George has known me a long time. He can gauge my moods pretty accurately. It’s really not difficult, because I have a minor tic that I prefer not to mention, but it’s already out there, so here it is. I talk to inanimate objects. I not only talk to them, I have a running dialogue in my head with them and generally inflict most of my bottled feelings upon them, verbally. I also become oddly attached to some of them, and while I realize this may be unhealthy, it’s a weakness I’ll confess to. I’m human.
I’d like to pause here, and mention (for anyone who thinks I’m insane) that I grew up in the 70s, and while that should suffice to justify my brain damage claim, I will go on to say I also grew up when Sid and Marty Crofft ruled children’s television programming.
H.R. Pufnstuf was a giant talking cheeseburger, with a friend named Jimmy, who had a questionably shaped talking flute and looked a lot like one of the Monkees (Jimmy, not the flute), who weren’t monkeys at all, but the very first auto-tuned band in history to have a very bad television show, that came on right after H.R. Pufnstuf.
The thought comes to mind that Sid and Marty Crofft would be sued for multiple civil rights violations, as well as possible pornography charges, over the talking flute if they were to attempt to present their creepy kiddie madness to mainstream television today. There would, without a doubt, be PC panties tweaked when Sigmund the Sea Monster was closely examined and found to vaguely resemble the Polynesian Pu Pu tribe and be considered a derogatory example of such.
George knows me well, but it’s not hard to tell someone’s mood when you live four feet from them for weeks at a time. So when he hears me talking to the computer, he tries to be helpful, because he’s a helpful kind of guy. He also knows that losing documents on my laptop is something that makes me borderline suicidal, so he talks me down from the top bunk when I start.
“No. No. No. You’re not going to do that. No. Please, sweet computer, don’t. No baby, no baby, AUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!”
“Hey, you OK back there?”
(Me — whimpering, rocking, stroking the computer.) “Yes. We’re fine. She’s going to recover the open document, I know she is. Aren’t you, girl?”
“Babe, you really need to get a new computer. I know you love that one, but it’s falling apart. You write for a living and don’t have a backspace key – that’s crazy.”
(Continuing to whimper and stroke the computer.) “You shut up. This is the best computer ever and you shouldn’t talk about her like that. I’m a better writer for not having a backspace key. I can only go forward!”
“I don’t think your attachment to it is healthy. You drive yourself crazy sticking your finger down in the little hole where the backspace button used to be – don’t lie.”
(Now curled in the bunk in a fetal position around the laptop, waiting for the reboot and recovery.) “It’s OK, I love you, he doesn’t even use you…”
There’s a distinct possibility we’ll be having a Best Buy Intervention when we get home, and if I get arrested for talking to a vacuum cleaner, I blame Sid and Marty Crofft. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.