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Kim Komando meets Even Steven

posted by DL Byron on November 22, 2006

Just in time for the holidays, we’ve got a reader-submitted story about a wife, mother-in-law, Kim Komando, and being Even Steven.

I posted recently about not being able to play a lot of PC games on my new laptop (long story short: my wifey saved $10 by telling the Dell guy we wouldn’t be playing games on it, and now I’m probably getting a Wii for Christmas). Other than the game issue, the new laptop has worked flawlessly. I have broadband internet, wi-fi, and my own home email address for the first time. All the software works, the spyware programs seem to be doing their jobs, and Tiger Woods 2006 works great even though my chipset lacks the kung-fu to play anything else made since 2003. Despite my satisfaction with my first honest-to-god computer purchase as a 31-year-old man, my status as the universe’s offical karmic “Even Steven” proved itself once again as I came home to find my mother-in-law trying to delete files from my Windows system file.

First, some background …

My wife has torched every computer she has ever touched. I don’t know how she does it, but her computers tend to have the same average lifespan as a WWI fighter pilot. The last two computers she’s trashed, however, have mysteriously gone breasts-up shortly after my mother-in-law “heard about” some software the wifey needed or “got an email about” some setting that needed to be changed. With the last two computers, either the wifey did exactly what her mom told her to do, or the mother-in-law did it herself. In both cases, it did not take long for the computers to go from fully functional to doing an impression of Hal 9000 singing “Daisy”.

You all know where this is going, don’t you?

I come home two days ago to find my mother-in-law sitting in front of my new laptop with the Windows system file open, squinting $40,000.00 worth of cosmetic surgery behind a $5.00 set of reading glasses she bought at Wal-Mart.

Please understand that when I get angry, I have the ability to slow down time and peer into alternate realities. Think of a cross between Neo from the “Matrix” and that squirrel from “Over the Hedge”. I’ve always been able to do it, but I’ve never been able to put it to any good use. Plus, it makes me crave Diet Sprite for some reason.

Anyway, time slowed down, I see myself swipe my right hand across the mother-in-law’s left cheek, and she lifts off from the kitchen table and goes through the wall behind her. I look down to see the computer mouse pointer hovering over “OK” in a dialogue box that says “Are you sure you want to screw up your OS and spend the next 17 hours on the phone talking with ‘Pete’ from the Calcutta customer service branch?” I see a look of horror on my wifey’s face, and I see my three-year-old laughing hysterically.

Suddenly, time catches up with me, and the mother-in-law is still sitting behind my laptop and squinting. There are no holes in my walls, the wifey is working on a craft in the kitchen, and my kid has a strange look on her face as if to say, “Did you see that, too?” With all the composure I could muster, the following transpires:

Lawboy: “Nancy, what are you doing?”

mother-in-law: “I heard on Komando that if you have a file named __, you should delete it until they send you a new patch.”

Lawboy: “Who is Komando?”

mother-in-law: “Kim Komando.”

Lawboy: “Who is Kim Komando?”

mother-in-law: (Visibly annoyed and my inquiry and apparent ignorance) “She’s is a very well-thought-of radio personality. She tells you what you need to do with your computers to keep them from getting infected with spyware and stuff. She said you need to erase this particular file and disable your firewall until they release a patch.”

Lawboy: “So, the firewall isn’t going to work for a while?”

mother-in-law: “Just until they release a patch.”

Lawboy: “How do I get the patch?”

mother-in-law: “You download it when it’s ready.”

Lawboy: “Through the broadband connection?”

mother-in-law: (Now, really annoyed) “Yes!”

Lawboy: “With a disabled firewall?”

Suddenly, the wifey is struck with the realization that I am not merely pestering her mother and have fallen ass-backward into a good point.

Wifey: “Mom, maybe you shouldn’t mess with it.”

mother-in-law: “Kim Komando says you have to do it! Your computer is exposed if you have this file!”

Lawboy: “Unless Kim Komando is going to come to my house and undo whatever crap gets done to our brand new laptop on a holiday week, please don’t delete anything!”

As I am pleading with her, the mother-in-law is still squinting, still opening files, and still clicking away at the mouse. After a few more seconds of the wifey saying “Mom!” over and over, the mother-in-law finally says, “Oh well, it appears that you don’t have the file Komando was talking about.” She closes the windows and changes the subject, leaving no doubt in my mind that she would have deleted whatever file she was looking for if she had found it. Before I could unleash a verbal tirade that would have made Sam Kinison blush, my three-year-old daughter goes over to my mother-in-law and says, “Grandma, are you being difficult?”

I am definitely this kid’s father. I’m not 100% sure who the mother is, but I am definitely this kid’s father.

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