It was a dark and stormy night a few weeks back. Dark enough and stormy enough that one might be forgiven for thinking the End Times were nigh.
It began with little fanfare, when the evil OS known as Windows 10 (aka the pale rider of the digital apocalypse) blithely informed me it had taken a notion to update itself. Did I want to restart on my own, or let Bill Gates handle it for me?
“It’s okay, Bill. I’ve got this,” I muttered toward my screen – a conversation no doubt overheard and widely shared by my microwave, the toaster and every electronic device within a six-block radius.
As the rude winds howled, I hit Restart and waited. And waited. And waited. In some unseen dimension, megabyte after megabyte unspooled in an agony of slow motion.
Had I made a fatal error by having the hard drive replaced last month? Had I been wrong to allow Windows 10 onto the premises in the first place? Had I been a fool to abandon my Remington Noiseless Portable, circa 1936? Yes, yes, and probably yes.
After nearly an hour, the reboot finally took hold. An hour in which I was cut off from the world’s Sturm und Drang as surely as if I lived off-grid on the Annie Lake Road.
The screen flickered back to life. I entered my password and proceeded to do what geezers of feel called upon to do as midnight approaches: I clicked on Facebook. Nothing. Double-click. Nada. Triple-click. Rien, zip, diddly, no sale, nobody home.
“This is it,” I thought. “Life as I know it has lost all meaning. How can I go on?”
I resolutely hit Restart again. And waited. After much silent whirring and clanking in its innards, my laptop grudgingly came back to life. Facebook did not.
Desperate times demand desperate actions. I hit Restart yet again. And waited, yet again. Rinse and repeat, and still no Facebook. No clarity on the world-madness front. No cat pics, memes, or anger-filled comment threads. I felt empty inside.
Then it hit me: try Uninstall instead. On the fourth or fifth attempt, Facebook finally disappeared from both the app tray and the taskbar. Miraculously, the replacement I downloaded worked on the first try.
Equilibrium instantly flooded back into my life. Once again, I could immerse myself in gifs, vids and news of dubious authenticity.
Once again, I could trade witticisms with cherished friends and reviled strangers (or cherished strangers and reviled friends). Once again, I could prove my moral superiority by not validating idiotic posts by adding idiotic replies of my own.
The storm had passed. The apocalypse had been averted. Geezer life would carry on.