“I have to go to the barn now,” I told my wife.
“To feed Pumpkin and Betty and Roxy?”
“Mostly to be in the barn. But to feed the livestock, yes, that, too.”
(Pumpkin and Betty are the barn cats. Roxy is Bob’s rabbit, which I’m trying not to kill while I’m taking care of it this week. Bob and the rest of Seed’s family are on a Florida vacation.)
Honey understood why I needed go to the barn, to be away from computer frustrations for awhile. For the rest of my life, if I could manage it.
I bought Honey a new computer on Amazon because it is tax season and the previous Acer laptop I bought for her a couple of years ago has become so slow it would be faster to chisel everyone’s tax returns on stone tablets.
The beautiful new HP laptop arrived. I plugged it in. We chose a password and pin number, and placed the Turbo Tax Home and Business CD onto the CD drawer, a feature which this laptop has, though hardly any new computers do today.
Everything is in The Cloud now. You put things up in The Cloud. You fetch them down from The Cloud and play with them, and put them back up into The Cloud again. The Cloud has massive gargantuan unlimited God-like storage which you will never fill up, until you do, and then you have to buy space to put more stuff into The Cloud.
The Cloud is like the barn, except when we fill it up we have to empty space out again or there will be no place to put the new stuff that comes in. New stuff always comes in.
TURBO TAX would not load. The CD would spin and then quit. I tried to download it from the internet. From The Cloud, I suppose. That didn’t work either.
I called Turbo Tax and the nice technician logged onto our new computer.
“Aha!” he said. “You have trojans in your router. Not your computer. Your router. And would you please plug your computer in because it’s almost out of battery.”
“It is plugged in,” I said.
“Uh-oh,” he said.
I called HP.
“My new HP laptop isn’t charging,” I told the nice tech. “And Turbo Tax says I have trojans in my router.”
“What is the serial number on the unit? And the model name? And your mother-in-law’s middle name?”
I turned the laptop over and got a magnifying glass to read the miniscule print.
“Serial number XXy7uukkg6upyours – refurbished. Wait. Refurbished? The Amazon ad said it was new.”
She said she’d send me a new power cord and there’s no such thing as trojans in a router.
I CALLED my friend Jimbo, a computer guy by trade. He lives nearby.
“I hate to bother you, b-b-but …” He could tell I was close to tears, and told me to come on over.
Jimbo had an HP power cord that fit. The computer began taking a charge. He fiddled with the CD driver and got it working. He loaded Turbo Tax.
“Do you have an anti-virus?” he asked.
“I bought McAfee anti-virus and Microsoft Office software but they have to be activated. The email said the activation codes are in my digital locker but didn’t tell me how to find my digital locker.”
He didn’t know where my digital locker is, and said there’s no such thing as trojans in a router.
“GOOD NEWS!” I told Honey when I got home. “But bad news first: your laptop is refurbished, not new, and we might have trojans in our router. But the good news is that Jimbo got the computer running and loaded Turbo Tax!”
“Why aren’t you jumping for joy?”
“I’ll believe it when I print off the first tax return,” she said soberly. Honey is like the stock market, always discounting the present and trading on the future.
She was much happier when she printed off that first tax return.
“We should do something for Jimbo and Rebecca of Sunnybrook,” Honey said. “A gift card for a restaurant or something.”
Then she told me that she saw a raccoon sitting on our stoop in broad daylight yesterday.
“That’s not normal. It might be sick,” Honey said. “You should set the live trap for it. I wonder where they like to eat?”
“Oh, I don’t know. On a log, I guess. Wherever they find food.”
She was talking about Jimbo and wife, of course. Her train of thought can be hard to follow sometimes, and mine is easily derailed.
Gosh, I hope I can find my digital locker.