Saturday, February 4, 2012


I got out of work and headed to the house to see Handsome, as I always did. This time, however, was a little different.

He was waiting for me to come in the door, just like he did when he was just a little guy. He couldn't wait for me to get in and get settled  before he was there by my side, anxious to talk to me.

"Hey there, Handsome," I said, a little flattered at the fast attention. "What's going on?"

"I was wondering if you can help me with something," he said, shifting from foot-to-foot, looking almost nervous.

"What is it, Champ?"

"My computer's not working, like I'm hitting the keys and nothing's happening."

Ah. That explained it. It wasn't 'I love you Daddy' that had him stuck to my side, it was 'Help me fix my toy!' I smiled. figuring all I would have to do would be to run the Task Manager and close whichever program he was  running that was stuck. No problem, right? Easy peasy.

But just to make sure, I asked the question.

"What happened?" The answer was not at all what I was expecting.

"I salted it."

I stared at him.

"You what?"

"I salted it." He had the grace, at least, to look sheepish. "I was sitting on the couch, and I had dinner on the tray so I had my laptop in my lap. I put the laptop on the cushion next to me so i could get up and bring my plate out to the sink, but while I was getting up I accidentally tipped the plate and dumped salt all over the keyboard, and now it doesn't work. When I hit the keys, nothing happens."

He may have been staring at me earnestly during this explanation, but I don't know. At the repetition of the phrase 'I salted it', I had planted my face firmly in my palm, and was slowly shaking my head. I could hear  him talking, but he was in danger of being drowned out by the voice in my head that was saying "why? ...why? ...WHY?"

I checked it out. Yes, he had salted the keyboard. The salt was working its way beneath the keys and was interfering with the contact points that make the keys work, in essence propping the keys up so they couldn't make contact with the switches properly.

I went down to the basement and returned in minutes with some canned air, the stuff that's specifically designed for cleaning your keyboard. I tilted the laptop to a pretty steep angle and started blasting the keys from uphill to down, again and again, and watched the salt come out of it and fall back on the plate like the 'before' shot in a Selsun Blue commercial.

After a few minutes of this the salt shower slowed, then stopped altogether. There seemed to be a few pockets of resistance, some of it may have even been organized, but I won the day. The keyboard was working once again, though it did occasionally make a bit of a crunching sound as some little holdout was ground to powder by the key action. I kept the canned air up there for a few days to repeat the treatment as needed. I think it's going to be fine.

Thank God he didn't accidentally give it a Garlic Rub, or some sort of marinade. We may have had to call in a professional IT guy for that.

Or maybe chef Gordon Ramsay.

Hell's Keyboard?

Talk to you later!

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