I am now convinced that I am living in the Booby-Hatch.
Spouse came in today and tried to discreetly unwrap some software so I wouldn't see it.
(See, this is your first sign that the inmates are not playing with a full deck. My desk is about four feet away from his. You can't even smuggle the last Tootsie Roll in these close quarters. I know because I've tried. So how he thinks I'm not going to hear the deafening crackle of cellophane as he peels a CD is beyond me.)
"What is that?" I ask.
And then I see a familiar face. Oh, no. It's her.
Mavis Beacon - Typing Guru. The Keyboard Cutie. Or, as I privately refer to her, That Software Slut.
I hate Mavis Beacon.
You wanna know why I hate Mavis Beacon?
Because every few years Spouse gets a bee in his bonnet about learning how to type. And he goes out and stalks Mavis. No matter what store we're in, he's got an eye out for Miss B. Once he can no longer stand lusting from afar, he breaks down and buys the latest version of ol' Mavis.
Because THIS time is going to be different. This time he's going to emerge from her clutches a lean, mean typing machine!
And I, of course, have to listen to the entire affair because, like I pointed out earlier, his desk is about four feet away from mine.
The courtship begins in a very polite way. Spouse is calm, serious. A man on a mission. He is ready. No more of this shilly-shallying around. He is here to gain speed and precision on the keyboard, and he is UP TO THE TASK!
He starts the evaluation test, and he's always on Mavis' side when she tells him how dreadful he has done. Of course, it was dreadful! I've been a Slacker, a typing bum! But I'm ready. Ready, I say! No more of this shilly-shallying around! I will gain speed AND preci-
Are you starting to understand why I hate Mavis? I've heard this speech before. Many, many, MANY times.
So, unable to withstand the wiles of Miss B, he attacks the first exercise with gusto and passion... which turns into grumpy resentment practically before you can get to the "Sincerely yours" at the end of the letter. It starts with short snorts of disgust which tranistion into spurts of expletives, which then segue into disparaging remarks about the keyboard itself. Clearly, the "e' key is sticking - and what a time for it to start acting up - just when he is trying to improve his typing skills! Great.That's just great. Did I spill something on his keyboard?
I take this as my cue to make soothing and supportive statements: "Honey, don't be so hard on yourself - 27 words a minute is a very good start. But it takes time. If I were you, I'd just try to work on my accuracy first, and then start increasing your speed."
He looks at me like I'm a total idiot and says, "Well, of course. How else do you think it's done?!"
I'm not touching that with a ten-foot pole.
Luckily, it's time for dinner, and we are having Chinese. (Chinese does wonders for cranky husbands, I find.) So we eat our dinner, and all is soon well in Our Little World.
Until after dinner, that is.
Like some sort of meth addict, he is immediately back at his desk, determined to conquer Mavis! (I really don't know what happens to his brain. I mean, does he truly think he's going to sit down and end up typing 65 words per minute with a 98% accuracy rating in a single evening?! I suspect that Mavis is blowing crack fumes out of the disk drive because, otherwise, I cannot account for such a complete leaving of one's senses.)
Spouse starts ol' Mavis up, and he's immediately cheerful and optimistic.
"Oh, look! I'm up to 34 words per minute!"
"'Good job!' it says! 'Your work has improved vastly since your earlier efforts!'"
So now he's all cheerful and cocky. But that won't last long. Do you think he's going to quit while he's ahead? Walk away with a victory tonight to return well-rested and stronger on the morrow?
Oh, nooooo. The man is like a teenager with a bootleg copy of Grand Theft Auto. He can no more walk away from that computer than I can walk away from half-price ink. It takes less than five minutes for this sane, intelligent, reasonable man to turn into a split-personality right before my very eyes.
One minute he is cursing under his breath, getting more and more ticked off at that stupid typing program with its deliberately twisted sentences! - NOBODY would ever write such a combination - some jackass in a bad mood obviously got his jollies by writing this garbage....
And then there's prolonged silence.
Wait for it....
Snickering. The man is snickering. (Actually, it's giggling, but "snickering" is more manly.) Now he's deeply amused at the sentence his typos have concocted.
But it's only a matter of time before it gets ugly again. He's been patient, by jingo! The demands being made by this program are absurd! No reasonable person would ever type such a sentence!
Well, I can't argue with that, given the wild-eyed maniac pounding the keyboard like there's no tomorrow. Nope. No reasonable people typing in this household.
The irony is too much, and I muffle a tiny, little giggle of my own at his remark - and then laugh outright when I hear him say to the computer, "You just want to see me fail, don't you?"
Only, apparently, he was not talking to the computer. He was talking to me.
Because he heard that muffled little slip of a giggle.
This is what happens when your desks are four feet apart.Now you know why I hate Mavis.
And now you also know why I'm fairly certain this is the Booby-Hatch: my husband is having a sado-masochistic affair with a piece of software, and I'm blogging about it.