Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Click (04/18/13)
- TITLE: Don't Be Alarmed
By Cheryl Harrison
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During peak business hours, the non-stop clickety-clack of our IBM Selectric typewriters could be heard miles away.
Clickety-clickety-clack-clack-clack, as we prepared loan documents in triplicate.
Clackety-clackety-click-click-click, as we added miscellaneous documents to the ever growing pile.
One Friday afternoon, our boss surprised us with a new computer. All work ceased as we watched a skillful technician assemble the technological miracle. He connected a myriad of cables to the machine, and then—drum roll please—he clicked the power button. The computer whirred to life. After a series of clicks and beeps, the screen welcomed us to the home page. Our gleeful applause reached heaven, and I believe the angels sang a stanza of the Halleluiah Chorus.
Static anticipation filled the air. Each cursor flash represented diminished workload and less typewriter noise-pollution. Within a few days of installation, the computer became a functional part of our office, complete with the newest version of the WordStar Merge System software.
A few weeks later, on a particularly busy day, the gentle whir of our new computer suddenly changed. It was replaced with an annoying beep.
Maggie, Patsy and I were stunned. We considered ourselves to be technology toddlers, and we didn't know anything about troubleshooting. Thus, our first response to trouble was the proverbial open-mouthed, deer-in-the-headlights stare.
Most witnesses to the bizarre ordeal would have concluded that an explosion was imminent. I cautiously approached the computer. At first, I peeked behind the monitor, and then I looked under the computer desk. Nothing appeared to be out of order.
I clicked the power button to the off position. The computer shut down, but the beeping continued.
I detached several cables and unplugged the power cord from the electric socket. Nothing changed.
I unhooked every single wire and cable. Nothing.
Maggie, Patsy and I gawked at the computer, completely amazed that the beeping had not stopped.
Then, after all the confusion, I spotted the problem. My giggles quickly changed to thunderous laughter. I pointed my index finger toward the source of all beeps. As soon as Maggie and Patsy saw what I saw, they burst into roaring laughter, as well. We must have hee-hawed for at least ten minutes. The combination of our laughter and the continued beeping of the computer brought several curious co-workers into our office. They wanted to join in on the fun.
As the laughter subsided, I knelt down next to the computer desk and unplugged one last electric cord. The beeping abruptly stopped. Glorious silence. I gently tugged the electric cord which revealed the source of the noise—a small alarm clock that had been perched on top of the computer the entire time.
Can you imagine the fun that ensued? It still makes me chuckle.
The moral of the story? Don't stress out too much when the topic for the Word Challenge is "click", because you can always write a story that beeps.
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