Tales of the CPU

Copyright 1993 by Robert L. Gidley. All rights reserved.

This is what resulted after I read a bunch of books about Urban Legends. The first two are simply computer variations on stock Urban Legend stories. The last one I made up completely. You can tell how old this piece is by the references to the computer hardware! (If you ended up here looking for information on Urban Legends, see http://www.urbanlegends.com/.)

We were sitting around the ol' CPU the other day, toasting a few chips, when a couple of the geeks started outputting stories. Well, these geeks claim that there are no errors in these stories they are the actual truth.

The Spider in the Hard Drive

"There was this guy, a friend of my mom's hairdresser, who got a really good deal on a hard drive. He went to some small computer shop that imported drives from Tanzania, or some other third world country like that. Anyway, he got a 4-gigabyte drive for like $300, plus some cereal box tops. He thought something might be wrong, so he ran home and connected it up right away, and it ran great.

"After a couple of weeks, though, he started hearing funny squeaking noises coming from the hard disk. He drove by the computer store, but they were out of business. So he decided to open up the case himself.

"When he opened it up, suddenly a million baby tarantulas started crawling out of the hard drive! Seems that a spider had laid her eggs in the hard drive in Tanzania and they got imported and hatched. He finally had to throw away his entire computer because it was full of bugs."

The Death Computer

"I heard about this great deal on a computer from a friend of my brother-in-law's dentist. It was like a 486/66, fully loaded with 32 megabytes of RAM, triple-speed CD-ROM, 24-inch monitor, the works, all for $400! The story is it belonged to this computer programmer who did graphics programming. Well, one time he was heavy into programming and forgot to eat and he passed out on his computer.

"Well, he had his own office where he worked and he always worked with the door closed. His coworkers were used to him disappearing for a couple of days, and they knew better than to disturb him. So he passed out from hunger and didn't wake up and died and he laid on his computer for like a week before anybody smelled his body.

"And they opened the door and there was this really awful smell coming out, because he had been dead for a week. And the smell had gotten into his computer and all the parts of it smelled really terrible, and nobody could stand to work on it. So they sold it really cheap to this second-hand computer store, and they sold it to this lady for like half price, but after a week she brought it back and said it smelled really bad.

"So they kept knocking the price down, but nobody who bought it could stand the smell, and they tried everything to get the smell out, but it wouldn't work, and the last this friend of my brother-in-law's dentist heard, you could buy this computer for like $400."

Glow in the Dark Eyeballs

"There was this guy who did a lot of desktop publishing, with color graphics and stuff. And he kept wanting a bigger monitor, so he could see what he was doing better. So he finally talked his boss into getting him a 30" monitor, and this guy thought he'd died and gone to heaven.

"Even though he had a really huge monitor, he sat really close to it, like about three inches away from the screen, so he could see really well. And there was a problem with this monitor there was a defect in the radiation screen and it gave out extra radiation. It would have been okay if he had sat far enough away, but he sat really close to it.

"And one day, he was on this really rush project that just had to be done by the morning, so he worked all night on it, sitting really close to the screen. Well, the receptionist was the first one to arrive the next morning, and when she saw him, she screamed! His eyeballs were all big and glowing! All that radiation all night had zapped his eyeballs and now they glowed in the dark! This is a true story, because I have a friend who knows the janitor at the company where this really happened."

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Copyright 1993 by Robert L. Gidley. All rights reserved.