I was putting the finishing touches on an article I was writing from home last week when the oven buzzed. I walked away from my laptop for only a few minutes, just long enough to check the temperature of my chicken pot pie and accidentally scold myself on the oven burner. When I returned a wave of terror swept over me.
A large white screen of death enveloped my desktop that did not allow me to perform any functions on my computer. Even more worrisome was the fact that somewhere inside the plethora of tiny circuits, cords and connectors in my laptop was a column that I had just finished writing and saved. Normally this would not be that big of a problem — except my deadline was only hours away.
I've never missed a deadline. I am a pretty crumby human being, but I have never missed a deadline.
I knew almost immediately that whatever remedy was needed for this painfully obvious viral computer infection was well beyond my realm of problem-solving abilities.
My intelligence when it comes to technology ranks somewhere between a game of pick-up sticks and tying my shoelaces. Helen Keller would stand a better chance at resolving a computer malfunction than I would.
Thankfully, my two buddies Roben and Wolfe just moved in down the street. Ideally I would call either one of them up and ask for help, since they are both computer nerds, except I keep all of my phone numbers on my computer like a slack-jawed carnival reject.
When I arrived at their home, I banged on the door repeatedly to no avail. Then a tiny head appeared around the corner, and the tiny little head belonged to Roben's bride-to-be, a woman I had never met before in my life.
Last month, Roben's future wife, Island, traveled halfway around the globe from the Philippines to become an American citizen, and in the near future the two plan to get married. I had only previously heard stories about Island from Roben, but I had never met her in person before.
Let's just say I made quite the first impression.
It should be stated her name isn't really Island. That's just what I call her because I don't know how to either spell or pronounce her name. The "d" is silent, but I was unaware of that and continued calling her Island. I think it's humorous that her name is Island and she is from the Philippines, which is nothing but a bunch of islands. Irony? Possibly.
She opened the door. I stood there in a pair of pajama pants, my tattered Oakland A's hat and hot-boxing a cigarette. Sometimes I wish the old saying about first impressions wasn't so true. I asserted to Island that I don't normally wear pajama pants and knock on doors this late at night, but that I needed to speak with Wolfe.
Island looked at me like I had tentacles crawling out of my eye sockets as I continued to babble incoherently. She sent me upstairs to Wolfe's den and I conducted a room-by-room search. I found Wolfe passed out and face down in his bed as if a tribesman shot him with a blow dart.
Wolfe is a computer geek who knows all about computers (because honestly how many computer geeks do you know that don't). Without going into specifics Wolfe deals with computer mainframes and other fancy computer terminology I know nothing about for a military installation. I like to think somewhere along the line Wolfe passed a criminal background check, but it's nice knowing that someone like him is helping keep America safe — relatively speaking.
After Wolfe became conscious, he cracked open my computer as if it was a lobster. He ran a small battery of tests and managed to retrieve the article that I thought was lost. Wolfe saved the day for me.
And I still haven't missed a deadline yet.
So I guess the moral of this story is this: You can always trust a Wolfe in geek's clothing.
To contact Will E Sanders email him at [email protected] To learn more about Will E Sanders, to read past columns or to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.