Install Never

What are the two most hated words in all of computerdom? No, they’re not: Fatal Error. They are: Update Available. It took me months of experimentation to arrive at the perfect combination of computer presets, and a system update can wipe them out in twenty seconds.

Hey, give me twenty seconds alone with that tech-giant bully and I’ll shove his pushy Update Available to a very dark place where he can never hurt any of us again.

Separately those seemingly innocent words do not raise a red flag, or any color flag for that matter, but together they make my brain shout Noooo!

Just before it explodes.

Yesterday those words appeared on my screen with this added message: “A security and stability update has been downloaded and is ready to be installed.” It left me two options: Install Now or Install Later. How about Install Never? Why is Never never a choice?

To delay the pain—because these things always mean pain—I hit Install Later. But after using this “stalling” tactic several times—okay, ten times, maybe eleven—that option is rescinded. The only thing I can do now is bite the big one. I press Install Now. Then bow my head for a moment of prayer.

“Dear Computer Gods,

“Please don’t let them screw up my machine with an update designed, with cosmic irony, to make my machine work better? If you do this, I promise to always perform an orderly shutdown.”

But, of course, this never works. Computer Gods are so fickle. At this point that nasty bully has seized my computer by the collar and is demanding its lunch money. Not even a strong jab of Control-Alt-Delete makes him let go.

Operating system updates make my computer lose its mind. Type style, margins, tool bars, page view—wiped clean, replaced by hideous factory defaults. What genius thinks that Courier is a pretty typeface? It can take days to restore my machine to its former self. This trauma even affects my download speed, turning my beloved, geriatric XP machine into an aging relic with a 64-bit modem straight out of the ‘90s. And because I have a symbiotic relationship with my computer, I lose my mind too.

How much do I hate Updates? Let me count the ways. You know when you slam your fingers in the car door, but then you have to open the door again to get them out? Yeah, I hate them more than that. I hate updates more than I hate sardines and cilantro or sardines with cilantro. I hate them more than colonoscopy prep, which rates in the ten most disgusting things on Earth. I hate them more than when I pull off my underwear, not knowing that my short hairs are glued to the backside my panty liner. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about.

Oh, no! A new computer message. It says, “Sorry, we are no longer supporting XP machines.” Hallelujah!

Thank you, Computer Gods. I will never again call you fickle.