Screen Crud

I was typing merrily away when I saw it:  a renegade period in the middle of my sentence.  I backspaced to delete it but even after my cursor passed by, it remained impudently in place.

What the…?

Closer examination revealed that it was actually a bit of crud stuck to my computer screen.  When I cleaned it off, though, I realized exactly how much more crud there was.

It looked like tiny splatters of… something.  I have no idea what.  I don’t eat while I’m typing, so it can’t be food.  (Although if I had a third hand I probably would eat at the same time.  Maybe our children’s children’s children will evolve a convenient third appendage after generations of keyboarding.)

Anyway, I don’t have a third hand, so the crudfest isn’t food.

Even though I’ve come close to spewing a mouthful of tea over my screen when I run across something particularly funny, it’s never actually happened.  So it can’t be beverage droplets.

If I’m going to cough or sneeze I contain it.  The crud definitely isn’t snot.  (Which is a comforting thought, because, eeuw.)

We don’t have kids and Hubby has his own laptop, so it’s not someone else’s crud.

Back in the days when cats shared our house I could have pointed the finger of blame at kitty noses, but the last of our elderly felines departed this world over ten years ago and my laptop is much newer; so that theory’s shot.

If I used voice-to-text I might suspect aerosolized spit, which, to my own embarrassment, I discovered we all emit while talking despite our best efforts.  But I don’t talk while I’m working.  Not even unintelligible muttering, which would theoretically reduce the spray range.

But if I’ve eliminated all the likely suspects, what is the screen crud?

I’m stumped.

I suppose it could be deliberately flung there by evil relatives of the sock imps:  Computer imps that reside in the cracks between the keys.

I’m imagining something like our university dining hall a couple of eons ago, where the meal wasn’t complete until at least one person had catapulted a spoonful of Jello onto the ceiling and made it stick.  By the end of the term that ceiling looked like a stained-glass window designed by a lunatic.

So maybe when I close the laptop at night, the laptop imps creep out and fling imp-Jello up at the screen.

Or it might be the invisible ghosts of long-dead copyeditors who are trying to change the punctuation in my work, only to be frustrated when I continue to type and the text scrolls down.

Maybe it’s a squadron of microscopic incontinent flying insects on organized strafing runs.

Or maybe it’s tiny spiders hanging from the ceiling, taking a dump on me as a comment on the quality of my work.  (Spiders are a tough audience.)

I dunno; but if you see me hunched under an umbrella while typing away on my laptop, you’ll know why.

Anybody else have theory as to the origin of screen crud?  Please tell me I’m not the only one getting dumped on by spider-critics!

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Beware The Sock Imps

I’ve just realized socks are the handiwork of evil. Not big bad eat-your-soul-for-breakfast evil; but something smaller and more mischievous, like imps. Think about it: No other garment causes as much annoyance.

Okay, I know you’re shaking your head and mumbling, “Nuh-uh. There are worse things than socks.”

That’s very true. For example, most women and a large percentage of men believe female undergarments are the contrivances of Satan himself. Women know this because we have to wear them, and any man who’s tried to manipulate the devilish little hooks and clasps one-handed while simultaneously maintaining a suave distraction will surely agree.

But never mind that; we all know women’s underwear is Big Evil. I’m talking about little evil.

Sock evil.

It’s gotta be imps. Why else could you put an even number of socks into the wash but find an odd number after the cycle is complete? Either the imps steal socks out of washer/dryers or else they’re employed in the manufacturing process, knitting every second sock out of some water-soluble substance that looks identical to cotton. Then they weave in a time-delay spell so that only one sock will dissolve per load… each and every time.

That would also explain why, when I’ve bought twenty identical pairs of socks so I can match them up effortlessly, after several washings they don’t match anymore. Some are still white with their elastic crisp and intact while others are as gray and baggy as socks twice their age.

Or maybe imps sneak into my laundry basket and randomly snatch a sock to polish their impmobiles*. Then when the sock is thoroughly grubby they stretch its elastic out of shape and return it to the basket with spiteful little giggles.

And what about the fact that within ten minutes of buying new socks, at least half develop holes in the toes? While I am willing to consider the possibility that I either have freakish sabre-toes or a talent for selecting defective socks (or both), I’d swear that sometimes the holes appear before I’ve even worn the socks. So I can’t rule out the possibility of sock-nibbling imps in my drawers. (Yikes, that sounds both alarming and painful. I meant my dresser drawers.)

Or maybe the socks develop holes because the special dissolving fibres got clumped together in one place instead of being evenly distributed. A defective manufacturing defect, if you will. Imps probably aren’t great at quality control.

I’m pretty sure a misery-inducing spell is woven in during the manufacturing process, too. If you’ve ever worn socks inside winter boots, you know what I mean. Your socks can have elastic tops that rival tourniquets for tightness, but within ten steps the socks begin to creep down. And down. A block later, they’re bunched into a painful wad around your instep.

So you stop and take off the boot, which pulls off the sock, too, so you’re left balancing precariously with your bare-naked foot waving around in the 30-below air. Now you must retrieve the sock from inside the boot, pull on the sock, and reinsert your newly-clad foot in the boot; all without falling into a snowbank.

And regardless of whether you fail or succeed, you know you’ll have to do it again in another block.

Malicious sock imps. They’re the only logical answer.

*Yes, imps own vehicles.  How else can you explain the AMC Gremlin?