NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, July 2003
Requiem For A Mouse
by E.M. Hazell
From 12/02 "The ICON" Online Newsletter (Interactive Computer Owners Network)

It had served me faithfully, that little mouse, for at least a year. And in this time and place of throwaway societies one year is considered a long long time as far as faithful service, rendered by a mechanical device is concerned. That little mouse was of the bobtail variety. It was referred to as wireless and could travel quite a distance from that desktop village of mine. Of course sometimes the cats thought of making off with it, but I usually discouraged that. That little mouse died quietly. It just left that little cursor stranded in the middle of the monitor and nothing short of crashing the computer could persuade that cursor to move. When Faye called I was just about in the middle of a temper tantrum. I hate it when mechanical devices get the best of me.

"Did you say the mouse is wireless>? Faye asked.

"Yes, " I responded.

"Did you check the batteries?"

Of course I hadn't. Bright and brilliant Mensa person that I am, whatever made me think that the wireless mouse and keyboard needed some source of energy, like maybe a few batteries. I thanked Faye for that helpful assist. Then I called the Guru just in case it could be something more serious. He agreed with Faye. He did, however, remain on standby just in case something else was wrong. I had promised Faye to have my column in and in order to do that, I had to have access to my village.

"How long have you had that wireless set," Clarence inquired. By now I was beginning to be sort of hesitant about giving out any more information about my latest debacle. When Clarence asks a question, a truthful answer seems to be well, shall we say mandatory? Lies, even little white lies are not the stuff that good relationships and solid friendships are made of. I value Clarence as a friend as well as a computer guru.

"Since Christmas," I said.

"Since Christmas and you never once wondered where the energy for that mouse comes from?"

He didn't say anything about that Mensa thing but I could read his mind even from a distance.

"Where did you buy it?"

Actually I hadn't bought it, it had been a Christmas gift from my son; a totally unexpected Christmas gift. I hadn't been unhappy with my long_tailed mouse. I set out the following morning to purchase batteries. The mouse wasn't the only critter at this establishment dining on batteries. Faye and Clarence had been correct about pointing out to me the importance of changing batteries. As it turned out, batteries could not resuscitate my bobtailed mouse. Something more series was wrong in that entire wireless set up. "Where is that old keyboard and mouse?" Clarence asked as he was about to attempt to get things straightened out again. "I think I might have accidentally sort of given it away," I replied. That was a lie; accidentally was stretching the truth a little. And now it was time for another lesson. That lesson is clearly imprinted on my mind: ALWAYS KEEP A BACKUP HANDY.

I'm writing this column on Clarence's backup device. I still have another lesson to learn, like how to purchase the kind of device most suitable for my own personal computer needs. But in the meantime I'm having to compose a proper requiem for my fallen comrade. "Whoever heard of a requiem for a mouse, and a mouse as a sidekick is laughable," Nor was it thinkable that I should get by with anything here without Grandmama putting in her penny's worth of opinion. But this time I had her. "Walt Disney died a rich man because of a mouse in his desk drawer." "I don't see you getting rich with your mouse!" "That's a different mouse!" "A mouse is a mouse is a mouse; a mouse is a varmint and the only good mouse is a dead mouse." As far as Grandmama was concerned, that was an absolute. Mice usually ate into the profit as far as the farmer was concerned. I conceded. Grandmama would always be right. Still, there was that brave little mouse that responded to my every click.

"Last time it was that brave little Umax. Now it's that brave little mouse. Maybe you starved it to death when you didn't provide those 'batteries.' Any plans for some demise next month?" I took a moment before I responded. "I'm thinking of having my office exorcised to keep the spirit world away." "Didn't I tell you I had myself immunized against exorcisms? " There seemed to be a gentle breeze and she was gone. I could have sworn it was a kiss on the cheek. I could never bar her from own private little kingdom. Life would be so terribly dull with out her. Of course, there was still the matter of a requiem for my bobtailed mouse. A few bars of Beethoven entered my mind. And as I hummed along I thought; Why not. I'm certain Beethoven wouldn't mind.

There is no restriction against any non-profit group using the article as long as it is kept in context, with proper credit given to the author. This article is brought to you by the Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal Computer User Groups (APCUG), an international organization to which this user group belongs.

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