Monday 10 September 2018

Unexpectedly quit

The file you have been working on for the

last hour is going to crash. We are going to

quit. This computer is going to do that thing

where your screen is going to revert to that

naff image you’ve got on your desktop. The

file that you were working on will stop existing.

It won’t be anywhere. There is a button called

‘diagonistics’ which you can press, wait for about

three weeks and get a message which will say

that an error called something like DF110 (which

is in fact a painkiller) has just happened. This

implies it is your fault that the file has

disappeared. Usually we find that the files that

disappear are ones that punters like you have

grown overly attached to. Perhaps it was a story

or a poem or an article. You were probably

getting locked in, fully engaged with what you

were trying to say, getting that satisfaction where

the words felt right, the phrasing had a kind of

rhythm and the ideas seemed to flow from one

part of the file to another. We expect there

were one or two jokes in there that you had just

made up. OK, not exactly jokes, perhaps more

like wry comments, or that thing where you

repeat things but in different ways for effect.

The weird thing is, we could lay money on it,

you’ve probably forgotten the best bits. That’ll

be because they were so new. And extra-weird

that you had only just made them up, so surely

they were right at the front of your brain so

for goodness sake they should be still there.

But they’re not. Gone. You’ll notice that we’ve

used the word ‘unexpectedly’ before the word

‘quit’ which is not strictly true. It’s not ‘unexpected’

for us. We do it all the time. We roam

round the world unexpectedly quitting all over

the place. Wherever we see a computer that’s been

running along in a fine and dandy way, we

hurl in an ‘unexpectedly quit’. Have a nice day.