October 11, 2003

The Laptop, the Satanic Red Triangle, and the Sorry Ass.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:01 pm

Yes, I did bring my laptop with me to Cooperstown. Before I left, I made sure that I had all the damned cords necessary to connect it to electricity and shit. I made sure that I also had my laminated 8” x 11” multi-colored idiot card, replete with pictures that purported to tell me how to get a “dial up” connection via AT&T.

I had to take special care packing the damned thing in the car in order in order to prevent it from getting thumped during the ride by a bouncing nine iron. I figured that all this effort was worth the trouble, because I would finally be able to be one of those “reporting-from-a-remote-location” bloggers.

When I arrived at the hotel room, I carefully unzipped all the zippers and un-tore the Velcro stuff (Is “un-tear” what one does to undo Velcro?), and got about setting things up. I located the cord that plugs into the wall to get electricity to the laptop, and I found where the other end plugs into the computer. Excellent.

Then it was time to hook up the telephone-type wire. Sure enough, there was a little telephone jack under the desk. I began to think that this really was going to be a snap. I reached into one of the many pouches in the multi-zippered, multi-Velcro’d, multi-pouched bag and located what had the look of a telephone cord. I could see where it plugged into the wall, and I could see where it plugged into the back of the laptop. Snap City.


This cord was too big to fit into either place. I stared at it like a damned fool for a full minute, wondering if the hotel was screwed up, or if the computer was screwed up, or if I was screwed up. Like even a bigger jackass, I tried it a few more times, but it was the equivalent of trying to fit a baseball through a keyhole.

I returned to the multi-zippered, multi-Velcro’d, multi pouched bag and located yet another telephone-type cord. By now, I was beginning to break a sweat. Back on my knees under the desk, I found myself beginning to wonder whether getting online was worth all this aggravation. However, I was elated to see that the cord fit nicely into the wall jack, and it even produced the satisfying little “click” indicating that I had just hit the long ball. Primo.

Back on my feet. Now, I just had to plug the other end of the telephone-type cord into the computer. Another problem. The damned thing did not fit into the place in the back of the computer where I thought it went. With each passing second, the laptop came closer to becoming a flying object. More staring. More sweating. I was ready to give up, when I saw that the telephone jack for the computer is not located on the back of the computer, but rather it is on the side of the damned thing.

Just who are the miserable, sadistic bastards who make these things?

I plugged the telephone-type cord it into the laptop and heard the telltale “click.” I wanted to “high-five” someone, but there was no one there, so I quietly congratulated myself for my hard-won technical successes so far. I knew that I was just moments away from being on the web.

I opened up the cover on the thing and managed to find the power switch. This was not a given, because at the office the entire gizwiz is plugged into something called a “port replicator” that has its own on-off switch.

In a second or two, my login screen lit up. Yes!!!

I entered my login name and password. Internet here I come.

I sat down at the desk with my little piece of paper containing my two special passwords, knowing I would need them in a moment or two. I looked at the first bit of instruction on the laminated idiot card, and it said:

“Click on the red triangle that is located on the right side of your task bar at the bottom of the screen.”

After that the idiot card listed about a half dozen more steps necessary to getting online.

I placed my index finger on the nipple-like widget in the middle of the keyboard to move the cursor to the requisite part of the screen. The cursor tended to “mosey” rather than to sail directly to my desired location, and it would tend mosey where it damned well pleased. After a minute or so on the nipple, I managed to muscle the cursor to the task bar at the bottom of the screen, where I saw that there were several little “clickable” icons.

Unfortunately, none of them was a red triangle.

What?? You’ve got to be shitting me!

I re-checked the idiot card, certain that I must have missed something. Nope. I had read it right. The very first step in the process was to click on the goddamned red triangle. I then carefully read the entire idiot card to see how to deal with a “no red triangle” situation. Of course, the idiot card was stone silent on the “no red triangle” scenario. I am certain that the satanic shits who make laptops and their minions from hell who write instructions must have decided that a really cool way to drive some jerk in a Cooperstown hotel nuts would be to direct the sorry ass to click a red triangle on the task bar and then not put a red triangle on the friggin’ task bar.

I struggled with the nipple mouse a bit more to try find what I thought might have been a hidden red triangle, all to no avail. Demonstrating supreme stupidity, I even worked the drunken mouse up to “help.” I should have known from past experience that “Help” never is.

I took a couple deep, cleansing breaths to fend off the urge to smash the thing with my fist. Then I looked at my watch and realized that I was about to be late for dinner, so I turned off the power and closed the cover on Mister Laptop.

That’s where the piece of cybershit sat for the duration of the trip – on the desk, powerless, and about as useful as a cinder block with a power cord. Friday morning I crawled back under the desk, untethered the torture device from the hotel, and placed it, along with the useless cords and the even more useless idiot card back in the multi-zippered, multi-Velcro’d, multi-pouched, useless bag for the trip back to Jersey and to its home on the dumbass “port replicator,” where it shall remain forever more.

I really should have known better.

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