July 1 , 2005
Week 10 - The Wet Laptop
Rantz sits at the desk in his home office, attempting to reformat the lap top's hard disc. The machine beeps and a message appears on the screen. “Shit!” Rantz says.
Liza steps in. “Problems?”
“It keeps telling me to insert a boot disc! I’ve already inserted a f--king boot disc three times!”
“Maybe you should just ask Hal for help. He’s much better with computers than you.”
“I do not need to beg help from a thirteen year old to get my equipment working!”
Liza shakes her head. “Male pride… A sad spectacle.” She leaves.
Rantz pops a disc out of the laptop and sticks in another. He turns the machine off and then on again. After a moment it beeps and a message appears on the screen. “INSERT BOOT DISC” it says. “Shit!” Rantz yells.
Two minutes later Hal walks in. “Mom said you needed my help…” he says.
Rantz stares at the doorway and mutters under his breath. “Fine!” he finally says. “I can’t get this damn thing to boot. Do you think you can do it?”
Hal looks at it. “It should be pretty easy,” he says. “Here’s the deal… I’ll get it fixed, but, then, from now on, no one can throw me off the big computer when I’m playing.”
“Every time I try to practice Deathzone 2, you or Mom throw me off to do something. I’ll fix your laptop, but you have to promise no one’ll do that any more.”
“This isn’t a negotiation!” Rantz yells. “I’m just asking for some help!” He looks at his son. “You know what? Forget it! I’ll figure it out myself.”
Hal shrugs and leaves.
Rantz struggles for forty five minutes. Eventually, the monitor tells him “BOOT DISC FOUND. LOADING OPERATING SYSTEM.” “Hallelujah!” he says.
The machine hums for several minutes. Then a message appears. “ERROR 531G. INCOMPATIBLE POINTING DEVICE DRIVER.”
Rantz pounds the desk with his fist. A pile of manuals and discs tumble to the floor.
He shakes his head and steps to the doorway. “Hal!” he yells. “Hal! Get down here!” He takes a deep breath. “I’m ready to deal…”