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My life as a computer

Computed on January 14, 2024.

With Easter just around the corner, my previous life in a.d. 725 as a computer came to mind this week. That was good, honest work: Toiling away smoilishly in that monastery, computing and computing, computing those Easter dates all the way out to 1582 when we stopped for some reason. I could sling an abacus and its venerable beads like no one else. Alongside me worked a whole team computers, including the famed Udo of Aachen who would, after adopting algorism, go on to make his own mathematical breakthroughs later in his life—unlike an old quartodeciman abacist like me, who went all wall-eyed at even the mere thought of those dark, Boëthian arts.

“Some day, we’ll have giant mechanical boxes to do this work for us,” Udo even told me once.

“I hope not!” I gasped. “Then we’ll be out of a job!”

Indeed it was good, honest work—until that day I accidentally forgot to carry the epact and we ended up celebrating Easter on Christmas Eve. I had failed as a computer. They gave me a good swift rebooting right out the door of the monastery. I was crushed: Not since I had accidentally restarted the quartodeciman controversy back in 723 had I been so severely treated.

“Blast!” I shouted to the four winds (and one hamster). “Blast and Blastus!”

It snowed on Monday—everything was blanketed in white by Tuesday morning. It was a dry snow—cool and refreshing!—so each adorable little snowflake survived the descent, instead of being mashed into a hideous, agglomerated beast along with millions of other poor snowflakes. For a while it looked like a postcard—and it kept coming. The wind blew and the little snowflakes blew around and around, forming snowdrifts that looked like a blanched desert. Off in the distance, a smoke alarm chirped.

For dinner on Wednesday, I ate blanched moose synapse with arugula pie and flobcumbers basted in cow juice. (Fried moose synapse was off-limits ever since my doctor told me I was getting too fat to fit in my cravat.) For dessert, I had a lovely redheaded bouillabaisse pie. Off in the distance, a smoke alarm chirped.

The snow continued unabated. I, with bated breath, waited for it to end. But it didn’t end and it wouldn’t end. Couldn’t it end? Maybe not! With the endless snows came the snow fleas—and they were endless too. Then came the snow flies and the snow worms. When the snow earwigs started emerging from the millions of pores opened up in the Earth by Ka‘ū, I knew my fishy little town was in trouble. My wainscoting is white, and since snow is white, I made the logical connection between the two. And so, I summoned my wainscoting-dwelling gnomes to do their gnomey little dances and chants and wheedling and needling, to perhaps ward off the snow. But they just laughed and snickered and giggled and chortled… and made more snow themselves! Off in the distance, a smoke alarm chirped.

My impotent attempts to summon urchins, ouphes, and fairies to come to my aid proved to be as impotent as I already prematurely stated at the beginning of this sentence. (So much for suspense.) The snow would not stop falling. There was more snow than you could shake a spear at. It was last year all over again. Becasue and I retreated to my ninth-floor bedroom and vowed to not come out until spring.

Spring sprung on Saturday—rather, our waterbed sprung a leak and then all the springs popped out of our other mattresses, so we took that as a sign that spring had sprung too. We were wrong. Millions upon millions of snowflakes continued to descend from the heavens, like dying planktonic foraminifera raining down on the sea floor. Each snowflake mocked me with its mere presence. Some of them laughed at me and called me a big doodie-fess. So I stuck out my tongue like a little twelve-year-old doofus until they stopped. They didn’t stop. Even Nurdlebutt got in on mocking and bullying me. I tried to retract my head into my torso but remembered I’m not a turtle. I then tried to sink into the floor instead. Off in the distance, a smoke alarm chirped.

Then—a clutch of urchins, ouphes, and fairies emerged from beneath the snow and began mocking and ridiculing me! That was just too much, so I opened the nearest window and dove out it. Into the snow. Then the snow started mocking me again. My defenestration had taken place from the ninth floor of my palatial abode (Is there any better floor than the ninth one?), which should have led to my death—or at least the traumatic enucleation of both my toenails—but since the snow was a mile deep, I landed not with a cuticle-shattering splat! but instead with a soft, gentle plop!

« Oof! » shouted one of the ouphes. But I don’t speak French so I didn’t understand what she said. I kicked her in the buttocks and she disappeared back into the snow. More ouphes danced and jeered. Becasue tried to pull me out of the crater my fall made in the snow, but she fell in, too. Nurdlebutt watched from the ninth-floor window, laughing. Laughing. I vowed revenge. If I didn’t freeze to death first. Off in the distance, a smoke alarm chirped.

“Ding-dong! A ring-a-ling ting-tong!” went my slurpyhead yet norph-pileated and durph-piled slurpengorfen ipgrieved rattoo. Now it did exviscerate a cartwhoozle and firthly—upon a forth of furth!—and go gallangantly into hat, dood, bite. Underso moreover and upon thirthly, glathers was to have corned enwither secrutinolity yet incluse nord palavey and smother dormer ghostal fair blitheveners, and, upfrentilly, zenier didgures at the smelch-harmony buntwhistle foffer/angle, which has been inpaulled to smelchify approcks domadal in atwixt the smummins business engruity. Smecca-boo feted my cephaloo most solely & I ampersanded. Ouphe on the ristance, a smoke alarm burped.

“Dee-bop, pee-pop, we all smelch down!”