This Sunday, I'm introducing another of my writing friends, Peggy Griffin. Peggy sends me hilarious emails which always leave me in stitches, and under her warm Southern charm beats a heart for Christ. In Peggy's words, she is a dreamer, a storyteller, a preacher's daughter, and somewhere in the backwoods of Southern Mississippi she's plotting a murder. Only on paper, of course. Nothing hollers whodunit like the humid tangle of swamps and creeks that she shares with her husband of twenty-four years. They live on the homestead his family settled in 1808 where there's inspiration behind every shadow. But today Peggy shares her more recent woes in the cyberworld of computers.
TWO MOUSES IN THE HOUSE? By Peggy Griffin
"Can two walk together, unless they be agreed?" Amos 3:3
Well, slap me twice for driving a mouse without a license. Its ball just fell out. Honest. I had to chase it clear to the back of the desk. But it wasn’t driving straight anyway. My computer whiz friend, Paula, said to gently dislodge the family-size blanket of lint from its innards with a toothpick. How sissy was that? Naturally, I went to work with a screwdriver. Uh-huh. Mouse brains and whirly gigs went into orbit around the ceiling fan.
After Paula, the computer whiz, caught her breath from laughing at my ignorant bliss, she told me that mouses and keyboards are kinda generic, and to get the one off the CRASHED computer, plug it in, and pour myself a long glass of sweet tea with extra ice. Her last bit of advice was to dump my gallon of M&M’s into a jug, plaster the empty bag over my mouth and nose, and just breathe. A lot
That was the beginning of my unequally yoked union with electronics. How was I to know the little one-eyed computer monster didn’t believe in my gold-plated rule of ‘don’t snatch a person’s stuff like a greedy pot likker hound on a pone of cornbread?
Of course there were clues that this technical honeymoon could be a tad rocky. Barely out of the box and grinning atop a stack of milk crates, it demanded my social security number, my mother’s maiden name, and my super-secret-don’t-yap-it password. I had no choice; Company payroll was a’waiting.
Login popped up. My finger trembled.
And I said, “I do,” to every term of endearment in the licensing agreement of Big Bubba’s Bookkeeping And Tractor Repair Program.
I was typing along like nobody’s little darlin’ when Big Bubba turned meaner than a cross-eyed rattler. Payroll took a flying flip to Never-Neverland. The printer started jamming and spitting crooked checks. If y’all aren’t familiar with these programs, there is no making up with Big Bubba and starting over. Once it prints a check, sideways or cattywumpus, you don’t get a duplicate without signing over the deed to the farm. My brother, Wayne, now does payroll for a wicked sum. He invented Big Bubba. Could those glitches be a mite suspicious?
But, I have good news. Last night’s calamity was purely the fault of the web browser. Yep, y’all have one. Seems you have to throw it a bone once in a while. In computer lingo that means upgrade. Live and learn. It refused to ‘unload’ the crazy puzzle—y’all know about those word verifications—when you want to post a comment on somebody’s blog.
I know. I actually said unload when I whined at Whiz Kid Paula to fix the thing. You’re right. She answered the phone laughing. My lack of technical grace is kinda like the running joke about the guy who thought the CD tray was a cupholder. I hope he's still alive somewhere so I won't be the dumbest hick with a mouse.
Anyway, the web browser said “Upgrade Now”, and I clicked—what's Paula's number one rule about clicking on stuff you aren't cross-your-heart and-hope-to-die sure about? Don't touch it. Call an adult. You've got it. But as usual, my finger clicked before my itty-bitty mind shifted to drive. Satellites started hugging and kissing and yoking in yet another unholy union, and that, my friends, is the famous night that the lights went out in this Mississippi.
But not before Big Bubba’s Bookkeeping and Tractor Repair had a cyberspace shade tree meeting with my new browser, Godzilla Firefly. They did a hostile takeover of my homepage and changed my email account to Sizzlemail. Give me a break! My glasses haven’t fogged up like that since my quickdraw trigger finger clicked—yes, Ma’am, I did—into one of those hmmhmmhmm chat rooms. Of course I tried to get out. Eventually. I just think it's important for a country girl to further her education when opportunity knocks.
Trust me. Things my sweet Mama never told me about were going on in that cyber joint.
That’s when I felt another knock, a small, quiet tap reminding me that this country girl had once more plowed ahead without considering the consequences. Curiosity? I’ll admit to having a gracious plenty. And independence? I have a heaping helping of ‘I can do this myself’.
Seriously, folks, we’re all guilty of these from time to time. We get so bogged down in the clutter of daily life that we try to solve all the little pesky problems and wait until our worlds are falling apart to ask for God’s help. We forget that He’s a constant in our hearts, loving and patient and waiting, and yes, He must have a sense of humor, for He spoke to me in language I understood.
As I slammed my generic mouse into reverse, and backtracked from that chat room, I got His message loud and clear.
”Get out of the woods, child. This dog ain’t gonna hunt.”
Psalms:6-7 Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon Thee: for Thou wilt answer me.