Jab Jab Jab

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is my first computer (and possibly my last) and the short story reflects my struggle with developing my relationship with it. I hope you enjoy it and manage a giggle.

Submitted: July 22, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 22, 2012





(a short story)


Computers are of artificial intelligence. “It won’t jump up and bite you,” said the polite young young man at the retail store. And, although I don’t know exactly what goes on in its dark universe, or how it reaches the conclusions it does, what I do know is, its governed by a series of whirring sounds, blips, blops, and strange little creatures called processors - and that when in hibernation mode - with that little blue light shining onto the blank screen - it's simply waiting for instructions, and not watching and listening.

They operate only according to programming. They have no emotions, therefore, are not antagonistic or judge-mental. They do not search for your buttons, and then press them, JAB JAB JAB. Indeed! They are blameless for any errors, with 100% being traced back to the human element. If things go wrong . . . It’s all my fault!

“What can possibly go wrong,” I ask, “they are sending rockets to mars?” “Its space age technology.” The young salesman shuffles his feet, shrugging his shoulders while I swipe my magic card and hoping it wont send the invisible accountant into convulsions. I defiantly await an answer that is not forthcoming. I bid him goodbye with rolling eyes.

Its an exciting moment in my life, I acknowledge, glancing at the box strapped into the passenger seat. My own laptop! Bright, shiny, and full of glitzy things like megs, gigs , and hertz, and its own memory that is not cluttered up or chaotic. My own laptop, that speaks any language I desire, and doesn't yell or scream or make unnecessary demands, that can be turned off or on at the press of a button, unlike my wife and her look-alike, the toothless aging mother-in-law with her prying evil eyes that glow in the dark

“Gregson, I shall call you Gregson,” I say, placing my hand lovingly on the cardboard box.

I like my new study. My haven. My sanctuary from domestic invasion and meaningless jabbering. I close the reinforced oak door silently and stand before my brand new desk that is a compliment to my new found friend, and purchased for his comfort. I sniff the air for the perfumed scent of intruders. I check the position of the draws on the filing cabinet. Search the darkness beneath the bed. Glance over my shoulder to double check the door is closed and bolted. All is well, I decide, and remove Gregson from his box, placing him carefully on the desktop. I plug in. I power up. Two fingers hover over the keyboard. Jab Jab. Jab. Presto! Its all systems go, on that super highway with a lead foot on the gas pedal, the old battle-axe and her look-a-like lost in the slipstream and convulsing on the cosmic dust..

There was the honeymoon period of course. Smooth launches and cosmic cruising. I tinker with Gregson's buttons, ignoring the muffled guttural sound from behind the door. Now, after just several months of cruising in and out of deep cyber space like the Space Shuttle, it feels like I'm destined for the same fate. Just when did that eerie vibe creep in and begin choking up the room? How did it get in? I search for cracks in the walls and floor. I pray Gregson hasn’t been tampered with but sense all isn’t well as I press the button until the blue light flashes on. Cautiously I begin to type. Jab . . . Jab . . . Jab.

I forgot to save! My precious thoughts are staring me in the face, but in reality, they are somewhere out there in a universe I have absolutely no control over. Frozen! The stupid little tail-less mouse doesn’t work. JAB! JAB! JAB! The keys don’t work. JAB! JAB! JAB! I'm poking at Gregson's eyes with rising panic. Why wont the frigging thing work? I depress and hold the start button and grimaces while waiting for that horrible sound like a piston welding itself to the cylinder wall. I scurry for pen and paper in spiraling anger, desperately trying to prevent my precious thoughts from disappearing into the minds universe.

I'm starting to forget what it was I was trying to remember. I'm running key words around and around inside head, and at the same time pulling draws out, emptying the contents onto the floor. Very soon its chaos. The signs are familiar - rapid heartbeat - chunks out of the inside of the mouth pulped between grinding teeth. Panic attacks! I reasure Gregson, remind him this is not his fault. One hundred percent not the computers fault! It’s all my fault! JAB! JAB! JAB! I refrain from attacking the keyboard with the squeaky mouse. I count to ten and walk away.

I pace the floor. Up and down up and down. Six and a half steps forward. Six and a half back. Frigging turn. A ghostly image appears in the dead blank screen. The eyes are dark, cold, and unmoving. A fist is poised and preparing to explode through Gregson's complex universe like an out of control meteor. Again I count to ten, and at the same time take deep breaths, reminding myself that inner strength is the key to survival. I breath in. I breath out. And 1 . . . And 2 . . .

A pen and writing pad are before me. I'm poised and prepared. It is a challenge, but I am determined. It’s like riding a bicycle, you never forget. I meets my eyes in the black screen and commence to write. A warrior stares back. A gladiator even. And, despite it’s best efforts to frustrate and cause me to forget, I remember clearly the spontaneous creative thoughts I wished to enter into the solid piece of metal they call the hard disc. I tell myself I will win this war, so write, use a pen, and remember, do it with computer neatness, heavy on the up-stroke, light on the down.

Things are a little woozy? Where was I? Oh! Yes! Writing! And why is that face behind that shiny black screen, so vacant? My hands are on the keyboard and I'm staring into cyber space with a look like I'm ready to meet my creator? What are you doing here? You were writing a poem remember? Easy as riding a bicycle, remember? Defeated after just three lines - a mere 66 words. Things were going fine until I made a spelling mistake. It was like I wasn't programmed. I couldn’t slow the thoughts down to the speed of writing, and at the same time write. I had to think without writing, or write without thinking. My mind would only open one window! Plus, the computer had taught me how to follow my own writing looking for mistakes . . . And then it stopped! Beyond that I couldn’t compute. My mind went as blank as the screen. Why didn’t something change it?

I don’t take kindly to being beaten, and I wont. I know damn well who is going to come out of this the worse off. Forget the pen and paper, I tell myself. As I wade through layers of scrunched up A4 I realize the sneaky piece of black crap stole my vocabulary, and defiled my spelling and grammar with its tainted American twang. And not only that! The psychological damage - the damn dependency! Stuff this! There goes my life. JAB. JAB. JAB. I can’t comprehend it . . . My brains ready to crash. I'm in danger of hyperventilation. JAB. JAB. JAB.

I'm in a world of Liquid Crystal Disintegration. In a time warp. Swept up in a clammy black mass of oozing liquid. Out there in the universe hurtling through the pipes and wires in some strange Cyber City, and intent on proving them all wrong. It’s not all my fault! The bloody things are intelligent, and, in those moments of subdued silence, they actually are probing your mind, searching out your weaknesses and pressing your buttons. But I need the hard facts from the hard disc as hard evidence, and there are those determined to stop me. I recall a faithful friends advice . . . “When faced with adversity remember, they are the processors, but you are the almighty resistor!”

I'm sitting at an empty desk looking at my study through a wide lens. Something happened but I cant figure out just what? Someone has trashed my room while I was away. Pulled the heart out of my expensive sound system, and wired Gregson into the air-conditioning unit. I suppress a scream by placing my head in my hands. I wish that pounding on my keyboard would stop, then realize it is someone pounding on the door, which lands at my feet in a splinter of oak. Warped hard discs with spindly arms and legs and flapping white coats pounce through the dark entrance. The frigging old witch was behind them sending out bolts of lightening and egging them on. I claw my way across the Bakelite floor towards the safety of the hole in the LCD wall, surprised that the alien creatures speak my language, “Hold him down . . . Hold him down . . . bloody stupid . . . thing . . .  JAB. JAB. JAB.


the end

(Authors note)

Gregson was taken back to the store but alas was informed that the waranty did not cover him bieng attacked by an army of 750 gigs in white coats and beaten with a power cord. In protest he set himself alight on the ground floor of the department store. His ashes were then scattered down the main street of the cyber city where he was born. May he rest in peace, and be an inspiration to others. His best friend was arrested at the scene of the gruesome protest, but later escaped. He is believed be hiding somewhere in the vast and remote deserts of Australia.

© Copyright 2018 Droc. All rights reserved.

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