In Which Jerry is No Good with Computers

Rrrringgg! Click.

“Hello. BARC customer service representative Tiffany speaking. How may I help you?”
“Hello? Tiffany? I’m Jerry. I have a problem with a 2016 BARCbook Pro I bought a couple weeks ago.”
“What seems to be the problem?”
“Well, um, it’s…twitchy.”
“Yes, twitchy.”

A nod.

“…Could you explain, please?”
“Well, when I turn it on, it starts randomly jerking about. My hands hurt when I try to type because of the vibrations. It almost fell off the desk a few times, and my poor roommate almost had a heart attack when he saw it jump a foot into the air!”

Pause. The sound of writing.

“I see. How long have you had this problem?”
“It started about five days ago. It was working just fine before that.”

Scritch scratch.

“And when did you buy the BARCbook?”
“Two months ago?”


“Have you noticed any other problems when using your BARCbook?”
“Um, let’s see, it lags and freezes every couple of seconds, and it gets very cold after I use it for maybe five minutes or so.”
“Yeah, like ice.”

Extended scribbling.

“Alright, sir, I’m going to hand this over to one of our tech specialists, Janisse. She will be able to help you with your problem.”

Momentary silence.

“Hello, Janisse speaking. From what Tiffany said, it sounds like a corrupted hard drive, but I’m going to ask you a couple questions to see if we can solve this.”
“Hi Janice, thank you, that sounds great!”
“No problem, Jerry. So, have you tried turning it off and turning it back on?”
“Only about fifty times. I’m kidding. I leave it off nowadays because the noise has been getting on my nerves.”
“What about running an antivirus program?”
“Did that too. It couldn’t detect anything.”
“Which program did you use?”
“Adware Begone, Robin, Webtwig, SEAGULL, Jane AntiVirus, Horton Security, Bit Pill, Joe AntiVirus, and McCoffee FileDefender.”
“That’s quite the list. Have you tried John AntiVirus?”
“John? I don’t think so.”
“It’s a pretty powerful antivirus software that I use a lot. Do you want to try it?”
“Okay, one minute.”

Tap tap tap ta-ap ttt-tap-p-p-p-ptheubh. Silence. Tap thappp vvvVVV-bbb-bvvv thump. Wub wub wub. Long silence. Tap. Click! Tap tap tappity ttatap.

“It didn’t work, either.”
“Okay, let’s try seeing if your hard drive needs repair.”
“Okay, sure.”
“Can you go to Start, then Drive? You’ll see a little button there. Says Repair Drive.”


“Great, now let’s just wait until it’s done.”
“Uh, Janice?”
“It’s Janisse. Yes?”
“My BARCbook is doing some kind of little dance now. Irish stepdancing, I think?”

Tap tappa tappa tappa tap tap tappity tip tip tap…

“It’s quite good, actually. Wait. Oh no.”

Crunch. A scream. Tatap tatap tatap tatap.

“What happened?”
“Jerry? Still there?”
“Ah, yes, um, uhh. It killed the mouse.”
“Oh, dear. Are you alright?”
“Yes. Yes, I think so. A bit shaken, but I’m OK. It was kind of graphic.”
“I understand… Um?”
“I know. I can’t keep my BARCbook anymore.”
“I’m sorry. I hope you have a recent backup.”
“No, I haven’t backed up anything!”


“I have a lot on there…”
“You can try to back it up now and reformat it. If you do it soon, you might be able to save your data.”
“Got it. I’m gonna try that. I hope it works.”

Tappa clatta clatta clatta clatta kk kkk kkk fwoooo papapapapa.

“Janisse? Janisse! Please help!”
“Hi. What’s going on?”
“It’s on fire! It suddenly committed death by spontaneous combustion. What do I do?”
“First, please call 911. Second, remove yourself from the premises and warn your neighbors.”
“But, my BARCbook! All my notes and my pictures! My files! My house!”
“One moment please. I will talk to my supervisor about your case.”

Ding! Electronic trapeze music plays. Crackle snap pop! Thud. Whoosh thump. Sirens go blee-ooh-blee-ooh!


“Hello, I am Margaret, the manager of the customer service department. Thank you for contacting the BARC customer service team. In light of the unusual defect in your BARCbook, I would like to extend my sincerest apologies on behalf of BARC Technologies by offering a 1-month-free trial of BARC e-books and a replacement for your 2016 BARCbook Pro. Is this satisfactory?”
“Ah. Yes.”
“Then, I wish you a good day, and I will turn this over to Tiffany to finish up your statement of complaint.”
“Ah. Thank you.”


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