"Hello. Tech Support, may I help you?"
"Yes, well, I'm having trouble with WordPerfect."
"What sort of trouble?"
"Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away."
"Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?"
"It's blank; it won't accept anything when I type."
"Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out?"
"How do I tell?"
[Uh-oh. Well, let's give it a try anyway.] "Can you see the C:\> prompt on
"What's a sea-prompt?"
[Uh-huh, thought so. Let's try a different tack.] "Never mind. Can you
move the cursor around on the screen?"
"There isn't any cursor: I told you, it won't accept anything I type."
[Ah--at least s/he knows what a cursor is. Sounds like a hardware problem.
I wonder if she's kicked out his/her monitor's power plug.] "Does your
monitor have a power indicator?"
"What's a monitor?"
"It's the thing with the screen on it that looks like a TV. Does it have a
little light that tells you when it's on?"
"I don't know."
"Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord
goes into it. Can you see that?"
[sound of rustling and jostling] [muffled] "Yes, I think so."
"Great! Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it's plugged into the
[pause] "Yes, it is."
[Hmm. Well, that's interesting. I doubt s/he would have accidentally turned
it off, and I don't want to send her hunting for the power switch because I
don't know what kind of monitor she has and it's bound to have more than
one switch on it. Maybe the video cable is loose or something.] "When you
were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged
into the back of it, not just one?"
"Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other
[muffled] "Okay, here it is."
"Follow it for me, and tell me if it's plugged securely into the back of
[still muffled] "I can't reach."
"Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?"
[clear again] "No."
"Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over?"
"Oh, it's not because I don't have the right angle--it's because it's dark."
"Yes-the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from
"Well, turn on the office light then."
"No? Why not?"
"Because there's a power outage."
"A power--!?!" ...[AAAAAAARGH!]
"A power outage? Aha! Okay, we've got it licked now. Do you still have the
boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in?"
"Well, yes, I keep them in the closet."
"Good! Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it up just like it was
when you got it. Then take it back to the store you bought it from."
"Really? Is it that bad?"
"Yes, I'm afraid it is."
"Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them?"
"Tell them you're TOO STUPID TO OWN A COMPUTER!" [slam]
Opening header is Copyright 1997 by Ian W. Douglas; all rights are
reserved, and no portion should be copied in any way or modified in
any way without permission of the author.
W H Y C O P S H A T E Y O U <<<<&l <
-if you have to ask get out of the way-
Have you ever been stopped by a traffic cop and, while he was
writing a ticket or giving you a warning, you got the feeling that
he would just love to yank you out of the car, right through the
window, and smash your face into the front fender?...