Thursday, July 06, 2006

I Am Superman And I Can Do Anything 

Dog Found. Dog Found. Dog Found. Table Top Sale. Dog Found.

It was so close today. Mid-afternoon the clouds turned a murky shade of yellow, like giant cigarette stains lit from above by fluorescent tubes. Distant objects appeared at once nearer and further away, less clearly defined.
The spire of St. Walburge’s - Preston’s very own Space Needle - and the pylons along the dual carriageway, the Toytown car dealerships, the shimmering traffic: all seemed muted, diffused, otherworldly, like when you’ve got a pair of tights pulled down over your head. A warm breeze gathered strength. It felt like it was about to piss down. The day couldn’t have been more muggy if it had biffed you over the head and ran off with your iPod.

Sure enough, lightning struck. The lights flickered and half the data centre went down.
Terry was in Waterstones, shopping for dictionaries, and Mike was having his afternoon wank, so it was just me to the rescue for the first twenty minutes, armed to the teeth with serial cables and a few 9 to 25 pin gender benders. I became Bruce Willis on a heroic mission to switch a load of computers back on again.

Suddenly it was as if my input mattered.
Calmly: “It’s Tom, isn’t it? What’s the prognosis, Tom? When can you get us back online?”
Slightly panicky: “Estimated TOA, Tom? The customers are starting to get jittery.”
Bordering on hysteria: “Thank goodness you’re here, Tom. We all believe in you. Go, Tom! Go!”
Completely whacko: “Do you think there’ll be a heaven, Tom? Will it have television and the internet? Can we take our teddies?”

I was Superman. I was Jesus with a Chris Martin complex, come to fix you, and you, and you.
With Mike on the job, or off the job, whatever, we had everything restored by home time, including our anonymity.
No word of thanks from Bill Surname CEO, no more pestering from loony account managers, no telegram from the Queen.

Driving home I counted yet more posters on telegraph poles and lampposts: Dog Found. Dog Found. Table Top Sale. Dog Found. Dog Found.
“If they’re still there in a week,” I promised myself, “I might just enquire about that table top sale.”
But I know I won’t really.

It never did rain.

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