Climate change, globalisation, GM crops, defence spending, religion, inequality of wealth distribution, politics, football, immigration, the European Community,……..etc. The list of things dividing the human race is endless. Sometimes, we need to find a few things that we all have in common; those little nuggets of human experience that we all share and can say, ‘F**k! I’m not alone, here.’ In an effort to foster this spirit of unity, I’m happy to throw in the following.

Remember when you got your first computer. It was probably one of those f**king great desktop devices that you bought from a recently opened branch of PC World on a huge retail park on the edge of your town, which came in several boxes the size of a small corner shop and took you two hours to squeeze into your Vauxhall Vectra. When you got it home, you couldn’t wait to get it set up. In your enthusiasm to join the modern age, you dislocated, then ripped the skin off, every finger trying to remove the monitor because it was encased in protective polystyrene which had expanded in the box, rendering all prospect of squeezing your fingers safely between box and polystyrene impossible.

And when you eventually got it all out and set up, away you went. You probably didn’t read any more of the manual than was absolutely necessary to find which piece of grey cable went in which socket, and how to get onto Internet Explorer. The world wide web was your oyster, and you were going to open it up. And off you went.

Until, of course, that moment. You know the one. That one when you first heard a sudden noise that no human I have yet met has ever been able to adequately describe, but has the same impact on your nervous system as being caught with a hand down your trousers as a schoolboy. It’s similar to the one you used to hear on ‘Family Fortunes’ when your granny f**ked up her answer and Bob Monkhouse assumed a faux look of sympathy; only this is a single, short, angry, almost nightmare-inducing, noteless ‘clang’. And as you think ‘What the f**k is happening?’, a warning box pops up in front of you, with a white cross in a red circle and the words – those words – ‘This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.’ ‘Illegal operation’, ‘shut down’; f**k! For a few moments you wonder if you have either (a) wandered inadvertently into the CIA mainframe and have blown an undercover operation to assassinate the president of Ecuador, or (b) unwittingly accessed some Thai porn, possession of which probably carries 20 years imprisonment and forcible castration. You get rid of the warning box as quickly as possible (hoping this will mean it never actually f**king happened) and for the next 48 hours wonder if your house is going to be visited by MI5 operatives with an arrest warrant.

I wonder how much of a f**king laugh the tech geek who thought up that particular piece of crap has had as a result. I can think of a few illegal operations I’d like to perform.

Advertisements