Free Press Archives
COMPUTER BUT DO IT RIGHT
By Dalton Roberts
Chattanooga Times Free Press
A retired psychiatrist on my email list recently wrote about a man
shooting his computer. He keeps me informed of such things. He is
gloriously goofy. And now, he may make me rich.
How? We are forming a partnership to help people kill their computers.
Any computer owner knows that one little bullet hole will not begin to
assuage the anger these robotic contraptions trigger. You need us to
help you kill the thing in a way that gets your blood pressure down
below stroke level.
Even on a day when you are feeling as serene as the Dalai Lama, or your
mother-in-law has just moved to Anchorage, Alaska, any computer can turn
you into a wild man screaming long strings of four-letter words and some
big ones that have multiple four-letter meanings.
No one is exempt. There's a 500 mile line of former saints who have lost
the last vestige of their religion to a computer. I am certain Jimmy
Swaggert would not have picked up that female plying the original
occupation if he hadn't been stressed by a computer that morning. I'm
telling you, Jimmy is a nice guy but that computer pushed him over the
I am equally certain Jim and Tammy would still be cooing together and
she would still be splattering mascara all over the carpets at the
old PTL club if they'd stayed away from their computer. And one more
thing: you can never convince me the Unabomber didn't have a computer
stashed somewhere in that Montana cabin. No man could break bad like
that without the ultimate provocation of sitting down and trying to
interact with a computer. The man is a genius and nothing but a computer
can turn a genius into a homicidal maniac.
He was probably working on a project with pages and pages of all that
deep mathematical stuff he crammed in his brain at Harvard. Suddenly the
computer flashed up a message, "You have performed an illegal
operation and will be disconnected." Before he could save that
priceless data, it all went into that big black hole that comes as
standard equipment on all computers. Don't tell me you wouldn't go out
and blow up something if that happened to you.
Two of my best columns went down that black hole. I was down toward the
end of each one. I moused up to save the first one and when I clicked
"save," it went bye bye forever. I called a computer
guru in Cleveland and he was confident he could find it. He searched all
day on every drive and never found a word of it. He laid his head down
on the keyboard and sobbed his heart out. He sunk so low he's now become
I lost the second one while writing the last sentence. Enter computer
whiz kid #2, completely confident he could find it. Wrong. I popped
beers for him for hours, urging him on and trying to restore his feeling
of lost manhood. He's a broken man today and often mumbles about
"going after Bill Gates." Despite my efforts to save him, he's
gone into politics.
So the next time your computer hand grenades your sanity, kill the thing
before it kills you. Don't just give it one little pop with a pistol.
That will not drain your venom. Call me and Howard and let us bring some
tire tools, a ten pound sledge hammer, and a log chain. We'll hook
it up to the back of our pickup truck and drag that sucker around
through all that construction on 153, then by the post office on
Shallowford where the holes in the road are deep enough to slurp up
Don't worry about the Supreme Court's ruling against "cruel and
unusual capital punishment." In a recent case, a man ran over his
computer 28 times with a tractor-trailer rig. They ruled he was sane,
acted in self-defense, and gave him an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii.