A Letter To My Laptop

Dear Laptop,
This is going to be a difficult letter to write. Mostly because you have decided to throw a hissy fit, but I will continue anyway.
We have been together nearly three years now and I look back fondly at the day Wife took me by the hand and pulled me into the computer shop. Wife looked lovingly into my eyes and hissed “Just pick one! don`t muck about, just pick one and pay for it! And stop moaning!”
I wandered up and down the aisles with all those big laptops and ipads looking at me. Also looking at me was the price tags. The computers said “come to me” but the price labels screamed “Move along! Nothing to see!”
Then I spotted you. Apparently you are a notepad, not a laptop. I looked at your label, telling me that you had RAM, GIG and apparently SSID. I didn’t care. You looked small, cute and had a mousepad with buttons underneath. The best vital statistic that you possessed was your price. You were cheap.
Our relationship got of to a rocky start. As cheap as you are your creator, (who was probably a clever twelve year old) had added lots of really cool features. Most of them were to do with your mousepad. Apparently if I tapped on the pad it was like a left-click on the mouse button that was about three millimeteres underneath the pad. If I made a pinching motion I could zoom. running my fingers up and down the outside of the pad acted like a scroll wheel.
I cannot lie. I am old. I spent many years where “subtle” was the name given to a sledgehammer and a “screwdriver” was a hammer. I hit things for a living and consequently my fingers have all the sensitivity of an EDL rally. Add all that to my unwillingness to try new things and disaster looms. I tried to get used to all these things but me and you argued a lot in the early days. You thought I wanted to open another window whilst simultaneously cutting and pasting a link into an email, when in fact I wanted to click on a button and watch a funny video of a man falling over.
Plastic surgery was the answer. I used all my skill and resources and transplanted a much simpler mousepad software driver app operation upload interface tool patch. Thing. It worked. I was in love. I could move the cursor and point at things then move my finger three millimetres south and press a button and hey presto! A bloke would appear on my screen and fall over.
We had loads of adventures! You have accompanied me to the top of mountains, We have communicated our ideas to the world at many bars in Hong Kong. You have been through 18 security checks and on over 24 airplanes. You have even made a guest appearance at my parents house to show some photographs. This was risky. Technology has a habit of self destructing in the presence of Father, who regards cordless telephone very suspiciously.
Then you started to get old. Like a supermodel you seemed to resent your age and started to complain and make unreasonable demands. At first I could tolerate the five minutes of hysterics as you would tell me your hard drive was no more and your boot up system would not operate today. Simply switching you off and back again would bring you to life.
Your stamina started to fade too. This, again, I could tolerate. I am certainly slowing down so I could forgive you that your battery life was no longer six hours. So why did you not start to warn me? No, you just decided that the best thing you could do would be to simply shut down and do nothing until I carried your carcass home and plugged you back in for a re-charge.
Then you started to get cranky. I do not ask you to calculate re-entry for the space shuttle or how the global economy will perform. All I wanted was to look at facebook, read the papers and occasionally show me an amusing video. You now enjoy glaring at me as I enjoy a beer and decide that there is something you did yesterday that was acceptable must now be improved, and to that end you will download an update and my lunchtime will be spent watching a circle going round and round. After an hour of me looking at a blank screen you jump back to life and tell me you need re-start and show me the video of a fat man falling over. However, your battery has decided to keel over so in fact you are just a plastic lump that I need to carry home.

All the magical updates that you have had have meant I have spent countless hours looking at a blank screen, yet I regard you as slower than when I bought you. You are not faster or better, you are just older and slower, which is not a good thing. You are the love of my life, but are starting to be less useful than a wheel chock. Your lifespan is becoming less and your ability as a skipping stone is becoming more apparent every day.

It is with these sad words that I inform you that you are to be replaced. Younger and faster, slimmer and better looking. Something more useful and with more stamina. I just hope that Wife does not look at me with the same critical eye….

Christmas….ho ho bloody ho.

I hate Christmas with a passion. Every little thing about it drives me into a pit of depression that normally lasts from when I see my first Christmas advert until the whole shabby thing is thrown into the attic in January. I loath the people who glare at me when I fail to smile at a whimsical santa. Especially when it is sat on a shelf in September. I detest the people who tell me it is “for the children”.They tell me this as the bottles of coca cola in their shopping trolleys are vastly outnumbered by the bottles of gin,whisky and rum. The worst, the foulest demons from the belly of hell, are those who tell me that I am just a miserable old sod. I am not miserable. I just wish that this post-Dickensian vision of Christmas would be cast into the oblivion of a nuclear reactor. Christmas is for those remaining christians amongst us. They can go to church and pray. The rest of us should embrace the wonderful winter festival of Yuletide. A celebration of the solstice, the point of a which is to enjoy the fact that although it is cold and miserable, the worst is over and the days are going to get longer and warmer. Have a party. Have a slap up dinner.Have a drink. No children are involved. They should be put to bed and told that “When they grow up they can join in the fun, until then stay quiet and out of the way”. Forget all this present buying nonsense,buy beer and food. All else is a waste of good money. Boxing day should be a day of indigestion,hangovers and full bank balances.
I am very happy to be away from England over the festive season. Here it is much less of an occasion and I can celebrate the fact that it is November and I still have not seen a Santa. I still buy presents out of a sense of duty although as friends have got older the presents have got harder to buy. Wife tells me I am a miserable toad and as she does all the Christmas shopping I have no excuse to moan. Excuse or not, I still cringe at the cost of the celebrations. Every December is spent trawling around the internet trying to find something we have never given before. Electric penguin cleaner? Navel fluff remover? Scented drawer liners? The images of things I never knew existed or would be desired flash over the screen as fast as I can scroll. I normally settle for booze for adults and cash for kids. It’s too much, my eyes bleed and my fingers go numb from the effort of searching for gifts. I have decided that a gift is something you buy when you cannot find a present. On christmas Eve I would console myself with the thought that it was over, another miserable three months finally done with.Now I could look forward to the days slowly drawing out and driving the car without first scraping the windscreen. Then I see the adverts for January sales. Starting boxing day….!