keaton wandered into the kitchen and mumbled, "um ... i was just downloading that new james blunt song on bearshare when i got the blue screen of death on your computer upstairs."
a jolt from my brain stem to my toes ripped though my nervous system, wiggling my little left toe, which hasn't moved on its own since 1997.
my thoughts about mr. blunt's music would have to be put on pause—with a little luck there would be time for that later.
my instinct to wince would have to wait as well.
it was not the moment to show weakness.
so i reached deep inside, and with a knotted calm etched across my face, i said, "no problem. i'll take a look."
i promptly laid the dish towel wrapped around my shoulder across the black marble counter top, aligning it perfectly to the edge of the sink.
then i set the pot i was rinsing upside down upon it to dry.
i removed my pastel blue man apron and proceeded to fold it like a coffin flag in precise military fashion, placing it squarely atop the overturned pot.
my brow curled as i stared into the blank abyss of the counter.
i took a measured breath as i placed both hands equally apart on the edge of the cold stone.
i knew what was coming and that it had to be done.
i pushed myself away from the sink to retrieve my special crucifix and boot backup diskette reserved for such matters, and ascended the stairs to the remote room in the back corner, where i write this stuff for a nonliving.
the blue screen of death—no laughing matter.
it surely called for an operating system exorcism.
i paused before the heaving devil's door, pulsating blue radiance oozing through the gaps in the frame, bowed from decades of settling.
i took one last deep breath, as i looked down at my trusty boot diskette in one hand and jesus in the other.
they were all i had.
they would have to work.
to be sure, i made jesus kiss the diskette by touching his sad plastic lips to its underbelly.
i thought, should i survive casting this pc demon asunder, there would be some esplainin' to do lucy—plenty of it.
the truth is, there is no room for the blue screen of death in an otherwise civil relationship.
keaton would have to clean up her dangerous, wayward, peer-to-peer downloading ways as thoroughly as i cleaned up after a messy vegan pasta dinner.
and with that in mind, it was time.
holding the cross and boot diskette in front of me i entered screaming, "in the name of our lord jesus christ, it is he who commands you! it is he who flung you from the pearly bill gates of heaven to the dark depths of hell because you partook of the forbidden apple! and now with this holy boot cd, in the name of jesus h. christ, i repel you!"
(even an everyday agnostic like me can get all catholicky when in the throes of the blue death screen!)