I heard about this TCM movie called Gas-light where this guy convinces this chick that she’s nuts. He hides in her attic or something, then every time she leaves the room, he sneaks in, shifts the furniture around, and turns the gas-lights down. So each time she comes back, stuff has moved and the lights seem dimmer. Hence, gas-lighting. And that is what twiggy is doing to me.

But, first, the commercials.

I am holding a MASSIVE bar of Dairy Milk Fruit and Nut [they didn’t have Macadamia] which I bought at The Game for Tsh 2,250, and my hands are trembling. The way the white light shines of the purple case, the way the gold and white wraps around the bar, swathing my 33 bars of brown solid bliss…Mmmmh! I feel almost sinful getting this high over an unopen choc bar!!

Back to the blog.

So. My computer has been doing some strange things lately. Like typing backwards, killing internet in mid-chat and hanging each time I turn it on. Our comps are on LAN, so I doubt this is entirely my fault. I’m a technobof, but I’m not that clumsy.

For the last three weeks, I have had no official internet. Which means I mail clients from home after hours, which boosts my CV, but kills my bank balance – my hometernet costs more. I have whined and begged and gagged and pleaded, but no help. So I just gave up and settled into working offline. But today….TODAY was the last straw.

There I was, peacefully doing my word doc, when suddenly, it freezes. Not hangs, just freezes. I wiggle the mouse and bang on the keys, but bilaz. So I press the red X so I can restart the thing coz I’ve been saving all along and I know I won’t lose anything. Instead, I get this column on the side that says ‘File repaired. Open’. So I do.

Then chaos.

My plain black doc is now red, white and blue! I didn’t touch anything, so this rainbow effect is disturbing. Pretty, but disturbing. And it’s got these arrows and slashes and dotted lines all over it. Oookkkaaaay. I try to print a page, to see if the multicoloured thingies are in print or just on screen, but no net = no access to printer. Sawa tu.

So I assume, being the technobof I am, that I must have done something. I left click, right click, run through all the toolbars and menus, trying to find what I pressed so that I can unpress it. Bingo. Track changes. Click. Sawa. That should fix it, yes?

No. Now, all the reds have lines across them, like this ABC. WTF? I didn’t even know my Word had that function – I’ve only tried to find it for five weeks!! It’s not in any of the format bars, not even the extended ones. So where the eff did it come from now?! Hii ni XP ya zamani, it doesn’t have that crossing out feature!

I figure the smartest thing to do is to Un-do. So I press Ctrl Z. Nothing. I press it again. Bilaz. I go to the menu and click on undo. And WHAM! The window widens to-the-left-to-the-left and suddenly there are all these speech bubbles showing all the work I have done today. W T F?! And the page count has just jumped from 153 to 180!!

I am now cursing in all the languages I know – which aren’t very many, or very foul, considering the worst oath I know is stupid cow. I’m trying to bite my nails, but that’s not working, so I’m staring at the screen with my pupils popping out and my fingers in my mouth.

And then…

Den den deeeeen…some mental theme music? No, just a whiff of cold AC to tell me the door is open. As a rule, I don’t look up when the door opens – too distracting. So I keep my eyes on the screen until someone says “Hello.”

Oh. It’s him. And he’s whispering. Great. I hate when he tries to sound sexy. It’s like a siren clearing its throat. And I know I didn’t call him here, so how did he know there was beef?

Maybe because he caused it?

He hovers at the screen, does the computer-guy-over-the-secretary’s-shoulder thing from the movies. I’m expected to flip my hair at some point, but Rashidi, my hairdresser, did it up in some ridiculous bun that makes me look like a cross between Olive Oyl and Princess Leah. I finally got it down, but now I look like an MC Hammer video, minus the neon spandex and one-shoulder t-shirts. Remember those asymmetric ponytails? Those ones. So, long story short, I can’t flip my hair.

Twigget-boy shows me where to press ‘accept insertion’. But if I have to do that on every red mark, I’ll be doing it all day! Isn’t there some kind of ‘yes to all’ button somewhere? He claims ignorance and goes off to get his boss. Ten minutes [and several fruitless CB-led screen hunts] later, they’re not back. So I go to wash my face coz I really do feel like crying, and I find him standing right outside my door, playing with his phone! SHTUN!!!

Fifteen minutes more. They arrive, both of them, giggling.


As my ‘heroes’ arrive [insert appropriate theme song here, remixed in taarab], I suddenly realise that there is an extra toolbar on the screen with little yellow folder thingies, green arrows, and ‘accept all changes’. I swear that wasn’t there five minutes ago!

My hero, naturally, clicks ‘accept all’ and starts to explain how it’s a common ID 10T[ype] mistake, and that most people panic when they accidentally press ‘track changes’…

Accidentally my- !!! To find the track changes thingie, I have to go to menu, file, tools, track changes. I CANNOT do that accidentally. Just like my lolcats screensaver did not accidentally get replaced with a plain blue one, my whole file did not accidentally erase itself!! Na vipi internet?

Ah, internet, he says, let me just click this [twin computer icon thingie] LAN network here and see if you’re receiving any packets…

And the second he touches it, the multicoloured bubbles are back.

See! I told you. Did I accidentally use your finger to do that? Huh? HUH!! And where’s Twiggy?

I notice that twigget-boy-has-left-the-building. How convenient.

At his computer putting up multi-coloured speech bubbles on my screen perhaps? Stupid cow.

The bossman giggles, apologises, deletes the bubbles and goes away. Sigh. At least I know I’m not losing my marbles. And the moral of the story is: don’t dump your twigget. Especially if it’s near your desktop. For the un-CB-nated, twigget is a word I picked from my favourite sailor. It’s what they call the ship’s IT.

For more information on 3CB, click here.

5 thoughts on “Gas-lighting … IT style

  1. Crys… If I were u I’d have slipped something into his coffee by now… and it would not have been suger.

    hehe, i tried, but he doesn’t drink coffee. ‘inakausha damu’ >:P

  2. IT guys! The way they love hovering over shoulders and acting all knowy.

    well, it helps the hovering is solicited, and the guy is cute. otherwise, they should hover with care – i have MAJOR personal space issues

  3. ‘…SHTUN!!!…’—–>>>>That is so high school lingo! Can’t remember the last time I heard it being used! Walalala.

    Mami it would really help if you learnt to find your way around the computer..or not! hehehehe

    what can i say, this brings out the [nun’s school] heckler in me 😉

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