So, I took my chances with the writing contest...

  • “So… let me get this straight.”

    Just a few minutes before, Jack was the happiest person in the world. Stuffed with yesterday’s Thanksgiving dinner, he was just an hour away from getting his paycheck, cashing it in, and taking home that shiny new “IBM Personal Computer” from his store’s front display.

    Now, however, he was staring at a scruffy looking man with a month’s worth of beard and a beanie cap, with his mouth so wide open he gets an occasional lockjaw even to this day.

    “You, sir… own a thirty-piece vintage gas lamp collection?”

    “Yes!” – the customer said cheerily, exposing his coffee-stained teeth in a beaming smile. “You see there’s that model from 1920, great work, but the base is…”

    “Okay, okay, I get it. And you own… six cats?”

    “Seven” – he said, without missing a beat. – “See, there’s Tabby, Fluffy, Mr. Jones, …”

    “Riiiight” – Jack interrupted the customer again, before he could show him a stack of Polaroids. - “And you left both your cats and your collection, unattended, in one room.”

    “Well, it sounds silly when you put it that way…” – the smile faded for just a second. – “But yes, that’s what happened. So, you can fix this, right?”

    Jack took another look at the unholy mess that once was the Apple II and a TV set. Now, the two were charred and melted together, forming a bizarre shape yet unknown to mankind. “You see, sir…”

    “Of course we will fix this!” – Jack’s manager interrupted him from behind, with a solid kick in the shin. “That’s absolutely no problem for us! We aim to keep our customers happy, and trust me when I say it, it’ll be as good as new when you come pick it up! See you Tuesday, kind sir!”

    “Do you even realize what you’ve done?” – Jack asked his manager afterwards. – “Have you ever seen this thing? We. Can’t. Fix. This.

    “We have to” – said the manager, with a far less optimistic tone. “Look, I get your point, but try to get mine. The regional management is onto us. We’ve already sent back a customer this month.”

    “What, you mean the Noodle Guy? We had to! It was a biological hazard!

    “Yes, the Noodle Guy, as you call him – or as I call him, the vice-president of a prestigious university. He sent a letter to the regionals, saying how our refusal to fix his computer made his daughter fall ill from the sadness and how little chances of survival she has. A very emotional piece of writing. I cried when they showed it to me.”

    “So, you see.” – he continued. “If this guy complains, we’re toast. Game over, man. So do your best, give him a new one if you have to, but keep the guy happy.”

    “Okay then, let’s see how bad this is…” – Jack muttered to himself, trying to unscrew what was left of the case. After a bit of work, he managed to open it, expecting a pile of ashes to fall on the desk, with maybe a few pieces of metal here and there.

    Instead, he found a shiny, good as new, circuit board. Somewhat reluctant, he plugged in another TV and booted it – and, mirabile dictu, it worked excellently. Not a single component was harmed, and all that was left to do was to place it in a new case.

    Jack quickly reimplanted the board, wrapped everything up, and headed home – but not before buying himself a new Apple II. He might not have had cats, or a collection of fire hazards, but he had kids – and if the Apple could survive that encounter, it would certainly hold up well against a pair of creative 9-year-olds.

  • SockDev

    9 out of 5.

    @Accalia demands to see this on the front page!


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    Yeah, this is really good.

    Voting for this, too

    I really liked how you added to the story with the noodle guy and the (vice) presidents daughter 😃
    Also the ending was beautiful.
    Couldn't have done it better myself (not that that means anything!)

    Filed Under: As if any of our votes would convince @mark_bowytz

  • @Kuro said:

    Filed Under: As if any of our votes would convince @mark_bowytz

    It's not about the number of votes. It's about paying me tribute.


    That good enough for you?

  • SockDev

    well... did @apapadimoulis share the chocolates i sent earlier?

    or do you want personal tribute?

  • It was a bit too far into the realm of obvious fiction. But for what it it was, i liked it. You've got the touch.

  • They were shared only in in "Wow! Oh man. This is really good! Too bad you live 2 hours away from me, sucker!"

  • Really good story telling style imo: natural, flowing, inviting...


  • SockDev

    PM me an address you'd like to receive bribes at and i'll see what my amazon reward points will streach to. 😉

  • Nice.

  • SockDev

    @LurkerAbove said:

    Really good story telling style imo: natural, flowing, inviting...


    Better than me. 😦 But nevertheless... I'm going to give it another go.

  • kills Dumbledore

    I'd vote for that over mine. Good read

  • I'd love to see the front page comments on this.

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