A Message to My Laptop

(Since everyone is writing messages to inanimate objects — to the recession, from the recession, about external hard drives — I figured I would talk directly to my beautiful Sony Vaio notebook computer sitting in a drawer at home.)

Dear My Beloved Laptop:

For at least a year, I have taken you for granted. Your crystal clear wide screen. Your built-in Blu-Ray player. Your trouble-free Windows Vista (shocking, I know). Your ability to always find the right wireless network (even if mine was down and you stole my neighbor’s). You have been a workhorse, providing me with plenty of procrastination fun, hours of Solitare, and even some real work sprinkled in.

I looked the other way during the great summer hard drive crash of 2008, simply saving most of my important files onto the desktop upstairs (via the seamless wireless networking you have so kindly provided). I even gave you extra special attention when I feared for your life after the dog tripped over the power cord and pulled you off the coffee table. Heck, I even made an extraordinary effort last week to clean the dog hair out of the keyboard.

Considering your reliability, you’ll understand my surprise at what happened last night. After leaning over the arm of the couch to plug in the Christmas lights, I apparently rubbed my sweatshirt too much on the upholstery. Because when I sat back down and touched your keyboard, I felt a small static shock in my finger and your screen went dark. My jaw hit the floor, and you refused to turn back on.

Why did you do this to me? Don’t you know that it’s Christmas? I already spent far too much money that I don’t really have in an attempt to spread Christmas spirit. There’s no way I can pay for your repairs. And as much as I love you, I am pretty sure your warranty has long expired (Sony, if you’re reading this: Think you could make a a little warranty exception, for the sake of holiday cheer?)

I did some Googling (using your cross-coffee table rival — Andrea’s IBM Thinkpad) and discovered no examples of anyone ever frying their laptop with a single touch. Sure, there were articles warning people to not touch INTERNAL computer parts without being grounded. But all I did was touch your touchpad. And if I can’t touch a touchpad without fear of electrocution, then my faith in humanity may be lost.

You see, I work at a marketing and advertising agency — Dynamic Digital Advertising — that has lots of computers and lots of computer-savvy people. And a quick survey this morning revealed that none of them had ever heard of a situation like this. From our lead programmer, Amy, who took a few seconds away from her custom applications, CME’s, and website programming to answer my question; to our do-it-all tech guru Tyler, who expressed sincere surprise at my situation.

Our lead graphic designer, Carrie, wrote an open letter to one of your distant relatives, the external hard drive. But guess what? Her beloved hard drive didn’t fail her, or get angry because she slid across an upholstered couch. She just forgot it at home, which is understandable considering the hectic Christmas season and a few little ones running around. And I’m sure when she gets home tonight, her hard drive will still be there, with all her incredible website designs, trade show displays, logo designs, and brochure layouts safely stored away.

You? You’ll be sitting in the drawer where I left you. Cold, dark, and unwilling to give me what I want. You’re officially on the naughty list Mr. Vaio, and Santa won’t be bringing anything for you (other than your replacement, if he’s feeling generous).

Sincerely, Steve