To Have a Virus

bad adsWell, it has happened to the best of us. You have an Irish whiskey at 1 a.m. and decide to download Inglourious Basterds. And the next thing you know, you have a computer full of ads you don’t want featuring girls with rock hard abs and very little shame. Who doesn’t tell that story?

There’s something amazing about having a computer virus. I couldn’t really put my finger on what that was until I understood it. But that understanding didn’t come for a while as I went through the stages of dealing with a computer virus. These are panic, panic, who do I know that understands technology, anger, hatred for Eastern Europe, and panic. I think at the end in there somewhere comes acceptance.

But none of this comes to me until later, since in hostage and virus situations, the first fifteen minutes are most crucial. I first react like a true hero, that is, if true heroes run in circles in one pant-leg and implore the heavens, “Why! Why me!” I follow this up by hiding in my bathroom. Please, call me to handle your next crisis situation.

But then I get angry and go after these rebels. I call in the big guns – Avast, Malware, and Spybot – to get the job done. While they are searching around my computer and killing off the rebel forces in their tiny, virtual Millennium falcons (I know. I know. Han was part of the rebel forces), I drink coffee and reflect on what first struck me in this situation.

It dawns on me that I have reacted more harshly to this than I would have to an actual, physical virus.

If I had woken up coughing out my guts and bleeding out of my eyes, I might have made some tea and read books with a nonchalant attitude. But my computer had a virus, so I ran around in half of my pants. This might have been the same if my car wouldn’t start or water was coming in through the roof. When these everyday things we count on go wrong for one second, life is thrown upside down.

I reflect further (over more coffee) on what this means for the future of man. What happens if computers worldwide go down? How will we run as a society when the things we depend on most break down? Will that be the real zombie apocalypse?

I certainly don’t handle it too well. I find myself making bargains with gods I don’t believe in and creating new swear words to properly cope. I’m thinking of canceling all future engagements using, “I’ve had a computer virus” as an excuse. And I’m not someone who lives online, so it could be much worse.

I guess the moral here, folks, is that you should put on both pantlegs before waving at your neighbor.

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