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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fringeville Edition #30, August 28 2011

I put in a full Saturday at the office doing equipment maintenance and related chores. We were also doing electrical work elsewhere in the building that required a planned power outage, so I found myself in the dark swapping out big-ass UPS batteries by the glow of a flashlight.

Most of the time, I was laying on my side on the floor and at my age you want to spend as little time on the floor as possible (it’s just too hard getting back up). It’s also fun for me to work in the data center because the equipment racks are metal. Every minute or so one of my cochlear implant processors, which are held to my head by powerful magnets, would leap off my noggin and attach itself to an equipment rack, causing me to go instantly deaf on that side.

In the course of a work week my bionics might leap off my head a couple of times, usually when I’m bending over and changing paper in a printer. I go deaf on one side, glance up, and there’s my bionic ear sticking to the printer. 

It scares the bejesus out of people who see it happen for the first time, because they think the implants were ripped out of my head and I’m going to hemorrhage to death in front of them. 

Sorry, kids, no such entertainment (but sometimes I fall to the ground and twitch and thrash a moment, just to mess with them …I don’t do that often because, as I said, it’s just too hard to get back up).

The processors leap off my head at home, too. 

I can’t walk too close to corners in my house. Corners have metal reinforcement under the plaster, and if I pass too close: whoosh! …there goes a processor, flying off my head and attaching itself to the wall like one of those ridiculous and pathetic dust people in the Swiffer commercials.

...my ear is stuck to the mop frame...

So between rolling around on the floor and pulling my bionics off equipment racks every other minute, I wasn’t having a helluva lot of fun. Worse, I began to suspect the data center was haunted. Every once in a while I’d roll onto my right side and hear someone talking. I’d roll back to look, but no one was there. 

This happened about a dozen times. It started to spook me, frankly. I couldn’t quite make out the voice or the words because there was still some equipment running on backup battery and half the time I had one ear deaf because my bionics went airborne.

When the maintenance was finished and power restored, I went out to a cubicle in the office to plug something back into a wall outlet. As I lay on my right side on the floor I once again heard the ghostly mystery voice: SAY CHEESE!

Turns out my cell phone took a dozen photos of the inside of my pants while I was working. Let’s be merciful with the lens-size jokes, please.

 ...SAY CHEESE!

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