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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "It's No Use Crying over Spilt Milk" (without using the actual phrase or literal exampl (02/07/08)

TITLE: Fiona's Lament
By Fiona Dorothy Stevenson



Saturday evening. Himself was in his study working on the church newsletter and program for the following morning. I was something restless and in need of a cozy chat with a sympathetic friend. So I collected the little notebook computer that had been allocated to me, took myself to a quiet corner and prepared to write. I had just got to the opening steps of the computer, with all the icons spread across the screen, when Himself rushed in. “My mouse has died!” He seized my mouse, unplugged it from my computer and rushed off. I was left staring at a patchwork screen and no idea where to go from there.

I thought of marching into his study and either demanding the return of my mouse, or an explanation of how he thought I was going to manage without it. However, I know well his propensity for handing me a manual – “You’ll find it in there” – and most of these manuals are about a thousand pages long. Now I am not a great manual reader. I can follow a recipe, read a knitting pattern, and usually understand the Japanese-English instructions that come with radios and motorcars.

Instead I marched into his study, making angry cat noises, grabbed the DOS-6 manual from the shelf, and retreated to my corner. He didn’t even look up. On the cover it states “Step-by-Step Guidance in an Easy to Reference Format.” If you have never tried to find your way around a keyboard by referencing a DOS-6 manual, don’t! The more pages I turned, the more frustrated I became. An hour later I still had that window of icons staring me in the face. I didn’t even know how to shut down, and I had been strictly warned never, but NEVER, to turn the computer off without shutting down properly.

Eventually in desperation I turned to the troubleshooting section and by hook, or by crook, or perhaps my angel had recovered from a fit of laughter and took a hand, I managed to open the Word program. By now I was really too unsettled to enjoy a cozy chat. I had a major complaint to unload first. Out of all the pent-up frustration came –

The Song of a Mouse Trained Operator

Control, Escape, Delete, and Scroll,
With Alt and F numerical,
With Arrow keys, the Enter bar –
The WHOLE! And I’m hysterical.

A mouse! A mouse! My kingdom for a mouse!
I cry amongst the debris
Of icons up and Windows full –
The ultimate inebris!

The User book is chock-a-block
With informative herbage:
But just what do you call the thing
In this computer verbage?

I want to move the cursor down,
But SHIFT, it will not do it;
(Now if I had that mouse around
There’s really nothing to it.)

A click, a click, a double click,
And I can write with ease.
But not tonight, because tonight
I have to use the keys!

Yes, I did write my letter, too. Not the cozy little chat type, though. Just a “little-news” communication, that I was thinking of her, would enjoy sharing a cup of coffee, and would write again later.

I still can’t use the keys alone. I still need my mouse.

542 words

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This article has been read 741 times
Member Comments
Member Date
LauraLee Shaw02/14/08
This was quite clever and got a chuckle out of me several times...

I can't find a strong tie-in to the topic without a stretch.

The creativity that the Lord has given you is AMAZING, and I look forward to seeing more of it. :)
gonzodave coulon02/14/08
Excellent! Bravo.
Mary Hackett02/14/08
To say your poem is clever is an understatement. I love it! What a cute piece :D
c clemons02/15/08
I enjoyed the poem, but the story leading up to the poem made me feel sorry for MC. It was probably suppose to be humourous but it fell flat to me.
Dolores Stohler02/16/08
I sympathized with your situation. Computers can be so frustrating! What I really loved was your poem, though. You have great talent here and I hope you continue to pursue it.
Holly Westefeld02/18/08
This was fun. I actually spotted the topic twice, once when "himself" was upset and thoughtless about his malfunctioning mouse, and then when her mouse was appropriated.
I liked the line about angry cat noises.
Tim Pickl02/19/08
'DOS' this mean I need a mouse to write my comment? I love the song! There is no use crying over a spilt--in this case--stolen mouse! I can almost imagine the mouse dancing... returning to its rightful owner!
Jan Ackerson 02/27/08
Fiona, this is delightful! I can't think how I missed it a few weeks ago. I plan to feature it for the Front Page Showcase for the week of March 24. Look for it on the FaithWriters Home page, and keep writing!
Chely Roach03/24/08
No! You can't live with Himself...I live with Himself!
I absolutely loved this; the poem/song ditty made me laugh out loud. I am so glad that I noticed it on the front page this evening...it was wonderfully creative and funny. Thanks!
Lyn Churchyard03/25/08
Oh Fiona, I can see why this was showcased! So funny! I loved the poem/song and the more I read, the more I laughed. I hope you bought a second mouse for just such a time as this in the future. Naughty 'Himself', I think you might need to set a mousetrap.
Hanne Moon 03/28/08
Fiona, this was absolutely great! Congratulations on your showcase! I love the voice of your MC, and you're right - who can understand the computer jargon of those stupid manuals! (Yes, I believe that our guardian angels have a bit of a laugh at us now and then! :D)
Norma-Anne Hough03/29/08
Very good and funny. Having struggled years ago with "dos" myself i really can offer you my sympathy! Nice piece for the showcase.
Beth LaBuff 03/29/08
What fun to read! I hope you were finally given your mouse back. Who would have thought there'd be so much commotion over a "dead mouse". Congrats on being the FW Frontpage Showcase author!