Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Universe Enjoying Its Saturday

Here we see the mangled remnants of the keyboard shelf from my computer desk:

Why is it mangled?
Because The Universe is a dick.
I sat down at the computer and slid the tray out to type in a URL, heard a popping sound, felt multiple pieces of something hitting my leg, and then the right side of the tray popped out from its guide rail, depositing my mouse and keyboard on the floor.
The multiple pieces of something were ball bearings that were part of the sliding mechanism in the rail. I gathered up as many of them as I could find, all the while getting hit in the head by the shelf, as it was still in its guide rail on the left side and was, as a result, flopping all over the place.
I found as many of the ball bearings as I could, then examined the mechanism to see if there was a way to put it back together. I thought I saw a way to do it, and began trying, in vain, to put the ball bearings back into place, dropping them multiple times.
(As a special bonus, the ball bearings were all sticky, as there was some viscous substance on them that was supposed to keep them in place. My hands are still sticky, as the stuff just won't wash off.)
Finally I gave up on trying to fix the broken part, having bent and broken it further in my attempts to repair it, and decided to see if I could get the tray to work without it, thinking maybe at worst the sliding action wouldn't be as smooth as it would be with the ball bearings.
Nope. Without that piece the tray would not stay in place.
Anyone who knows the Incredible Hulk in his comic book incarnation knows that "the madder Hulk gets, the stronger he gets."
As his rage sseemingly knows no bounds, the upper limits of his strength are, in theory, infinite.
For the past several years Marvel has been publishing various mini-series called "The End," focusing on potential futures that tell the "final" stories of some of their characters. One such mini-series focused on the Hulk.
In it, an ancient Bruce Banner is the only survivor of some cataclysm that destroyed humanity. He wanders alone through a barren hellscape looking for some way to end his life, but finding himself stymied at every turn by his green alter ego.
In addition to Banner, the world is inhabited by giant mutated insects, who, once a day, go out in search of food. The thing is, there isn't much left in the way of food other than Banner. So the insects descend on Banner, who, involuntarily in response to the threat, transforms into the Hulk and fights the insects off. However, there are just too many of them, and eventually the Hulk is overwhelmed. In addition to being largely invulnerable, the Hulk heals at a superhuman rate from any injury, so as the insects devour him, he regenerates continually, making him something of an all you can eat buffet, until, finally, the insects have their fill and go off on their way, leaving the carcass of the Hulk - picked clean like a post-Thanksgiving turkey - to grow the flesh back onto his bones and start the cycle over again.
It seems to me that, in that moment in which Hulk is completely overcome, he's probably so enraged that his strenth is approaching its maximum levels, yet for all that, there's nothing he can do.
That's sort of how I felt when dealing with the keyboard tray. I was so angry that I felt like I could split the world in two.
Of course, while I do share his penchant for rage, I differ from the Hulk in a significant way. Namely, the madder Jon gets, the clumsier he gets. While I've got the rage to split the world in two, I lack the strength, and even if I had the stregth I'd probably trip over my own feet while attempting to split the world in two, which, I suppose, is probably a good thing.
As I struggled to put things back together, and then struggled to simply take things apart just to get them out of the way, all I could do was shudder with impotent rage like the Hulk being devoured by insects.
Instead of splitting the world in two, I had to settle for bending some pieces of metal as I tore the left side of the drawer free from its guide rail.
I know that this isn't really a big dea; ultimately what I ended up doing was putting the mouse and keyboard on the desktop and raising my chair up so that my hands are at the correct level, and the only real inconvenience that stems from it is that I have to move the keyboard and mouse out of the way when I want to use the Cintiq.
But that's not really the point.
What is the point? How the hell should I know? I'm just the clumsy schmuck who encounters frustration - and stickiness - at virtually every turn.
In any case, I'm sure The Universe enjoyed the show, especially since it managed to get in its fun at my expense in a way that I could have never seen coming. Most of the time I can see what The Universe is up to - though in my case knowing is half of a losing battle - so I know that it likes it when it can hit me with something totally out of left field.

1 comment:

Merlin T Wizard said...

So potentially, you have the infinite capacity for clumsiness? Bummer, man.

By the way, I've been where you have been, with a keyboard tray, even. That's why my old mini-computer desk doesn't have the tray anymore. That thing didn't even have moving parts for the Universe to mess with. Nope, just a stationary tray waiting to mock me.