Old Dogs

In the last day, machines have repeatedly tried to make my
life a living hell.  And they are succeeding.  Let me tell you
about the events of the past twenty-four hours.

Monday, 3:30 p.m.       

Partner gives me research project.  
Online research
project.  Computer refuses to connect to the internet.

Monday, 3:31 p.m.

Call front desk.  Am asked, “What did you DO?”  Now NO
computers in our office will connect to the internet.

Monday, 3:33 p.m.

Am told to look in “books” for answer to research project.

Books?  Where...what now?

Monday, 3:41

Did you know we had a LIBRARY?  In this OFFICE?  That
isn’t a closet at all!

Monday, 4:15 p.m.

Snack time!  Go to break room.  Put money in machine.  
Watch as little metal circle-claw thing unwinds from around
potato chips.  Watch potato chips not fall into tray.

Monday, 4:16 p.m.

Figure I will buy two bags of potato chips.  Second bag will
push first bag down, and then I will have two bags.  No
problem.  Insert money.

Monday, 4:17 p.m.

Circle claw thingy unwinds.  New potato chips press against
back of first purchased potato chips, smushing first set of
chips against the glass.  Watch both bags of potato chips
not fall into tray.

Monday, 4:18 p.m.

Make sure no one is looking.

Monday, 4:19 p.m.

Smack snack machine.  

Monday, 4:20 p.m.
Smack snack machine.

Monday, 4:21 p.m.

Say bad word to snack machine.

Monday, 4:23 p.m.

Insert money.  Will buy a THIRD bag of potato chips. FINE.

Monday, 4:24 p.m.

Circle claw.  Unwind.  Now, three bags of potato chips are all
smushed together behind the glass.  It is a miracle of
physics. Potato chips are now breaking the laws of gravity.

Monday, 4:29 p.m.

Am extremely out of change. Smack snack machine.  Bring
secretary in to show her snack machine.  She says, “Why
would you keep putting your money in?” Glare at secretary.
Return to “books.”

(Now, I wish I had a camera with me.  I wish you could see
our office vending machine at this moment, with three bags
of potato chips pressed against the glass.  Know that thing
that kids sometimes do, where they cross their eyes and
open their mouths, and then smoosh their faces against
school bus windows?  And then they get Ebola and the clap
because those windows haven’t been sanitized since the
Carter administration?  Well.  That’s what my potato chips
are still doing right now.  Taunting me, like the spoiled little
brats they are.  I want to hurt them.  With my teeth.  Anyway.
)


Monday, 4:40 p.m.

Am working diligently in library.  Hear ringing coming from
pocket.  Is cell phone.  Hello?

Monday, 4:40 p.m.

There's nobody there.  Hear strange, staticky noises.  Look
at cell phone.  Gah!  Cell phone screen is filled with little
666's!  Whole screen is filled with 666!  The Devil is calling
me!

Monday, 4:41 p.m.

Hello?  Satan?

Monday, 4:41 p.m.

Nobody there.

Monday, 4:42 p.m.

Hellloooooooooo.

Monday, 4:42 p.m.

Hang up.  Consider calling the Devil back.  Remember
recently offering to sell soul for potato chips.  Panic.  I was
kidding! That’s not binding!

Monday, 4:44 p.m.

Phone rings again.  Eee!  Look at caller ID.  Oh.  It's Dad
this time! Not the Devil!

Monday, 4:49 p.m.

Hang up.  Turns out, it was Dad the first time, too.  But I had
cell phone in my pocket, and apparently, I sat on 6.  
Repeatedly.  Mystery solved.

Monday, 4:52 p.m.

Suddenly think I am funny.  I get an idea.  So I start poking
the buttons on my cell phone.  And I’m giggling like a fool,
as I unfortunately tend to do when I am doing something
that entertains the hell out of me but which would certainly
not be funny to anyone else.  

So, from deep within the stacks of the library, this is what
you hear:

                         Beep beep.  Beep.
                             Hee! Funny!
                              Beep beep.

Now, I thought I was alone.  But I wasn’t.  Because on my
way to the library, I had walked by the copy room.  And
apparently, my machine breaking powers are so great that
the ability is now emitting from me in great, destructive
waves.  And the copy machine was in my wake.  So, it
broke.  So an assistant had been forced to use the other,
unaffected copy machine in the library.  

And she scared the hell out of me when all of a sudden, she
interrupted my manic beeping by asking, “What are you
doing?”

Now.  At the time, I was sitting cross-legged on the floor of
the library, holding my phone and pushing buttons.  And
giggling.  And unfortunately, she startled me, and that
makes me honest.

“I’m programming Satan’s number into my phone,” I blurted.

Oops.

Sigh.  Okay.  Let's recap:  Computers are all broken.  
Copier is broken.  Devil is calling on cell phone.  And now
this assistant thinks I have the Dark Lord’s phone number
programmed into my cellular (which...well.  I do
now).  Damn
you, machines!  But they weren’t done.  

What else could a machine do to me?  Well.  In the interest
of not typing for the rest of my life, I will just summarize the
further attacks:

1.        I waited in line to use the ATM next to our office.  
Seven people successfully removed money from this ATM.  
When it was finally my turn, I put my card in, and the whole
machine turned off.  

2.        On my way home from work Monday, I really,
really
had to pee.  So as soon as I got into the house, I made a
mad dash for the bathroom, with my keys still in my hand.  
The keys to a car that is not mine, because mine is broken
(not surprisingly).  And then, when I was finally sitting there,
I looked at the key and saw this little button that said
“Panic.”  And I am a curious idiot, so I pushed the button.  
And guess what?  From outside, I hear the car alarm go off.  
And y’all, this alarm is not kidding you.  The headlights blink
on and off and the horn blares.   But I couldn’t get to the car
because I was still peeing.  So I had to finish, then grab my
pants and then half-assedly (hee!) pull them up, stumble
outside shrieking and start attempting to TURN OFF THE
ALARM, which I did
not know how to do because this car is
not mine, and my pants were still not all the way on my
body, so finally I just got inside the car with the plan being
that I would just drive AWAY, but then as soon as I put the
key in the ignition, the alarm went off.  And then I looked up
and into the eyes of the four construction workers who were
on the roof next door, and who had most probably just seen
my ass.  

3.        My alarm clock somehow fell under the bed in the
middle of the night last night.  So when it went off this
morning, I had to jump out of bed, crawl under the bed, and
try to find it, which proved somewhat difficult when your
eyes have not yet opened and are mysteriously sort of
stuck together.  


4.        And then I got to work today, and the computers are
still broken.  So no email!  And no research.  And back to
the library.

5.        And then I went to lunch and the restaurant's credit
card machine was down.  And the ATM was still broken from
the day before.  So I had to trek across the mall to go to
another ATM so I could pay the $6 for a pasta salad that
sucked anyway.


So far, that’s it.  I fully expect that all four of the wheels of
my borrowed car will spontaneously pop off on my way
home tonight, or that I will somehow be responsible for the
blacking out of most of the Southeastern United States.  

Or maybe not.  Maybe my bad luck is over, and now
machines will start helping me again.  Like the microwave
does.  The microwave continues to love me.  I don’t think
the microwave is going to attack, do you?

But still.   Let’s not take too many risks.  And if Grandma
has a pacemaker, for the love of all that is good and holy,
keep her the hell out of my way.

The Rise of the
Machines

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Old Dogs

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you think you can tell me what to do?  Are you on
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coolest.  For varying reasons.

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AB don't mess around,
because she loves me so, and
this I know fo sho.

Lauren don't want to hear me,
she just wants to DANCE.

Coleen knows what's cooler than
cool--ICE COLD!

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DADdy.

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MOMma.

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