Friday, August 14, 2009

The Diabolical Email

John often forwards me emails that he thinks would be of interest to me and yesterday was such an occasion. The email was a power point slideshow of picturesque places in Venice, Italy...lovely old buildings, villas, palazzos, the canals and gondolas. His email came with a disclaimer that on his PC the background sound would not work, so I imagined I would experience likewise. However I turned on my speakers just in case.

Powerpoint opened with photos of beautiful Venetian imagery and Pavarotti singing "O sole Mio" in the background, quite Italian and most enjoyable.
Perhaps the presentation was a little overly long as toward the end I had heard Pavarotti's rendition almost 3 times through and was getting tired of it. That's when it happened. My PC froze up, the powerpoint slideshow stood motionless, frozen on one photo frame. No cursor. No exit or click buttons to be seen.
Trapped on screen with no apparent way to exit. I attempt "Ctrl - Esc". Still nothing. Meanwhile Pavarotti's now in the fourth round of "O Sole Mio". Somehow, most likely out of sheer luck, I manage to call up a toolbar menu window but had no idea just where to head to find this now annoying program and shut it down. Went to fetch my hubby, as the musical strands of "O Sole Mio" continued to play. By the time I found John, Luciano Pavarotti's now on his 5th encore.

John was impressed that I had gotten the sound, but he insisted I should right click my mouse and not bother with the pop-up menu that I had gotten. Did so. Things got ugly, now there was absolutely no mouse function at all , the pop-up window would no longer pop up. My monitor is frozen on a picture of a Venetian canal and of course the ever present strands of Pavarotti's "O Sole Mio" relentlessly filled the room .

No way to shut off the speakers as the speakers are a part of my monitor and I no longer had any control over my monitor. Helpless, unable to escape, it was akin to Chinese water torture ! Last recourse is to shut down the whole PC. I pushed the off button ... NOTHING ... just Pavarotti singing his heart out.
Pushed and Pushed and Pushed again still nothing, was becoming disparate enough to take my chances and unplug the whole unit, cut off its power source and stifle Pavarotti before he could utter yet another volley of "O Sole Mio".
Finally there was a familiar "Click" and with a sigh of relief my computer shut down, screen went dark and Pavarotti fell silent.

Oh blessed silence !!!!

Now I'm not a Pavarotti hater, his voice is quite lovely and I can take a bit of opera, every now and then, but this incident had truly stretched my limit of endurance. I told John he had been fortunate that his computer wouldn't play the music, to which he replied; "Yeah, it must have known something was up and said; 'Hell no! I'm not going to activate the sound on this one'. "

I responded, "How come you got the Smart Computer? Wish mine could have been so smart. Having the computer freeze up wasn't so bad it was listening to "O Sole Mio", over and over and over and over again that was tortuous !"
Pretty soon we were both laughing so hard that we could hardly take a breath. I had tears of laughter streaming down my face. Neither of us have laughed that long or that hard in ages ... felt really good to do so.
Thanks Pavarotti ... ah but I don't think I'll be replaying that powerpoint slide show any time soon.


  1. Oh that is the worst! I always fear its a virus when that kind of stuff happens but then my scan software never finds anything & I remember that computers were just built by humans and that even we just need to crash every once in a while. Hey at least you got a few laughs out of it right?

  2. Jenn - Yep we got one good, rip roaring laugh out of that one. Unless you've been stuck in an elevator with Pavarotti singing "O Sole Mio" over and over ad infinitum, you will never know just how funny it is...afterwards !!! :D Odd how, given a bit of time, the humor of a situation can become abundantly clear.


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