Malice of Inanimate Objects

Our marriage is saved: we have ordered a new laptop. No longer am I condemned to spend the long, damp English winter alone, huddled in the office with frozen feet, arse and hands. I am freed – freed! – to the warmth and light of the woodburner-heated living room, where Hubby resides of an evening – usually snoring in front of badly-chosen TV channels. He will now have the pleasure, not only of his wife’s company, but also that of turning the TV down. He is unlikely to cede control of the zappers – I am, after all, a mere woman, and zapper possession is a clearly established male Hairy Farmer trait –

zapper king

zapper smiles

zapper 2   zapper4    zapper   zapper5

but I’m sure we’ll work something out.

I think the final straw came yesterday, when John found me walloping the mouse into the keyboard and weeping tears of insane fury, while the clock ticked inexorably (a shockingly unco-operative bit of wall furniture, that thing) past the numbers at which Ann Must Leave Or Be Shamefully Late, and the desperately-required page of labels was still a mere twinkle in the unblinking red LED eye of our yet-again frozen computer. 

And I’d tried to start it all earlier, really I had, but I’d had a coffee & cards event to run all morning while Harry was at nursery; John picked him up at lunchtime and drove around until Harry was juuuuuust sleepy enough to think that he had actually had his nap, whereas he had only closed his eyes for half a goddamned minute. When I arrived home for lunch, laden with urgent orders and with preparations to make for an identical evening event, Harry naturally would not even consider entertaining the shadow of a possibility of a snooze, but was overtired and clung to me like an abused koala, demanding looped Little Red Tractor DVDs until my eyes wanted to bleed.

I put some sterling work in on my attempt to hang on to my Mother of the Year 2010 title by sneaking off to the PC intermittently (this is my points-clincher: I kept telling him I was going to the kitchen to fetch him some choccy milk, the current yummy favourite) – but Harry was having none of it; an imperious and indignant little chap would appear at my knee within seconds and bodily drag me away.

Now, rightly or wrongly, I felt John to be heavily implicated in my plight, on the basis that he had half-cooked the drive-to-sleep business to begin with, and I repeatedly phoned him with the intention of telling him so. Possessed of as much husbandly ESP as the next man, he had cleverly mislaid his phone and by the time he did finally return home from whatever tea-drinking, foot-propping, gossiping, entirely bloody frivolous activity* keeps a farmer (who has, smugly, completed all his drilling) busy in late October… well, it was late, and so was I.

The PC, sensing my desperation and haste, displayed utter, blatant and outrageous fuckwittage. This was by no means its first offence, and I would have promptly sentenced it with a fucking heavy mallet had one been available; I eventually disappeared out of the house at speed, possessed of wet labels and a boiling  bad temper. The wretched thing continued to play me up late into last night when I realised today’s schedule of speech therapy and safari park – more anon – inescapably dictated a late night online, ordering in stock. I went to bed at 1.45am, brooding darkly.

Overnight, I remembered the inspirational piece of work that is the Torture Box. I worried that unplugging the wires for a judicious dose of punishment might shift the thick layer of dust about and cause even further loss of performance, so…


there. Take that.

And… I swear it’s been running better since.

* there may be two different opinions about this.


11 Responses

  1. I like that torture box idea.

  2. I am 100% with you on your tea-drinking, foot-propping, gossiping frivolous activity suspicions. My husband keeps claiming responsibility for something called “going to work.”. Bah, I say.


    (hilarious post, btw. I am still quite in the running for MOTY 2010, though. Your competition is fierce.)

  3. My child has inherited her father’s ideas regarding laziness. Therefore, she is quite happy to leave me alone to do household chores like dishwashing and vacuuming, but the minute I do something that might be vaguely regarded as for myself, she’s on me. Their instincts are keen, and there is no amount of camouflage or bribery that can distract them.

    I wonder if that sign would work on people…

  4. I am so pleased your marriage is saved!! Bring on the Acer!

  5. I wouldn’t rest on your laurels as far as the saving marriage is concerned. You’ll going to be having the same conversation we’ve had in our house for the last year and a half: “But you’re blogging and not even watching the telly”, “I’m a woman, I can multi-task, now turn over.”

  6. Ah the joys of a laptop. John very kindly liberated/borrowed one from his office for me, and it brought my blogging mojo back. I still snarl when he tries to change channels to Star Gate or Grand Designs though.

    Love the idea of the torture box.

  7. Great news on laptop. You really did *need* it. Now you can be all maximum business efficiency and not die of exposure, either.

  8. o dear
    while the clock … (a shockingly unco-operative bit of wall furniture, that thing)
    finally I know what’s wrong with time!
    Thanks twangy for sending me here.

  9. It took me years to convince H I was PERFECTLY capable of being online and watching the telly simultaneously. He always looked so startled when I bellowed ‘I was WATCHING that!’ (he is also In Charge Of The Buttons. Must be a sort of testes-cupping polite substitute (you know, the way the unreconstructed male watched telly with one hand down his track-suit bottoms?)).

    Computer just Know, they JUST KNOW, when you really need them not to eff you about. Gah. Empathy.

    Love the Torture sign very much. Will now copy it. Plagiarism being the sincerest form of flattery…

  10. The Global Computer Fightback Conspiracy is in full flight at Villa Kore. Internet has been throttled till the end of the month yet again, laptop one is running at speed of geriatric caterpillar on Pr0zac, laptop two seems to have hidden important and urgent documents at the bottom of a deep, dark well and main computer has taken minor viral infection, applied it to suddenly flakey software and gone into a flustered display of total nonsense. Taking most of my major project, due first thing on Monday morning, with it. Backups are scattered across one external drive and three USB stick. GAH and GAH again!

    Please send the Torture Notice by Express Post. I need chocolate to cope with my envy at the thought of your shiny new laptop and demonstration of superior multitasking skills.

  11. Much envy on the New Machine.

    And I’m torn between sympathy – Things Should Not Piss Off Mrs. HFF – and hope – Things Should Continue to Piss Off Mrs. HFF So That She May Write About Them Most Amusingly.

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