By Tony Deyal
My computer suddenly started belting out “Someone Like You.” It’s a Dell. Unfortunately, just as I was about to start the research for this week’s column, it stopped charging. Now if that was Amazon or PriceSmart I wouldn’t have minded. In fact, I would have been “happy like pappy”.
However, I was subjected to what I called not just a salt with battery but an in salt to my son George and my daughter-in-law Sara who had bought this expensive machine for me. It reminded me of the joke about the man who said, “My girlfriend was devastated when she found out the reason why my nickname is ‘The Love Machine’.” Then he added, “It’s because I’m terrible at tennis.” In the meantime, I was thinking of going to a nearby computer store but I couldn’t hack it. So, I shifted my thoughts to salt.
This is because researchers at the City University of Hong Kong found the secret to a more efficient, less expensive approach to keeping massive computer systems cool; Just add salt. It cools computers and boosts performance by a third. How did they come up with that? Most likely because salt and salt production played key roles in Chinese history and economic development. I also think that it was a Chinese Emperor who boasted, “Whenever my enemies are badly cut by my sword, I never rub salt in their wounds. That would be adding in salt to injury.” Worse, his chef threw salt in the eyes of one of the soldiers and then dumped a bowl of dim sum flower over his head. The Emperor sentenced him to death for a salt and battering. The Chinese were not alone. The Romans paid their soldiers in salt and it was not what we call an “in salt”.
While we get people angry when we “in salt” them, the Roman soldiers became seasoned veterans. There is an old joke that flour, sugar, salt, water and yeast grew up together in jail. In other words, they were bread in captivity. However, when the prison chef had his ten-year anniversary, the prisoners dropped salt and pepper on him. He had become a seasoned professional. However, amateurs can do even better.
This is supposed to be a true story about a family who took their four-year-old daughter to a restaurant. Point to the stainless-steel shakers, she asked her mom, “How do you know which is salt and which is pepper?” Her mom replied, “Look at the holes on top. If it is the letter ‘S’ it’s salt. If it is the letter ‘P’, it’s pepper.” The child then asked, “Oh, so pepper is from the P hole?” The mother stuttered, “Well, yes.” Then the girl caused the whole restaurant to look, turn their faces and laugh when she boasted loudly, “I know! Then the salt comes from the S hole!”
But what about Peter? Where does he or IT come from? Well, let me give you a taste of IT (Information Technology). In the Bible (Matthew 5:13) Jesus told his followers that they are the “salt of the earth”. However, when it came to doing his job in Heaven, he was a tougher cookie than the ones we get from Burger King. A lawyer went to Heaven and the first thing he did is ask Peter, “Are you sure it is my time? I’m not that old you know!” Peter shook his head and asked, “What do you mean? You’re eighty-six years old!” The lawyer corrected him, “No, I’m not. I’m only 58. Where you got that 86 from?” Peter then replied, “Well, we just added up all the hours you’ve charged to your clients.”
When Steve Jobs went up, Peter was already upset. As Steve stepped into the pearly gates, St Peter looked at him with a frown on his face, pointed downward as Steve’s final destination, and told him, “After what happened to Adam and Eve, you know how we feel about Apples up here. They got the oldest computer that the Almighty created. It was an Apple but with extremely limited memory. Just one byte and everything crashed.” I know that Peter wanted to ask Steve, “If your company made a car, would it have Windows?” What I didn’t know is that Peter was in greater demand on Earth than Steve was in Heaven.
Two prostitutes were driving around the city with a sign on top of their car which said: “Two Prostitutes – $50.00.” A policeman stopped them and made it clear that if they didn’t remove the sign, it would be jail for them. Just then another car passed by with the sign, “JESUS SAVES.” One of the girls asked the officer, “How come you stopped us and didn’t stop them.” The policeman explained that it was totally different from what was in their car. It was a religious sign. The two ladies took down their sign and drove off. The next day the same policeman stopped them again. Then he had no choice but to let them go. On the top of their car they had placed a new and much larger sign which read, “Two Fallen Angels Seeking Peter – $50.00.”
Fortunately, Peter was in Heaven where in his first meeting with the Almighty he was told, “Come forth and receive eternal life.” He came fifth and won a toaster, but that did not stop him. The only problem he had was that while some people are salt of the earth, some are saltpeter which is one of the ingredients in gunpowder, fireworks and rockets. If I was around when Christ told him, “Thou are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church”, I would have warned him, “Watch out for the saltpeters Peter. Make them pay the day rate and not the nitrate.”
Had I looked at any of the rates, day or night, I would not have been in the quandary in which I found myself. I should have known that the biggest lie in the universe and the one to which I had committed myself is, “I have read and agree to the terms and conditions.”
So, no hope for me. While I expected lots of mosquitoes, flies, fleas, midges and even mice in the night, I did not anticipate a bug, especially the one that took over the charger in my computer. What caused it though? Was it that I left my Windows open or did a Python come into my Dell? I even thought of calling the police and telling them that I had a hacker inside. Seeing that I had no real idea of what caused the problem I thought of going to the beach so I could surf the web and get some ideas and answers. One of the responses I got was “If your computer isn’t working properly and you don’t understand why…just hit it a bunch of times with a hammer. It still won’t work properly, but at least you’ll understand why.”
*Tony Deyal was last seen saying his problem was caused by his computer beating him in a game of Bridge. However, it was no match for his kickboxing.