Vengeance! Who knew?

What angers you most quickly and deeply? Being cut off by another driver after a long day at work? An obnoxious telemarketer that ignores your rejection of his/her product and keeps talking? Either of these gems can bring out the Mr. Hyde in me. But watching my computer freeze with my unsaved work still brightly displayed on the screen, only to have my desperate, pleading keystrokes ignored is at the top of my rage list. Defeated, all I can do is press the power button to give my computer the restart it demands.

I've decided that computers enrage us so quickly and deeply because there is no recourse for us when we are abused (yes, I said it -abused) by them. Sadly, with no way to even the score with our computers, our pent up animosity is channeled to other areas of our lives manifesting as problems with marriage, appetite and occasionally, freak nervous twitches. Imagine being rudely cut off by another car if you could not use your fingers to share your feelings with the driver? What if the law forbade you to hang up on a telemarketer until he/she said "good-bye" first? The feeling of helplessness would be torture. Yet when your computer angers you, what really can you do to retaliate? Physical violence isn't the answer -it would make the situation worse!

I'm here to help. I've discovered something your computer doesn't want me to share with you. Computers feel. Oh yes, it's true. They simply don't want you to know that they feel. Have you noticed that they choose to crash when you are paying the most attention to your work and the least attention to them? Computers selfishly feel negative attention is better than none. It's so sick and dysfunctional. But with this knowledge, I'll provide some "tools" you can use to get back at your computer. Please don't abuse this power. Exploit your computer's vulnerabilities responsibly -"an eye for an eye" as they say. [grin]

Computers see.

You can punish a naughty computer by blinding it for a few minutes. It watches you through the monitor. It studies your facial expressions -especially right after it crashes on you. Turn off the monitor and your computer can no longer see you. It hates that. The temporary dimness of the screen when first turning the monitor back on is its way of squinting as it slowly adjusts to the light in the room. Some computers will try to trick you into thinking they aren't watching by putting the monitor into power-save mode where the screen goes black while a yellow light remains illuminated by the power button. Don't be fooled by this -your computer can still see unless you actually turn off the monitor's power. Sometimes a mere threat can be effective. After rebooting from your next crash try placing your finger on the monitor's power button, then look at the computer and say loudly, "Don't test me, ever." You'll be surprised at the computer love you'll be shown.

Computers are spoiled.

Threaten to downgrade its software. Computers despise going from a newer version of software to an older one. The equivalent to this harsh measure would be like being forcing a human to date someone they'd recently dumped. When my computer chose to misbehave last week I put some ancient software on my desk labeled, "For install if computer crashes," then I tilted the monitor slightly down so the computer could "see" my threat. Sure, you may roll your eyes at me but, hey, since then my computer's been trying to be my best friend.

Computers envy.

Another effective tactic is to use competition as punishment. Computers demand attention and want it exclusively from anyone sitting in front of them. Internet addiction therapy is a reality because computers are so selfish in their demands for our exclusive attention. After a particularly rough day of mistreatment at the hands of my computer last summer I placed a small television right beside my computer monitor. Immediately I noticed my screen saver was greener than usual (um hmm, jealously). You can really push your computer's buttons (pun intended) by uttering a phrase it dreads like, "Wow, I love this TV show, let me log off so I can watch it." Try turning your monitor slightly toward the TV to demonstrate your seriousness, and then proceed with your work. I guarantee you'll feel all the computer's love you've been missing.

What? You say I've taken it too far? Oh please! Is it so wrong to fantasize about a level emotional playing field for my computer and me?

I could continue with a dozen more computer payback tactics I've discovered to be effective but I'm late for something important. I have to dash downstairs to the garage to remove a car-cover. A couple hours ago I had to put my very bad car on "time out."

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