Kage Baker, as I may have previously mentioned, subscribed to the popular theory that our domestic machines have secret, hidden sensors in them. These sensors activate in the presence of unexpected cash. And what they do is make some vital piece of machinery DIE.
Tax returns, bonuses, advances, that feral twenty found in your jeans pocket – heck, I remember my skateboard developing arthritis of the axle joints upon my receipt of birthday money. As adults, it’s mainly our electronics that croak at the sight of sudden wealth – in the real jackpot of fail, the electronics that run our cars. Who among us, Dear Readers, has not had some portion of our computer-dependent automobiles short out because we were getting a 4 digit tax return?
Anyway. Today I got up, turned on my computer, turned away to put on my glasses – and turned back to a blank screen. Assuming (not unnaturally) that I had somehow bollixed up the start button, I did it again – turned away to wrestle my T-shirt away from the little black cat, and turned back to … a blank screen. Again.
I pressed the button again, and this time I watched. For about 10 seconds, an error message appeared on the screen. It said: CPU FAN FAILURE. CPU WILL SHUT DOWN TO PREVENT DAMAGE TO CPU.
It’s because of that huge surprise payment from Disability. I just know it is. And I consider myself lucky that all four wheels did not fall off the car, instead.
Evidently the CPU only talks about itself in the third person … but setting aside its existential and grammatical eccentricities, it was for certain sure dead in the water. So my nephew kindly unplugged it from everything I have it plugged into, and I took it to Fry’s Electronics.
I love the Fry’s in Burbank. It has a giant flying saucer crashing into the front of its building, and inside is decorated with Varied Apocalyptic Visions – giant ants, death rays, several varieties of homicidal aliens, killer robots, signs warning of radiation and toxic waste. Also , it has a fantastic selection of candies on the way to the cash registers, such that it is nearly impossible to escape with your measly coaxial cable without three kinds of chocolate and a bag of gummy worms.
Perhaps more to the point, they are an authorized dealer for my CPU manufacturer. And, CPU fans not being enormously complicated pieces of machinery, it didn’t take long to fix it. Nor, to my amazement, did it cost a great deal. So, despite the activation of the secret sensor, I feel I got off pretty easy.
Of course, Kage had a second, contrasting theory to combat the secret sensor one. Or perhaps it constitutes a superstition – or, as Sir Terry Pratchett postulates, a substition: believing something to be true that hardly anyone else believes in. Kage’s particular ‘stition was that the sight of a blue heron meant money was due to arrive shortly. And I must admit, I’ve never known it to fail.
I saw a blue heron a few days before discovering the astounding automatic deposit in my bank account. And on my way back from retrieving my newly en-fanned CPU, I saw another. Which may mean that more money will be arriving to counter the computer’s secret sensor activation.
At the very least (as Kage also used to point out) it means I saw a blue heron today – and any day wherein you get to have your computer fixed, eat exotic candy and see both giant ants and blue herons cannot be considered a waste of time.
So there am I happy.