Ole’ Yellow

2007.Oct.01 Monday · 3 comments

in Life

 Cowardice… is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend functioning of the imagination.”

– Ernest Hemingway, Author

Buenos Aires – To whom it may concern… and you know who you are… by the decree of the fates, muses, pantheon of gods… my computer still works. I got lucky. You… were simply a coward.

What am I talking about the rest of you may want to know. You might have noticed that I haven’t posted in a couple of days…. One of the things I get asked about regularly by friends, both here and abroad, and even by folks who join us at Casa SaltShaker is, “Aren’t you worried about letting strangers into your house?” Well, yes, on occasion, of course, it’s not something one can’t think about. It’s one of the reasons we don’t publish our address, it’s the main reason I consider things like the tone of reservation requests, how they’re worded, etc., before saying yes. It’s true, you just never know, and the worry has always been (and not an omnipresent worry, just in the background, mildly hovering) that someone will steal something from the house, just simply pocketing something of ours and walking out with us. But we don’t really have any expensive trinkets or jewelry or anything, so at worst it’d be an annoyance if it were to happen. Of course, I suppose it’s possible that a guest could turn out to be an armed robber, but then, I generally have a working e-mail address and phone number for anyone who comes, and it’s rare that anyone is here carrying large sums of money (I hope) and all dressed up fancy with jewelry and watches and such, so it’d be a pretty small haul.

So what is this all about? It’s a worry that I hadn’t considered. This Saturday, somewhere around the end of the dinner, as we would have noticed it earlier had it happened earlier, someone apparently decided to poke around at my desk and computer. Now, they’re right there, next to the dining table practically, in fact, during the dinner, the computer shows a little ongoing slideshow of past dinners, wanderings in Buenos Aires, etc. on a continuous loop. And whoever decided to poke around shut off the slide show by simply moving the mouse around or hitting a key – which brings up the password screen, so they could get onto the computer to do anything – but also stops the slide show. At the same point… and here’s where we get to the meat of the matter…

…they spilled a glass of wine over the computer (this is a laptop, so it’s the whole shebang, not just the keyboard). Actually, the glass falling over onto the keyboard might be what stopped the slide show… thinking about it. Now, I can’t say I’m not upset about the wine being spilled. Of course I am. But that’s more of a general annoyed type of upset. I’m smart enough, I think, to know that accidents happen. I assume it was an accident. I’ll never know, because the coward who did it, and I do hope he or she is reading this, didn’t have guts, balls, courage, gumption… to tell Henry or me about it. In fact, presumeably so as not to call attention to the fact, they didn’t even make an effort to clean it up.

And that’s what I’m pissed about, and it’s also why I was offline for a day or two. They simply left the wine there, seeping into the computer, and walked away, smiled, thanked me for a lovely evening, shook my hand or kissed me on the cheek, and left. I didn’t see it until after letting the last person out the door and coming back into the dining room, by which time, beyond cursing up a storm, the only thing to be done was shut the computer down, take it completely apart, wipe it down, and spend a day letting it dry out, and cleaning out every little nook and cranny I could find. Thankfully, these days, pretty much everything is a self-contained, sealed item in a laptop, and nothing shorted out or was ruined.

To whom it may concern… and you know who you are… by the decree of the fates, muses, pantheon of gods… I wish upon you bumpy taxi rides, splashed water and mud from puddles, overcooked steaks, and insanely long flight delays. You… were simply a coward.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

M October 1, 2007 at 15:44

Dan, so very sorry to hear about your “mishap”. I was wondering about it yesterday when I logged on and did not see a new post – I thought you just took a day off.

I hope your guest did not have anything more sinister in mind…except that it was just an accident.but again why did he or she not say anything? One of those hmmmm moments….I have not been fortunate enough to join and break bread with you but one day when the right occassion presents itself I would like to be able to experience a DAN-licious of a dinner. It is on my to do list before December.

The last paragraph of your post…was simply….divine.

ksternberg October 1, 2007 at 21:36

I’m sure the culprit will get the karma they so well deserve. What a morally vapid idiot. If that had happened to me and I found out about it at the time, I may have grabbed the longest chef’s knife available.

You may want to think about either shutting down your computer or locking it down with security software while your dinners are going on.

dan October 1, 2007 at 23:43

There was no problem with the computer’s security, it’s cabled to the desk, and it’s passworded, they can’t do anything other than interrupt the slideshow screensaver. And unfortunately, shutting it off or whether or not it has a password would have little impact on a wine spill, other than possibly preventing a short circuit in the former case, which luckily didn’t happen.

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