
“Then I wouldn’t let that two home page thing bug you too much.”