So, I was happily writing poetry, and it came time to print. Always a good feeling, when work is done, and it’s time to see the product. These poems were going to be printed on pretty paper and given for Xmas. I was way ahead of schedule, and quite pleased with myself. If I were more flexible, I would’ve patted myself on the back.
So I clicked “print.” Nothing. Clicked it again. Nothing. Again and again and again. Still, nothing but a flashing light, no movement. Then an error message. Then a multitude of error messages. So I looked into troubleshooter, called the company, unplugged and replugged everything, reinstalled software, obsessively staring at the blinking, stinking light thinking that’ll make it go away. Like staring at chicken, waiting for it to cook, when you forgot to turn on the oven. All day long, I stared at the light, fiddling with cords and buttons and “it ain’t workin” messages. I turned my phone off so I could “concentrate.” If it wasn’t before, “motherfucker” became my new favorite vocabulary word.
Now, let me digress. For the average bear, a printer problem is simple. You can a) get a new one or b) call someone or c) go to a friend’s house or Staples and let them print it.
Not me. I am of the “use force” mentality. And, if you are a writer, problems with printers or computer programs are more than just problems. You start to think the universe is against you. The universe doesn’t want you to write. The printer is possessed. Years ago, I changed my printer icon name to “printer wrestling.” My fear of malfunctioning computers goes way back. Like one day, I’ll turn the thing on, and see a message reading this: “Attention CA, this is Word talking. Sorry, but we ate your novels-in-progress this morning, and your backup cds won’t work. Have a good one. Oh, and get a job.”
So after an entire day of trying to fix it alone, I finally called a buddy. I said, “Hey, you know anyone that works on computers?” Brilliant.
He gave me his buddy’s number. So his buddy came over, drank Diet Dews with me, fiddled with the same shit I did and said, “Yep, it’s broke, haha. Dumpsterville.” Then he called another buddy, who had a printer, but he needed his. But that buddy said he knew of another buddy and printer. So he called the fourth buddy, who had a brand new printer he didn’t want. So two of the buddies (I lost track of which buddies) came over, hooked the thing up, and…well…I ended up with a brand new printer that works, a nicer printer than what I started with. For free.
All I had to do was ask for help. Lord, am I stubborn. I had this weird feeling that God or Buddha or Fred (I had a friend in VA who called God “Fred”) whatever you call it, was up there shaking heads, going, “I was just trying to send you a new printer, because your old one sucked. Maybe next time, just go with the flow, eh?”