I charged into the Apple store one minute before my appointment was about to begin.
“Tell me what you are experiencing,” the Apple-bland technician said to me.
“Fear,” I said. “Blind, uncomprehending fear.”
I don’t think that was the answer he was looking for.
A day or two ago, I opened my gleaming Macbook to begin my work for the day to find the screen white as death. Research revealed that this was indeed the White Screen Of Death. My Mac does not know its own hard disc.
His fingers flew over his iPad as he issued commands to my untrusty steed. And in no time at all a massive comic banner headline appeared on my Mac’s screen: FAILED.
It would take five to seven days to repair.
Five. To. Seven. Days.
I threw my head on my arms and wailed, there in the store. Do you do courtesy Macs? I pleaded piteously.
This is Apple. They make you do all the running. Think of that as their new strapline.
I was spooked, and I still am.The things that should spook me, don’t.
Like, all those horror forest stories you get told when you’re about 15? The ones that involve men in forests with saws and runaway insanity at twilight or later?
Hours after the carnage in the Apple Store, the dog needed walking. It was twilight. A bit darkish. “Maddie,” I said, “do you fancy coming to take the dog for a walk?”
She did. And we jumped up and readied ourselves and the dog ran up and down making preliminary noises and ran around in circles until the lead was on, and we stepped out of the door and off to the forest.
Ooooh, I said, just before we stepped out. “I nearly forgot the knife.”
‘The Knife’ is a cross between a saw and a penknife, just small enough to fit in a bag or pocket, but heavy-duty enough to saw up small logs. It has come in very handy plundering firewood over the last few weeks, but I am the first to admit it looks a little unsettling. I showed it to a work colleague one day last week and she blanched visibly.
Into my pocket it went.
On the tabletop of the hill fort it was light still.We trundled happily across the top and watched the light fade. And then I said, right, Maddie, I know where there is some great chestnut we can get for the fire. And I plunged down the side of the fort into the ancient woodland, followed by a slightly reticent daughter.
We arrived at a promising branch. I got out my knife.
I suppose I look a little focused when I am carrying out a task. Perhaps unsettlingly so. There we were in the rapidly fading light, me sawing away with my Jack Torrance stare, the shadows beginning to jostle closer.
My daughter began to breathe again when the log came free. She picked it up ready to leave with all speed.
But I could not stop at one log, and looking up we saw that the other end was grotesquely wrapped around the fork of a tree.
I wasn’t going home without that wood. I wrestled with the long-dead limbs and sawed and muttered and glared, and what my poor daughter was thinking as it became, to all intents and purposes, dark, I dread to think. I did not, as the Apple store tech, ask her to tell me what she was experiencing.
We got our wood. And we carried it home to the glowing lights and the warm fire and kittens sitting next to cuddly pumpkins.
So you see, the things that should spook me, don’t.
But I have no Mac: and I am mortally afraid.