Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Her profession’s her religion, her sin is her lifelessness
There is an automatic stapler attached to the copy machine in my office.
The other day, I went to use the stapler, and someone stopped me; they told me it was broken.
In about ten minutes, I figured out how to fix the stapler: it took one minute to open the thing, five seconds to see that the only thing broken about it was that there were no staples loaded, and eight minutes and fifty five to ask someone where they keep the staples for the automatic stapler.
When it was all over, my boss was very impressed. He has been upset that the stapler has been broken for the last week as there are many things he wished to staple.
I don’t know that I really wanted to share this story, or just see how many times I could write stapler, or some variant, in four sentences.
I understand that, in our technologically advanced age, we are surrounded by a bevy of machines, the inner workings of which baffle us at every turn, but when something as simple as a stapler being out of staples keeps the office staplists from stapling the documents they need to staple, then things have gone a little too far.
Right now, many of your are sitting at home reading this piece on a machine that you know little to nothing about; you trust your, and your family’s, safety to a giant motorized vehicle whose engines run on some kind of liquid you barely understand, but for which are willing to pay through the teeth; and magic switches activate the lights in your homes.
For all our toys, very few of us have any idea how any of these things work.
Sure, even I would like to say that I am handy when it comes to home electrical and small appliance repair, but for every one thing I can fix, there’s several thousand that I can’t, and several million I’ve broken while trying.
For the most part, I, and most of you, live in a world of technological mystery and wonder.
Except when it comes to my computer.
I use a computer to do all my writing, entertaining, video processing, masturbating, and animating; so, it would be extremely negligent to rely on the computer fairies keeping my machine running while asking it to do so much. It wouldn’t be fair to the computer.
A key sign that you’re in an abusive relationship is when one partner does all the taking and none of the giving.
Are you in an abusive relationship with your computer? After coming home from a hard day at work and finding your internet connection sluggish at best, are you apt to slap the poor thing instead of listening to it talk about its day? How many times has your computer gone out for repairs and told a technician that it ‘fell down the stairs?’
A computer requires careful attention, the kind you would ordinarily reserve for only the finest prostitutes. Even if you bought your PC on the cheap, there’s a good chance that you spend a moderate to large amount of time taking advantage of the fun and joy that is computing in the 21st century; therefore, while your computer may not have cost much, it’s much more valuable than you think.
If you have a computer, you don’t need a television, or a cable hookup, since you can download anything that’s broadcast on TV; they even have a pay download service if you’re one of those pussies who don’t want to steal intellectual property.
If you have a computer, you don’t need a spouse, since pornography will satisfy your sexual urges. Financial management and voice recognition software will balance your checkbook and talk to you; plus, you can network your computer to your kitchen appliances and program them to bake various pies while you’re at work.
The sheer number of possibilities opened up by PC ownership removes most of the imaginative and practical limits to our short, pointless realities; plus, it makes our deaths so much more meaningful because, instead of waiting for worms to eat your corpse and shit you back into the circle of life, the next user can plug right into your death chair, format your hard drive, and pick up where you left off.
Sure, I might be stepping over the line here in equating your PC or (shudder) MAC to your sister who has a penchant for shacking up with quick to anger guys named Jimbo, but when you treat complex objects like simple tools, make no effort to understand them, and abuse the hell out of the trust they put in you; you’re not much better than a domestic abuser.
So get to know your PC, open it up and see what makes it tick, push it to the limits of its capabilities to see what you can do together, stick your penis in its 5 and 3/4 inch drive bay and coat its motherboard with all the man juice you can muster.
And make sure that there are staplers in the automatic stapler before you call the automatic stapler repairman.
Sex Mahoney for President
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