Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Today in class one of the subjects we talked about was art and graffiti. Which reminded me of a funny story. People like funny stories so I’ll go with that for now.

I used to work for a small computer repair shop. One day, a man came in that looked pretty scruffy. Sheep shit on his boots, faded green overalls, unshaven face. Most likely a farmer, and I was right, he was a farmer. He had a disk with him and needed a file recovered from it. Now, we had a number of utilities that could do that to erased files, but there is one way to unintentionally erase a file that we can’t recover. If you open up a blank document in Word and save it with the same name as a very important file, that file is gone; replaced by a document with nothing in it. I’d be happy to explain the file allocation table and why we can recover other files, but I’m betting people already know, or don’t care.

I take the disk downstairs, take a look at it, looking for a backup copy or a temp file with the same info in it, but no. I come back upstairs and explain to him that there is no way to recover the file. He asks me if I’m sure. I explain as best as I’m able and the other techs near me agree and also explain. He presses again. Finally I tell him “Look, it is possible to get the information off the disk, but we would have to send it away to a lab and it would cost a lot of money. We’ve never done it because most people balk at paying $400-$600 dollars to get some info off a floppy disk.”

“But they can recover the file?”

“Yes, for like, six hundred dollars.”

“Excellent. Send it out as soon as you can.”

Shit on his boots guy wants to pay six hundred dollars to get a file back?

You can imagine my surprise.

I became pretty good friends with the man over the next few months. One day he was in the main tech room with me, watching me work on his computer and chatting. His cell phone starts to ring and he answers it.


“Well not really.”

“No, we have to fly there to see it.”

“He doesn’t want it leaving the house, doesn’t need the money and he doesn’t really want to get rid of it so he doesn’t care if we come or not.”

“He wants fifteen million. “

“I know it’s not worth that and so does he. He doesn’t care.”

“Okay. “

“Yeah. Fine. I’ll see you in LA on Tuesday.”

I became pretty good friends with Jim over the years. As it turns out, Jim worked for Sotheby’s auction house for a number of years and then, like a lot people, thought it would be cool to have a farm in Vermont.

If I remember correctly, Jim graduated with a Masters in Art History or something similar. He then went to Sotheby’s in Manhattan and asked the secretary if he could speak to the head boss so he could convince him to make him an art buyer. She said he was booked all week. Jim told her he would wait, and took a seat.

He sat in the office with a brown paper bag lunch, morning until closing for the next four days until finally the Boss relented and agreed to talk so someone so persistent. He got the job.

He brought his computer to me many times, I specced him out a new one every few years and I visited his house a number of times on printer or network issues.

One hot summer day he called the shop and asked to speak to me.

“Hey, I need you come down and look at something. Today. That possible?”

“Yeah, I’m just building systems, I’ll be down in twenty minutes.”

I pull into his driveway and see his assistant working outside. She is a young, staggeringly beautiful blond runner with hair almost down to her ass. I know she runs marathons and one look at her thighs proves it to anyone. Despite being a runner her figure is very curvy. Playboy magazine of kind of curvy, but so fit, she glows with a healthy aura. She is in a flimsy purple sundress that does absolutely nothing to hide her figure. It might as well be clear purple silk.

I can barely manage to say hello she is so breathtaking. And in such revealing almost see through clothes.

I stumble up the steps and Jim opens the screen door and offers me a Coke. I gratefully take it and move over to his computer desk, which happens to look out the window to where his assistant is working.

“She is something, isn’t she?” Jim says.

“Man. I mean, as a writer, let me just eloquently say ; wow. Just... wow. Magnificent.”

Grinning. “Yeah.”

“So, what’s wrong with the computer today?”

“Nothing. Absolutely nothing.”
(If you like the post, click a couple links for me. Thanks. This month I'm going to encourage people to click links just to see if it's possible to actually make money from Google Ads. In the year this has been up, I have averaged seven dollars a month in revenue. I'm curious to see what happens in a month when I ask people to click links for me. Thanks.)


  1. dude you forgot the punch line:

    ...3 years later, I married that girl.

  2. Great story - wish my clients did that. Or looked like that!

    On another note, I'll be happy to click on ads. Hell, I'll click on them five times per day. But can't you get something other than Mexican Bullfighting?

  3. Yeah.... what he said.... you need some better ads.