- By Corey Brown - By Corey Brown

Severed the book

© 2019 Corey Brown

Mega Hurts

My name is Spinner, Rick Spinner. I wear an ID badge. I’m a consultant, a PC tech. I fix computers, and when I can’t fix them I blame you.


It was a typical weekday morning and there were the usual gripes about missing data, missing links, misaligned protocols and mismatched shoes---just how did that happen? I mean, really, how did I get the brown one mixed up with the black one?

Wired to my eyelids, I was working on my twenty-third cup of decaffeinated girly tea when the call came in.

“Help desk, this is Spinner,” I said. Man, twenty-three cups of that stuff and even I could tell my voice sounded like ping-pong balls on methamphetamine.

“Thank goodness,” the woman said. “You’re there.”

“Yup, I’m here. Where are you?”

“Uh, tenth floor.”

“Cool,” I said. “I’m stuck down here on twelve. Well, thanks for calling, have a nice day.”

“Wait, don’t hang up. I need your help.”


I paused. Did I detect a hint of worry in her voice? I wondered where this was going.

“Okay,” I said. “What’s the problem?”

“I’m out of megahertz.”

“Sounds personal, did you try religion? Most of the major ones are still good. Although I hear alcoholism is not very popular these days, might want to skip that.”

“Not me.” Now she sounded terse. “I’m not out of megahertz, it’s my computer.

I sighed. You have no idea how hard it is to maintain composure after not having any caffeine. I swallowed, took a breath—a calming breath---and said, “How about your computer?”


“Yeah, Zen might work or maybe Utilitarianism, but definitely not alcohol. It’s a liquid and that will not be good for your computer.”


As I said this I had to reconsider. Stupid computers. Maybe every last one of them needed some liquor, just dump it right on the system board. That would fix their wagons.


“Religion for my computer?” She said, bringing me back from my happy thoughts. “Are you serious? Computers don’t need that, do they?”

I sighed, shook my head. It was worse than I thought. “We’ll be right up,” I said.


Logging an incident in our call tracking software, my partner, Nacho Flaherty, and I snagged our toolkits and we headed out. The trip in the elevator was worrisome, not in the least because we could smell sausage cooking down on the third floor. Goat sausage. Hmm….I’d have to check on that later.


When we arrived the customer was nearly panicking.

“I don’t know what to do,” she said. “I can’t work, my computer keeps locking up and I can’t save any of my documents. One of the housekeeping guys said I was out of megahertz, and I need more memory or something like that.”

I looked at Nacho. He looked at her. She looked at both of us. So, it had come to this.

“Housekeeping, Ma’am?” I said. “You consulted housekeeping?”

“Well, not exactly. He---”

I held up my hand. “No need to explain, it's okay.”

“No, really, it’s not like that”, she said, plaintively. “He was just trying to be helpful.”

“Is that so?” I said, my eyebrows arching. Well, I can’t exactly see them without a mirror but I’m pretty sure my eyebrows arched. They must have.


“Ma’am, these are complex systems,” I said. “First of all, Hertz is a unit of frequency equal to one cycle per second and is used to measure the speed of electronic devices. The term is named after the German physicist, Heinrich Rudolf Hertz, who was the first to artificially produce radio waves. And don’t forget his breakthrough efforts at forming a car rental company. I mean, it’s true he tried to start the business before the automobile had even been invented, but that just demonstrates his genius.”


I paused, hoping this line of techno-slop would carry the day. “You see,” I went on. “Megahertz refers to millions of cycles per second. In this case, the term refers to the how fast the Central Processing Unit, also referred to as a CPU, or Central Processing Unit, will operate. And you have several million Hertz zipping around inside your computer right now. Shoot, one million of those little doo-dads would be enough, and you have way more, at least two million.


I could see a longing in her eyes. She was going for me. Soon enough she would be putty in my hands. I get it all the time. It’s the badge, always the badge. I glanced around, embarrassed, wondering if Nacho could see how this woman was putting the moves on me.


“So, what do you think?” I said. “Does that make sense?”

“Oh, yes,” she said, moving closer. She traced a well-manicured nail down my arm and said, “But are you going to fix my computer or do I need to call housekeeping?”


Ouch. Talk about mega hurts.