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Things My Father Taught Me: When Skynet Gains Self-Awareness, I’m So Totally Fucked


Computers and I don’t get along very well. We have a long standing history of disagreeing upon things like, “connection failed” because I can clearly see that the connection has NOT fucking failed. That sort of thing makes me flop onto the sofa and wail, “WHY ME, GOD? WHHHYYYY ME?”

Luckily, I have Big Mac. He and I have an understanding: I put up amazing pictures as a screen saver, irregularly update my software and he does as I ask. We’re like Ebony and Ivory, together in perfect motherfucking harmony.


It wasn’t always a yellow-hued music video love affair.

Back in nursing school, I lived at home (just like any hot coed wants to do) with my young son, espousing my brilliant papers onto one of the computers my father owns. I did not own my own computer and my father, God Bless Him, begrudgingly allowed me to use his.

When I say “begrudgingly,” I mean it. Times eleventy-thousand-million.

And by “his” I mean my two-year old son’s computer; the one my brother had fashioned out of old parts to give to my son. My kid had a computer and I did not.

Enrolled in school again, I begged him to install MS Word onto Ben’s computer so that I could properly format the glitteringly stunning papers I had to write. He patently refused, firmly informing me that “Word Pad was good enough*.”

And forget any printing capabilities, Pranksters. He locked those up tight, like I was going to use them to print off pictures of cats playing the piano.

(I was)

I was the only assbag on the planet with access to a printer that had to save papers in Word Pad, email them to myself, then get to school early so that I could print them out. Half of the time, I had to rewrite them.

See, my father is an amateur computer tinkerer. He reads those PC Magazines that sound like Fox News. The headlines are splashy tidbits like, “THIS SPYWARE WILL KILL YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR DOG if you don’t install XYZ.” And “HIDDEN WAYS YOUR COMPUTER IS PLOTTING WITH TERRORISTS.”

The articles are more subdued, as you’d expect, but the headlines, well, how can you forget them?

He likes to dick around with the computers he owns – always has – and the ones I used to write my papers were no exception. In fact, I think that was the computer he liked to dick around with most of all.

Otherwise, I cannot possibly explain why he’d actually want to reformat the hard drive so many times. He seemed especially keen to reformat the hard drive once I had something saved onto it. Something, oh I don’t know, like A MAJOR RESEARCH PAPER that I’d been working diligently on for weeks.

It was then and there that I learned to put off today what I can do tomorrow.

It’s also when I learned to never trust a man who trusts that Spyware was going to eat him for breakfast.

*What the hell is Word Pad “good enough” for anyway? I still haven’t a clue.

29 Comments to

“Things My Father Taught Me: When Skynet Gains Self-Awareness, I’m So Totally Fucked”

  1. On May 10th, 2011 at 11:34 am Brandon Says:

    When I was 13, spyware drugged and raped me. I have never been the same.

    Spyware is no laughing matter. If you ignore it, it will just keep misbehaving, and will always get away with it.

    Only YOU can prevent spyware…

  2. On May 10th, 2011 at 11:39 am Lynn MacDonald (All Fooked Up) Says:

    it’s so funny you wrote this as i was just having a conversation with my girls on a post apocalyptic world and i was explaining i was going to kick ass and they weren’t going to be around for it and i have mad survival skills. You won’t need a computer after skynet gains awareness.

  3. On May 10th, 2011 at 12:09 pm Kristin (MamaKK922) Says:

    I am pretty sure it is Spyware not the Max that has stolen my brain. At least that is what I convince myself now to get through the day because lord know the Max isn’t doing it’s job anymore. So yes I shall blame spyware. And don’t feel bad my kids all have better computers to this day than I do. Because my MIL thinks they need like thousand dollar computers to abuse. I just need mine to turn on and play nice. That’s all Oh and allow me to look at that AMAZING dog that talks.

  4. On May 10th, 2011 at 12:19 pm Caroline Says:

    Word Pad is good for nothing. Clunky like a Maxi-Pad but less absorbent.

  5. On May 10th, 2011 at 5:55 pm Kathryn Says:

    Totally not true! We use a microprocessor simulator in one of my classes that uses .rtf files, but only pretends to save your work when you click save. Copying and pasting into Word Pad is the only way I can save my files for that class, so I totally less-than-three it.

  6. On May 10th, 2011 at 7:43 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Bwahahahaha! Good. I’ll tell my dad SOMEONE likes Wordpad.

  7. On May 10th, 2011 at 1:02 pm Triplezmom Says:

    Best description of PC magazines ever: “See, my father is an amateur computer tinkerer. He reads those PC Magazines that sound like Fox News. The headlines are splashy tidbits like, “THIS SPYWARE WILL KILL YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR DOG if you don’t install XYZ.” And “HIDDEN WAYS YOUR COMPUTER IS PLOTTING WITH TERRORISTS.”

  8. On May 10th, 2011 at 1:15 pm Erin@MommyontheSpot Says:

    Ah, yes. Computers are like a foreign lanugage to me. I say a few key words that make it look like i know what I am doing, and then I am expected to speak like a native. Which then I get myself into trouble. . .

  9. On May 10th, 2011 at 1:24 pm Tracie Says:

    I don’t really understand why Word Pad is still around. I’m very sure that I have never ever used it.

    The spyware just wants to be your friend.

  10. On May 10th, 2011 at 1:28 pm CycleNinja Says:

    As a tech support agent, I’m totally nodding my head because your father is a classic armchair expert. Read, know-just-enough-to-be-dangerous.

  11. On May 10th, 2011 at 1:29 pm Pam Says:

    Your father and my hubby must be related!

    Word What? Pad? Never been there dude!

  12. On May 10th, 2011 at 1:35 pm magpie Says:

    See now, I was thinking Word Pad was maybe something that ran on the iPad…

  13. On May 10th, 2011 at 2:04 pm Ziggyzabel Says:

    maybe I’m missing the point, but your dad sounds like an absolute asshat. Or maybe a computer nazi. And I know from computer nazis, my mom was the same way – I was in college before I had regular internet access, because the interwebs are how big brother spies on you. Apparently.

  14. On May 10th, 2011 at 2:16 pm Kelsey Says:

    My Dad’s obsession with techi stuff is exactly the same- it’s not an interest strong enough to motivate him to learn anything useful on the subject, just to obsess over computer radio shows and all of the updates he should have to securely protect his programs (like his current game of solitaire that so many are struggling to break into).

    I love your Dad’s high regard for word pad- he and my father would get along splendidly!

  15. On May 10th, 2011 at 7:44 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    But what if we inject APPLE SAUCE INTO THE HARDDRIVE!?!?! SPYWARE!

    /local fear segment of the PC Magazine.

  16. On May 10th, 2011 at 4:24 pm PBBDesigns Says:

    Are you SURE we are not sisters? Maybe even twins!?! Your dad sounds exactly like mine, but mine was actually a programmer. He explained to me once that the reason he had to keep reformatting the computers was because the code had to be rewritten and it wasn’t working right. So glad we’ve come so far since then! And grateful the software is more stable now.

  17. On May 10th, 2011 at 7:43 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:


  18. On May 10th, 2011 at 4:25 pm PBBDesigns Says:

    Btw, wordpad sucks! Almost as much as TextEdit.

  19. On May 10th, 2011 at 4:52 pm Nico Says:

    I hate computers. I snuck up on this one to use it. I wasn’t here.

  20. On May 10th, 2011 at 7:43 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    *looks around*

    You’re safe.

  21. On May 10th, 2011 at 6:49 pm steph gas Says:

    i love computers. i hate fucking tinkering with PCs. because ‘tinkering with PCs’ really means ‘major fucking overhauls and reformats because PCs suck big floppy donkey dick’.

    written on a mac.

  22. On May 10th, 2011 at 7:43 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I heart Big Mac.

    sent from my Mac.

  23. On May 10th, 2011 at 8:08 pm Suniverse Says:

    This is why I have my own printing press.

    Screw you, computers.

  24. On May 11th, 2011 at 8:07 am SharleneT. Says:

    Hahahaha! When computers first came out, I had a boss who actually hired a bookkeeping assistant to transfer files on the computer because she knew how to play PONG! AAArrrggghh! I knew she was clueless when she put the 5.25 disk into the BODY of the cpu rather than the disk drive! He just didn’t get it… But, I agree with the poster who said your Dad was an ‘asshat.’ Make it as funny as you want (and aren’t all comedians trying to get through the pain?), you needed the computer for serious education and he simply refused to help you, when he was capable of doing it. Plain and simple. That’s a true asshat. Nothin funny, there. I doubt seriously if he didn’t know better. {{{HUGS}}}

  25. On May 11th, 2011 at 8:54 am John Says:

    One of my friends once called me at 7AM to ask if it was possible that she had a virus, because her toaster wasn’t working. I was a computer engineering major and was incredibly hungover.

    My favorite “tinkering” thing was to leave useless parts in my computer and then, when I had an audience, go all Swedish chef, tearing apart my computer as I drank beer, smashing circuit boards that only I knew were outdated.

  26. On May 11th, 2011 at 11:34 am Vinobaby Says:

    Wordpad is only for completely helpless and hapless old people like my Mother-In-Law. But then again, she manages to fry a computer every year or so even though she only plays virtual slot machines and sneaks peeks at soft core porn (shh…we’re not supposed know but she doesn’t even realize there is a “history” button).

    Okay, now I’ve got the skeevies…thanks.

  27. On May 11th, 2011 at 1:51 pm Johi Says:

    Word pad doesn’t even have spell check, which is maybe the single most important element one needs to properly write.

  28. On May 11th, 2011 at 2:20 pm Sandi Says:

    My mum wants the internet because she thinks she’ll then be able to hack into banks and steal their money.

  29. On May 13th, 2011 at 8:48 am Penbleth Says:

    Perhaps I should be thankful my parents didn’t know one end of a computer from another. My mother wouldn’t even let me turn the tuning wheel on our first colour TV. Yes, you read that correctly, our first colour TV had tuning wheels for each channel.

    Simpler times. Of course touching them would make the set explode, if you were to believe my Mum.

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