Posted by: foodtalker | May 9, 2010

if I had a hammer

Remember the old Peter, Paul and Mary song “If I had a hammer”?  How they wanted a hammer so they could go around hammering it every day and night all over this world? They also wanted to ring out some bells.  And the hammering required a nail or two to hammer on.  And then there was some shouting about the freedom and the love between the brothers and the sisters that went along with the song.  It sounded lyrical and pragmatic at the time but it really was a call to rise up, hammer in hand and to start banging.

I’ve thought about all the things I would do if I had a hammer in hand.  It wouldn’t be to just bang it in the morning and the evening all over this world.  My neighbourhood would probably report me for violating the noise ordinance.  I decided that what I really wanted to do with my hammer was bang it on a few heads, and not just in the morning and the evening, but all the time. 

The first crown I’d like to crash down on would be that of the little man who lives inside my computer.  Of course before dealing him a stunning blow I’d first have to catch sight of him, and the chance of that’d be about as rare as rocking horse shit (my father’s saying). Besides, on that subject, I’ve decided he’s a chicken you-know-what.   He always waits to do his tinkering until I’ve gone to bed.  I can’t quite figure out how he knows I’ve turned in. 

The first indication he’s paid me a nocturnal visit is in the morning when I realize my computer is silent. Emitting signs of death.  No lights, no comforting hum, no whirring sound as it struggles on valiantly warding off would-be spammers and hackers and keeping the Trojan horses at bay somewhere off the coast of Sparta.

I wonder for a moment if maybe the battle has been lost to the evil forces of infiltration.  But then I remember that the midnight techno meddler has probably paid a call.  He always leaves a courtesy note on my screen.  Updating, it seems, requires a total shut down. Do I wish to restart my computer now?  It’s all very unnerving for someone like me who still remembers how to work a telex machine and use a rotary phone.  Things just didn’t happen on their own.   You had to make them go by setting them in motion, and if they didn’t go, then they were broken. 

At least in the case of spammers and hackers you know there’s a real person trying to thieve your identity or access your bank account.  Not that I give much mind to them as I’m confident once they’ve checked me out, seen who I am and evaluated my meager wealth, they won’t want to be me anyway.  It’s the anonymous uninvited man from Microsoft that creeps in and creeps out at random when he thinks I’m getting too old fashioned, that gives me the willies.  What if I want to remain out-dated?  Be a fuddy-duddy?  I might wish to be a step or two behind the times and not install the latest upgrade or wizardry.    So, who’s in charge here? 

Try ignoring him.  That won’t work either.  He has a pesky habit of appearing in a balloon at the bottom right hand corner of the screen to the sound of bubblegum popping.  Closing him out retires him for a while and is marginally satisfying, but he’ll be back.  He’s insistent.  Would you like to install your upgrade now? NOW?  NOW?

My head hurts, the hammering has begun.  One of these days I’ll turn the tables. Maybe I’ll even be able to bang several heads together all at the same time.


  1. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!


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