When I was a wee lass, naive in the ways of the world, I thought I knew something about computers. I would frolic in the fields of my homeland, picking wildflowers and talking whimsically about IP addresses and DOS, but those were brief times. Now I am living in a different town, in an apartment with a shit-covered lawn and I don’t have any delusions that I know anything about technology.
A few days ago, I was plugging happily away on my computer at work, when suddenly a web page froze. “Strange,” I thought, and closed the browser without a second thought. When I reopened the browser, a little dialogue box popped up, notifying me that a threat had been found on my computer.
“A threat?” I cried, fanning my bosom. “How vulgar! Delete it at once!”
After another moment, the dialogue box popped up again, and at the same time, a large green window that advertised Free! Virus! Scanning!
I regarded it with suspicion, and tried to make it go away.
Seconds later, yet another dialogue box popped up. Then another. Then a notification. Then porn. Then more porn. Then another notification. My feeble Spybot program began sobbing, “Something is wrong! Something is definitely wrong!” as I tried to remove the ever-growing pile of new windows advertising virus software and Drrrty Lesbian Fun. I felt my breath tightening in my chest. I decided to shut everything down, hoping to purge whatever was eating away at its organs. I clicked ‘Shut Down’.
And that’s when my computer burst into flames and began reciting Leviticus backwards.
I backed away, my hands nervously typing midair, afraid to touch anything as that dreaded blue screen descended like the final curtain across the monitor. After several frenzied calls to Taylor and my father, I officially determined that I was hosed. I called my boss, and on my way out to my lunch break, I asked the only other techy person I knew, a realtor named Tucker, for help. He confirmed my hositude.
The afternoon was practically workless as I tried to navigate around my decimated desktop. Tucker poked his head in at about five or so, consumed with curiosity, and sat down to do what he could. A magical forty-five minutes later, he had restored my computer to nearly normal. I still don’t know how he did it. I left for the day feeling comforted and ready to face the task of a more thorough cleanup.
At home, I ate dinner with Taylor and watched an episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and then Taylor went into his office to work on his finals week projects and I sat down to get some writing done on my laptop. I happily pattered away for a few minutes, and then a dialogue box popped up, notifying me that there was a threat on my computer.
My heart dropped into my stomach. Trembling, I tried to get rid of the dialogue box.
My poor little laptop, less than a year old, suddenly exploded with porn and pop-ups. I screamed for Taylor, who appeared seconds later and seized it, as though by touching it I was making the infection worse. Busily he hammered away on the keys, grimacing to himself as each new assault reared its head. Finally, he was able to begin a virus scan and set my computer on the couch. It whizzed through the files. It would be a long process.
“It’s…best not to touch it until I can get to it,” he said, returning to his office.
“When will that be?”
“This…um. This weekend?”
I sat on the couch, staring at the screen, watching it list every file it had scanned. Every few minutes, I sighed.
“Are you just staring at the screen, waiting?” Taylor called from his office.
“Yes,” I said.
“Don’t do that. Play some Little Big Planet or something. You’ll feel a lot better, I promise.”
I proceeded to moon around the apartment for ten minutes or so, before I went in and morosely stood in the office.
“How’s your work going?” I asked Taylor.
“Fine,” he said. I sighed again, as loudly as I could.
“I’m going to go stare at the computer screen some more,” I told him.
“I’m telling you,” Taylor said. “DON’T do that.”
I did it anyway. After another several minutes of this, I went to bed. It was about 9:30.
It’s going to be a long few days before Taylor can get my computer fixed.