Testimonial to a Computer Wizard

by Dana Clark


With my undying appreciation to Discount Electronics


So there I was, thinking that all was lost with my music recording efforts.  My backlog of unrecorded songs would just have to go into the grave with me, and I might as well never have lived. My studio computer had become extremely unstable, sometimes burping a blast of static and collapsing in rude imitation of a Victorian maiden fainting to the carpet.  I thought there was no hope.


Then I got a recommendation for a computer joint on 410, discount everything, used gear, drive up window for quick repairs, tell 'em "Joe" sent you, buy one get two free, complimentary coffee and donuts on Fridays, round the clock service, shoe-shine while you wait.  I zipped up there between students, my computer whatsit in a Mexican shopping bag, my heart in my throat.  


The young man at the counter gave me his attention right away.  He looked a lot like the leading man in a Hollywood movie where The Geek gets The Girl, and he carried himself like the noblest of them all. He spirited my whatsit over to a counter with a big glass jar containing a myriad of tiny screws and mysterious bits of metal.  Cords dangled in mid-air, like implements in an operating room.  Swiftly he made connections and opened secret compartments inside the box, checking that the fans were working.  They were, but he thought one was not pulling enough air.  He offered to blast out whatever debris might have accumulated around it and disappeared into the back room. 


Returning just moments later, he again did the sleight of hand trick to connect oxygen and heart monitor.  He put his stethoscope to the lungs and averred that he could tell the fan was working better. I held my breath as he hit the power button.  I stared at the screen unblinking as the line crept toward completion.  Would it open correctly? 


YES!!!!!!  The young man nodded and walked away, resuming his post behind the counter.  He did not return.  Minutes ticked by.  Was he waiting to see if it would overheat again?  Finally I intruded myself into the line at the counter and offered him a million dollars for saving my life and the life of my computer.  He laughed, and there was a snicker from the geezer next to me.  I was done.  No charge.  I was left to disconnect the lifelines myself and return my whatsit to the shopping bag.


Maybe there IS an important reason for housework after all.  Clogs of cat hair are not only unsightly but are, as I have just learned, a big threat to my recording career.  Forgive me, oh, dear whatsit!  I will take better care of you as long as you continue to serve me!


And all praises to the noblest of Geeks.


You have my business FOREVER.