We've all heard about those Christmas presents which turn up broken, or don't work, or you've forgotten to buy the batteries for, or that take different sized batteries than you thought etc....etc...
Christmas presents with a bite and maybe nasty after taste to them!
I came across one this Christmas, which I thought rather novel, whether it was intended or not. It would have worked if mr. le Marquis hadn't been involved!
My neighbour, a youngish to middle aged lady (30 odd in years) has - or had - this male friend who just kind of lazed around her appartment in between occasional visits to the local markets where he tried his hand at selling all sorts of tripe nobody wants at prices that nobody is prepared to pay, before finally returning with his hands empty, moaning about the people who didn't know a good deal when they saw one!
Actually all a sort of justification for not going to the local employment agency, a place he hated, because they always had a tendency to find work for him, but NOT as the boss of anything, but rather as a picker of melons and other fuits so abundent here in the area!
This chappie had a "handle" he used - Capt'n Dan! I called him (much to his displeasure) Capt'n Haddock, a reference to French publicity for smoked fish, which seemed to me to describe his activities exactly - fishy and smoke screened! I think my humour was lost on him.
However, Capt'n Haddock had inherited a little capital and a house from his parents, so happily for him, he could invest his unemployment pay in outlandish projects like trying to sell Hell's Angels plastic flower compositions at country-wide Rock n' Roll concerts and gatherings (they call them Festivals). Really he just liked the music, but being scrawny physically, he was not accepted by the "real" men, those "Hell's Angels" and that got up his nostrils, so he invented this "trader" image, to back up his presence. Not having a motor bike at all, he always seemed rather out of place with his little Volkswagon Golf in red, with "Capt'n Dan" splashed all over it!
Anyway-to our Christmas present!
Capt'n Dan had a PC. An older one, and he didn't know what it was for or about, nor what you were supposed to do with it. Somebody had given him it to use when doing his "accounts" and had installed it for him, with all the things necessary to this purpose, plus a few other little things like Rock n' Roll programmes and music.
He never used it, but was quite proud of the fact that he possessed it, so it was really quite a surprise when he offered the thing to my neighbour who wanted desperately to go online, chatting on her once used, never forgotten "messenger".
Of course, this thing had to be reinstalled, the whole kaboodle, and who to ask but the polite, kind neighbour upstairs?
Well - after some hours of reformatting, reinstalling, setting up the necessary accounts and all the rest, all this in the impatient atmosphere of my neighbour, who just wanted to start chattig with long lost mates, and under the aloof and strongly controlling eye of Capt'n Haddock, I had finally got it all ready in time for her to start on Christmas Eve.
Capt'n Haddock had, in between times, lost totally any interest, even aloof that he ever had, and had retired to the canape, where he dozed, stretched out, occasionally letting a fart mingle in the already poisonous air, full of smoke and joint odours! A typical "rebel", which made him (or so it seemed) a hero in the eyes of my neighbour.
I thought to myself - Well - I'm going to have that little bugger, and finally finishing my efforts, I checked them through. Everything worked just fine, so I decided the time had come for "showtime".
I suggested to my neighbour that she should now close down the PC and restart from the very beginning, just to make sure she knew what to do, and if she had any questions - before I went upstairs and home.
My reasons for suggesting this procedure were totally selfish, because I had noticed a little detail when I had been re-installing, and I had left it without change!
So my neighbour got busy with her new Christmas gift from Capt'n Dan, and I installed myself, ready for a quick take off.
Capt'n Dan was indulging in the attention paid to him by the neighbour, in the style of "Oh Capt'n Dan, thank you my love for giving me the PC" kiss, kiss, hug, hug "I don't know what I'd do without you" - kisss, kisss, huggg, huggg!
A sort of superior smile came over his face, and he explained that he thought that my neighbour would now be able to appreciate all the finer points of the Computing world, particularly concerning chat/rockn'roll/accountancy programmes and so on, and it was his pleasure to put this fantastic new equipment at her disposal!
I opened the door to leave, and as I did so, I heard "Oh Jan - what's gone wrong, I can't get anything!?"
My reply was short - "Oh, didn't I tell you? You'll only be able to use it if Capt'n Haddock there tells you password he invented to enter the programme!"
As I left, the cries of "D.....A.....N..... bloody hell........ D......A.......N......." were distinctly audible, and not in a too friendly tone either!
The final look I got from Capt'n Haddock wasn't too friendly either, but I got upstairs and home before busting a gut laughing! Poor old Capt'n Dan - he had no idea what a password was, much less that he had created it!
Normal - he hadn't - I had!
Made my Christmas, and Capt'n Haddock hasn't been seen since!
Probably "gone fishing"!