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Lies, Damn Lies, and Things You Tell Tech Support.

In a recent post, I revealed that my beloved was having performance issues. Although still a gleaming silver fox to all outward appearances, lately there had been…failures. I’d be in the mood, but the powerful beast who once eagerly shared my dreams and passions was now taking longer to get it booted up. My needs went unmet, leaving me frustrated and unfulfilled.

I tried removing all excess distractions, making sure nothing was open that might occupy memory or constrict bandwidth. But performance continued to deteriorate until I didn’t even try to get the old guy turned on, knowing the inevitable failure would be so devastating.

The time had come, as I reported here, to seek professional advice. First we tried a phone consult with Genius-Guy James. I insisted with a straight face that I had rebooted, backed up, scanned, and swept for viruses.  I didn’t smirk at James’ attempts to start in safe mode, even though I’d already told him it never works. (Okay, I’m only human—there might have been just the teeniest smirkage.) But in the end, Genius-Guy James could only refer me to Genius-Guy Stuart in Glasgow’s Apple Store for a face-to-interface consult.

Surely, I reasoned, these experts would know of some digital equivalent to the purple pill that would restore some of my old partner’s former power and virility. So I bundled him up against the frigid vicissitudes of spring in Scotland, grabbed the dog, and headed for the ferry and then train to downtown Glasgow.

Luckily, I’d just had my own physical so I had plenty of recent experience with lying judiciously supplying answers to medical staff. [Come on, you know you do it too. You look that doctor right in the eye and insist that you exercise regularly, only have the odd glass of wine every few weeks or so, and always eat balanced healthy meals that include veggies which actually make you gag. Oh, and you floss like a champ.] 

Glasgow Genius-Guy Stuart: Did you backup everything?

Me (insulted that he even had to ask): Yes, I did. [translation: I thought it was supposed to backup itself into a mystery black box called Time Machine. Right? In the background, you can hear the Software Engineer wailing, “Mama! We TALKED about this…”]

Stuart: Do you run your virus protection software?

Me (even more insulted): Of course I do. [translation: I downloaded a free thingie from the web yesterday and I can run it for one week without paying. Does that count?]

Stuart: Did you check for malware?

Me: Like you even have to ask… [translation: You mean the virus checker doesn’t care of that? Oops…]

Stuart: Did you reboot into safe mode and reset NRV and NVRAM?

Me: Why no, I never even thought of that. [translation: And what part of ‘will not reboot’ are you not getting?] 

[Image credit: ThisOneSite]

At first it seemed Stuart’s efforts would pay off. But alas, it was just a final rally. Almost as soon as I got my old love home, he went into a decline. This time, I knew, there was no coming back. I cleaned up my beloved, wiped the coffee spittle off his surface—memo to self: stop reading Brian Lageose’s blog while drinking coffee—and tried to fit all the bits back into the box my old love was wearing when we first met. (Never going to happen. But then I wasn’t going to get into my old jeans again either.)

So here it comes: Why is a computer better than a husband?

Because it turns out you can TRADE IN your old love for a younger, more powerful replacement. Apple will actually pay for your geriatric old partner riddled with performance issues and memory problems. That means you can move to a younger, more powerful stud with excellent memory and a really big processor that’s ready to boot up whenever you are. And Apple will subsidize the cost.

Lots of people wonder what to do with a dead computer. I took mine on a road trip. [image credit: lifehacker.com]

There was just one more consideration. The new young powerhouse waiting for me would cost significantly less if I made the exchange in the US. Then Child #4 called and begged me to come for a visit to New York.

“Think of it,” I told my old buddy, “Like one of those movies where someone only has a few months to live before they have one of those Hollywood deaths where they still have great makeup and nice skin and all their hair, but they manage to Do-What’s-Right AND find The-Meaning-of-Life before they pop off. And then they come back for a heavenly visit, and someone else says they will live on in their memory, if I’m doing that Time Machine backup stuff that is…”

Our first stop was the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in Mahattan, where we met “Joe”.

If old Macs have a bucket list, the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in New York would have to be on it…

NY Genius Guy ‘Joe’: mumble, mumble? [translation: I didn’t catch the actual name of the Genius Guy in New York because the store has ceilings about a mile high that bounce back echoes of every word said by the hundreds of people desperate to exchange phones already smart enough to do brain surgery for even better phones which can do brain surgery in several languages.]

Me (insulted): Yes, I did.

‘Joe’: And do you mumble, mumble?

Me (even more insulted): Of course I do.

‘Joe’: …mumble, mumble?

Me: Been there, done that, trying not to smirk…

NY Genius Guy ‘Joe’ and I observed a moment of silence while he wiped my old friend’s drive, and then he pulled the plug. [Image credit: AAPL Investers]

Sadly, the New York Store didn’t have the new machine I wanted in stock. Then Child #2 told me the TV show she writes for was filming a special in Washington DC, and invited us to go along. So I told my my old (now braindead) friend that our Bucket List movie script had now morphed into into one of those Road Trip movies where somebody is hauling around an urn to fulfill someone’s dying wish to scatter their ashes in a particular spot and on the way they manage to Do-What’s-Right AND find The-Meaning-of-Life. Or at least a really good roadside burger joint.

Our next stop was Union Station in Washington DC. Americans don’t really get trains, so it was basically the most gorgeous, virtually empty train station ever. I wanted to use it as some kind of metaphor for the state of the USA’s capitol, but… I got nothin. Luckily, there was a Shake Shack there, so at least I checked off the excellent burger trope.

The filming was a live show in support of journalists and hosted by Samantha Bee of Full Frontal. There were more sequins than a Liberace-impersonators’ convention in Las Vegas, stars, and even some actual journalists (there were free drinks, after all).

After the show, we got a nice view of the White House because the Mall was barricaded for about a mile by roughly half of the US Armed Forces along with some very cute dogs. So we had to walk all the way around to get to the hotel three blocks from the filming. Again…why can’t I get a really good metaphor out of this one? [And yes, I know this isn’t a picture of the White House. I actually used up all my phone charge sending selfies from the TV Dinner, so I couldn’t take that picture. Sorry…]

Next day, at the Apple Store in Georgetown, I finally met my new paramour. He was everything I’d dreamed of—powerful, eager, ready and willing to obey all my commands, and so SO big.

What can I say? Size really does matter.