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Alistair Coleman

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Another Victim in the Continuing Conflict Between Man and Technology

Posted: 2/03/2012 16:45

I've had a few problems with technology this week. Anybody who saw me shouting - very loudly, in the middle of Earl's Court Exhibition Centre - at a laptop which had committed the heinous crime of being temporarily unable to connect to the internet will know what I mean.

I regret threatening it with the Human Rights Act, for a start.

I also regret telling it "I'll load you up with Windows Vista, and see how you like them apples", as such threats generally do not work on inanimate objects.

And it wasn't just my laptop.

On reflection, shouting "Get into the toaster, you bready git", that same morning was neither going to improve the situation, nor was it the ideal start to the day. In the end, my threats came to nothing, as the bread fell into the toaster, thanks to the miracles of this new-fangled "gravity".

I dare say that we have all, at some stage or another, been taunted by inanimate objects, and we have all retaliated by setting about them in acts of wanton and unnecessary vengeance. After all, I have dined out for years on the fact that I once threw a copy of the Da Vinci Code from a speeding train, killing it completely to death on account of the rubbish printed on its pages. Take that, book, you useless second-hand toilet roll.

One may claim to be a rational human being, but there is nothing like the catharsis of beating something to smithereens because it has utterly failed in the simple task which it has been set. Very few experiences beat that satisfying crunch of dead vacuum cleaner on concrete, after it has been hurled from a second floor window following a tragic loss of suction; or the accidental reversing of the car over a television after years of faithful service.

However, for sheer rage, my complete destruction of a desktop PC takes some beating, after a fatal disc crash led to the irreversible loss of years worth of data.

In the words of the song, I hammered in the morning, I hammered in the evening. I hammered all over this town.

A hammer hammer hammer. A hammer hammer hammer. Like some sort of hammering dervish.

And it was a very big hammer, as I channelled my inner Basil Fawlty and gave it a damn good thrashing that it wouldn't forget in a hurry, if the thing still had a functioning hard drive. Which it didn't.

Then, possessing a strong social conscience (the littering of railway embankments with Dan Brown novels notwithstanding), I took what remained to the local recycling centre, in a single carrier bag.

The kind of very small carrier bag you only get in the "Six items or fewer" till at the supermarket.

There used to be a "Six items or less" till at the supermarket, but that fell victim to an unfortunate hammer attack in a completely unrelated Grammar Police incident of which we no longer speak.

The world, I fear, would be a much calmer place if I were not allowed access to technology.

 

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