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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the Columnists.com, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
Humorists.com
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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To the Computer Support Desk....
 


To the Computer Support Desk

Last weekend started out well.  Nothing to do, just a whole weekend to relax and unwind.  It would be a good time to do some updates on my computer.  My sound system has not been working right, so I figured Iíd reload it and fix it.

I fixed it all right. I should have known!  I loaded the program and restarted.  Nothing!  No Windows, no nothing, just a black screen staring back at me.

The computer wheezed and the cursor winked at me.  "Good grief!  What have I done?"

I turned the evil monster off and tried to restart again.  When something doesnít work, you can nearly always fix it that way, canít you?

I got the black screen and the Recovery Menu.  Oh, my God!  My computer has crashed!  Itís possessed!

On the next try the computer said, "We are restarting in Safe Mode so you can fix the problem."  Fix the problem?  The problem is that my computer is possessed by a demon named Safe Mode.

I really hate calling computer support, but I knew I couldn't fix this. "How old?" asked the technician at Gateway. "Well . . .  You get lifetime support."  Then he took me through all usual steps, including going back to previous versions in the registry. Nothing worked.

After an hour, he said,  "It is probably  a virus or spyware. We canít fix it.  You have to call Microsoft."  I donít think so.  I had just updated my virus definitions and had run the spyware program the night before.

Iíve never, ever called Microsoft.  I began to calculate how much a new computer was going to cost vs. the cost of paying for help.  The demon was filled with glee. It now owned my computer, lock, stock, and registry.

So, I called Microsoft.  What else could I do?  What I felt like doing was throwing the evil thing out the window.  "Iíll cut off its electricity and see how it likes that!"

What happened next can only be described as an exorcism.  We unloaded and removed the sound program then proceeded through a two hour ritual. The computer levitated and seemed to spin in mid-air, or was it just me?

"There is nothing more we can do."

"You canít fix it?  But, you are MICROSOFT!  You created it!  You mean there is no computer God?  No Bill Gates?"

"Well, there is one more thing to try." The phone went dead.  I know he would say it was an accident, but I knew what it really was.  The cursor eye winked.

I called back. I was assigned to another tech that led me through two more hours of checking, rechecking, starting, and restarting, using trial and error to find what was wrong.

I was beaten and driven into the ground, the demon jumped up and down, stomping on me with, its evil cursor eye blinking.  My head spun, my stomach churned, I felt sick.

Finally, Windows magically loaded and clouds floated across my screen. I thanked the Microsoft angel at the other end of the support line.  Harp music swelled and all was well.  I loved Microsoft, I loved my computer, I loved the world!

But the demon had one card left. I couldn't connect to the Internet.  I called my fourth tech of the day at Comcast.  We went through the list again, finally after an hour, the tech confessed.  "I donít know whatís wrong."

"You mean I canít connect to the Internet . . . EVER?"

"Well . . ."  He put me on hold.  That's when I noticed that Zone Alarm was active. I disabled the firewall. My browser opened and my desk shook violently."

It took Gateway, Microsoft, Comcast and six hours of exorcism, but Iím up and running.  Next time I have nothing to do, please keep me away from the computer.   I know the demon is out there somewhere . . . waiting.


Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss
 
 



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