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A lunchable lemony apple key

Open-appled on April 22, 2012.

I never did get that box of Tic Tacs. But I did find a lemon in a rather non-lemony place in the grocery store when I had ventured over there in search of Tic Tacs this week. Whereas that particular sallying-forth had brought me no closer to acquiring a box of my favorite fluorescent orange, ovoid candies, it did at least please me in another way, for I do so much enjoy finding lemons in odd or unexpected places. And this time, I hadn’t even needed to run up and down the Asian foods aisle spraying hoisin and soy sauce all over the floor, either.

“…Exactly how lunchable are these particular items?” I asked a bemused and befuddled store clerk as I pointed imperiously at a shelf sporting dozens of boxes containing what looked like compartmentalized junk food. There were crackers that weren’t very crackable, little slices of cheese that contained no actual dairy products (or other cow parts for that matter), and thin, meager slabs of meat that were no doubt higher in pink slime—or perhaps even the novel “white slime”—than they were in any meat.

The bemused and befuddled clerk went right on being bemused and befuddled. I waggled my smuggest finger at the shelf of boxes, expecting—nay, demanding!—an explanation of how lunchable their contents were. Only after I tried to stare down the clerk with my imposing, caprine countenance did I realize that she was just another hapless customer. My smugness evaporated like the suppanuppanation of the mortality curve. Ovinely, I scurried away, proverbial tail tucked between my equally proverbial legs. My mistake wasn’t nearly as embarrassing as that time I confused the word “lollygagging” with “loli-gagging,” but it certainly was close. One thing I was sure of, though: At least this screw-up wouldn’t get me banned from all the public parks and playgrounds in my town.

Reaching my car and climbing murinely in through the open rear window, I realized that I had, in my embarrassment, forgotten to purchase any of the putatively lunchable boxes of extruded food product. I decided against going back into the store, though: I had made it out of there with my sack of lemons, and I was sure that I could find something at home that was just as lunchable as that compartmentalized junk food.

As a footnote to my excussion, I noted that the grocery store had exploded in a fiery inferno moments after I had exited (blithely, I might add), so there wasn’t much to go back to. Those lunchable little boxes were probably halfway to the moon by now!

I made it home—not quite in one piece, but in less than seven, which I always consider a victory. I walked through my door, pet my pet moose, goosed my pet goose (and Ravna!), and then flopped into my easy chair like an overcooked tortellini. I relaxed. Time passed. I relaxed more; time kept passing at a reasonably constant rate. The sun began to peer in through my western windows, watching me balefully, waiting for its moment to blind me with its searing, golden light. I ignored it. What crossed my mind next was febrinity and plenitude, followed by an inscrutable ponderance over plenitude and milkshakism. I dismissed all four topics summarily, stood up, and waddle-wandered up to my computering machinery to begin blogging out my weekly adventures as usual. I pressed the power button, then any key when the inevitable stream of warnings, errors, kernel panics, and exploding capacitors ensued. Motors whirred and gears spun into action at last. After 52.4 minutes, the monitor flickered into action, and I was greeted with welcoming, green-glowing phosphors announcing that an I/O error had occurred and I would have to try again. Grumbling, I flopped out another pair of floppy disks and rebooted. This time it worked. I breathed a sigh of relief as my browser exploded onto the pixely monitor after another 131 minutes of waiting and urgent beeping.

A bookmark to a website called Slashdot had finally reminded me, that in my previous life in 1886, I had actually known something about computers. But in this life, all I knew were two things: Bang hard enough on the keyboard and yet another blog entry would be born, and whatever you do, don’t press the queerly out-of-place “reset” key while leaning your nose on “control” and your toes on “open apple” either. That would be bad. Very bad. And if you pressed the mysterious closed apple key that no one ever touched…

I shuddered at the thought and moved my mind on to happier things like goosing my geese (and Ravna!). I resumed clicking and clacking away at this week’s bloggishly erudite tale of carpathianism and/or gorgothinity, Ravna’s slenderlicious tell-tale toes on my mind and the rest of her not far behind. Squirmishly I bloozled out more and more text, like a ticker-tape running wildly out of control, drunkenly spewing its stream of ticked-upon paper through the air and all over the floor.

“…compartmentalized junk food.” I pressed my favorite key—the period—ending that particular sentence with satisfaction bordering on the goonflayvinasmic. I hit return and waited for the cursor to scoot down to to the next line. Instead, the computer beeped once and the blinking green rectangle that passed for a cursor on this old computerbox stopped blinking. The little rectangle just sat stolidly where it had been, refusing to budge even an inch. I pressed return again, to no avail. I then pressed it another sixty-two times, just to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. Concluding I wasn’t, I pressed return another two times with a different finger. Perhaps my temperamental computer had decided it didn’t like me poking its return key with the same pinky over and over and over (and even blover.)

“H-m-m-m-m-m-m-m,” I said at last, pronouncing each letter separately like a 1990s Macintosh pitifully converting text to speech. (My computer was too primitive to even do that, I afterthought proudly.)

It then dawned on me what I was missing: A slotted spoon. Seværdighedstegn! I swore. “Not even Justin Bieber’s glotterously effeminate bowl-job of the most elephantine nature will solve this quandary!” I hollered as I stood up and started toward one of the seven doors in my computering room. The door went nowhere, and I duly bounced off of it. I tried door #2, and that one went nowhere either. My goat farm was behind door #3, so I went right to door #4. That one led back out into the hallway, so through it I went bounding, as childishly as I could muster on such short notice. Reaching my kitchen, I screeched to a halt, my heels smoking. I began rummaging through my drawers, doors, and floors at a fever pitch, looking frantically—nay, frenetically!—for a slotted spoon. Panic rose in my throat along with the usual bile and ichor; if I didn’t find my trusty slotted spoon soon, my big beige computery-box would never let me blog out my days again!

I had no luck. No slotted spoons were to be found. Fate smiled upon me—mockingly, smugly satisfied that She had once again crushed my dreams of leading even a bizarre, eccentric life, let alone a normal one. I found some bison-on-a-stick in a drawer next to my sink, and even some giraffe-in-a-bowl in the drawers that were supposed to contain my runcible spoons, but none of that would help me now (long necks notwithstanding). I sat down on my checkerishly tiled fnitchen floor, covered my eyebulbs with my bulbous hands, and bawled for a couple hours. This was worse than the Goldhagen Affair, the XYZ Affair, and even the King–Byng Affair. (Bing!) It was worse than some bizarre, suppurthine alternative timeline in which all three affairs had somehow happened simultaneously. As I sat bawling, a muffled beeping arose upstairs, rising in pitch before being punctuated by a hideous roar that rent the air and wrought my irons.

My faithful old Apple II was dead. She was 35. In a fiery glaze of blory, her last capacitor had blown.