I am doomed, a cipher set adrift in the universe by the modern equivalent of Stanley Kubrick’s psycho-computer Hal singing Daisy Daisy as it pushes me gently out towards the vast empty universe and certain death.
My Mac’s hard drive is buggered.
For anyone out there looking suddenly smug about their depressingly functional PC, may I say that my Mac is doing incredibly well for a finely tuned machine that has been dropped, oh, about as many times as Jimmy Saville convinced the world he was a nice fellow. Otherwise it’s only used for everything in my life including a little light novel writing so should be fresh as a daisy, even after two and a half years. I happened to be in America when this happened, so I took it around the corner to the local Genius Bar, where a nice man named Wayne hooked it up for “diagnostics.”
“Hmmm,” said Wayne, studying all the little boxes that came up on my screen, most of which were marked by a cheerfully reassuring green light. “Doesn’t look too bad. Battery’s a bit shot, but….”
“Oh dear,” said Wayne, looking genuinely alarmed. “That’s not good. You need a new hard drive. The sooner the better.”
I segued seamlessly into panic. “Please please please can you replace it, Wayne? I’ll be your best friend, I’ll give you my firstborn child.” Neither Wayne nor firstborn child looked impressed.
“Sorry, I can’t install a new hard drive today,” Wayne said, prying my lips off his shoe. “We’re pretty busy.”
“But this is my livelihood!” I pled. “I’m losing, at a rough estimate, tens of pounds a day.”
“Oh dear,” said Wayne.
Then he paused, and a look of genuine human sympathy came over his face. My heart leapt.
“Have a great day,” Wayne said.
It was cold and grey the following day when we touched down in London, and the guy at passport control had the indifferent cold eyes of a gecko. He uttered not a single friendly syllable as he waved me through.
I could have kissed him.