Thursday, December 8, 2016

Mice and Mint Juleps

It is important when some piece of your computer technology goes awry not to panic. That's very important. This is why the first thing I do is panic. That's the first thing I do. Then I start banging things about as if treating the computer as a pinball machine does any good. It doesn't. My mouse, that little bitchy temperamental thing refused to work. Eventually I picked it up off the floor where I had thrown it and phoned the local Apple Store. This was not as easy as it sounds because I did not have a mouse that would allow me to get into the computer to look up where the Apple Store was. So I had to call that Computer Being that chirps away at the Bell directory assistance place. I don't know if it's just me or what but as a Human Being I find Computer Beings horribly annoying. But you can scream away at it and it seems completely oblivious to the fine fits I take. It chirped away at least 3 times before it finally gave me the address for an Apple Store in the same city at least which I promptly called to get the name of an Apple Store close by. Then I looked outside. It was both raining and snowing.

So I said to self, as I do, send a courier to pick up your mouse and deliver it. It is only 4 blocks away after all and it'll only cost $15 and it's worth it because being allergic to the cold, and being all comfy cosy with a cat on my lap and a dog on my feet the inclination to weather the weather simply wasn't something any sane person in my situation would do. That's what I figured anyway.

So I called the store and spent awhile talking to their Computer Being before finally being redirected to a Human Being. This Human Being was immensely helpful. "Oh yes," he exclaimed,  "we do indeed have an optical mouse here." So I began to give him the credit card information and was frantically interrupted. "No. You can't order it HERE! You must call this number." He assured me that once I ordered it the mouse would be instantaneously ready for pickup. Instantaneously! Those were his exact words. I tell no lie.

So I called Texas. That's apparently where people go to order a mouse from a store 4 blocks away.

Now I have this thing. Oh I know it's utterly silly and quite ridiculous and you'd think by now at my advanced age I would have figured this whole "thing" I have out by now but I haven't. And probably won't. I have this "thing" about spelling things out loud on a telephone. I can't, under duress, think of a word that starts with a letter I'm spelling out. A as in apple, e.g. I ALWAYS find myself like a deer in the headlights frantically searching for a word that starts with any given letter. So I tried just spelling out my name without it. S.H.A.W.C.R.O.S.S. I did it slowly and clearly and with unreasonable hope. And he replied with his southern drawl, "Okay Mrs. Sadcrow, what can I do for you today?" I said "Shawcross.S.H.A.W.C.R.O.S.S."

"Oh. Okay. S.A.W.C.R.O.S.S then."

"No, It's S.H.A.W.C.R.O.S.S."

"Oh Okay. Mrs. Shawncross, what can I do for you?"

"No. There is no "n". S.H.A.W.C.R.O.S.S."

"I can't find you on the computer Mrs.Sawcross."

"Okay. Let's do this then. It's S as in…" And that's when the evil twin of my intellect, usually carefully locked away in my brain, has picked the lock and gotten loose and takes over. "S. as in Salacious. H as in Hell. A as in alacrity. W as in…WTF…" I knew at this point I was lost. "C as in… oh god there must be a word that starts with C… lemme think… Calumity. D… as in… no wait… Forget the D. There's no D okay. R… as in Rambunctious. O as in…" There is no word that starts with O. I'm convinced of it at this point, being flustered and all. "O as in… as in… Oh God?… No… O as in Obsequious. S as in Something." I was feeling deeply crazed at this point. "S as in Sambuka." Thing is, I have no idea if the word Sambuka exists. Is that a word?

"S.H.A…. Could you repeat that?" he said. That's what he said. Well, drawled really. At this point the rational part of me joined forces with the evil twin. So I spelled my name again with my best John Wayne/Cat on a Hot Tin Roof/William Faulkner accent. And he got it perfectly. There's something utterly absurd about this I thought. But I bought my mouse from a Texas ranger I think and then phoned the Apple Store four blocks away to say a courier was coming. About 15 minutes later I get a phone call from the Apple Store 4 blocks away from a frantic courier.

"They won't give me the mouse." he said and handed the phone over to the manager.

"I can't release the mouse," the manager said.

"And why not?" I asked.

"Because the Computer shows you paid for it but does not list the courier as being able to pick it up."

"So," I said wearily, "you are talking to me on the phone where my name is displayed I'm sure. A courier has arrived with the actual Order Number and a Photo I.D. and my name and address. Do you think he just spontaneously and nefariously arrived at your store and invented a number that is 13 digits long that just HAPPENS to match my order number and that he, having a master criminal mind, found my name and address to give to you so he could get this mouse and run wildly away with it on his bicycle because he's certain he can get $14 for it in the black market?"

"You must phone this number and have the courier added to the pickup request. We will be able to give it to him. It's very fast. Instantaneous." There was that word again, "instantaneous." All computers are instantaneous I gather.

So I phoned Texas.


I added the courier's name and birthday and his grandmother's maiden name. In a southern accent.

And phoned the store 4 blocks away.

"There," I said. "All done."

"It's not showing up on the computer. This can take up to 45 minutes."

"Give the man the mouse." I said.

"I'm sorry Mrs. Sawcross, we can't do that."

"Give the man the mouse." I said.

"I really apologize Mrs. Sawcross but we can't release the merchandise until the computer gives us the information we need."

"The good thing about life," I said somewhat sarcastically, "is that it sometimes has common sense unlike computers. So I suggest you yourself and thee phone Texas to confirm."

Apparently the whole concept of the manager having to phone Texas himself was what did it. He handed over the mouse.

I have my mouse. It's not working properly. I don't even care anymore.

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