Beloved Sinners who have only ever partaken of the Communion wine in moderation will recall that last October I purchased a magnificent new multi-media laptop. Splendid in every detail (except for the fact that it came with an operating system so inherently evil it could make Bishop Spong believe in child witches), I rejoiced in the fact that my Important Ministry Research would in future be blessed by widescreen graphics rendered with such haste that I would scarcely have time to adjust myself, irrespective of how loose fitting my cassock may be.
After a small hiccup in January, when installing the operating system that was allegedly my computer’s idea (in which case, machine, let’s leave the ideas to me in the future, mmkay?) things were running more or less smoothly until one morning about a month ago, when that beautifully panoramic and hygenically-cleaned screen refused to work, plunging the machine into that state which the Scriptures term the “outer darkness”.
Yea verily, there was indeed much wailing and gnashing of teeth, but thankfully Consuella was able to find my receipt and warranty card, and a call to that nest of Satan calling itself Toshiba Customer Service deceived me into believing the device would be repaired free of charge within - at most – one week. While the forked-tongued serpent from Toshiba even promised to arrange for the recalcitrant device to collected by courier at no charge, this would have further delayed proceedings by several days, and as the repair facility is within easy driving distance I instead delivered it myself that morning, arranging to again collect it in person when repaired.
With hindsight I should have foreseen trouble when the impressively robust gentleman at reception said things should take “about 14 days” – naively I queried this 100% increase, but my concerns were dismissed with a muttered cliché about “turnover time varying”, and finding myself without a ready supply of bananas I thought it better to not push the point and risk antagonizing him.
The first week passed, and the office desktop computer struggled valiantly to fill the gap; relieved no doubt to be promoted from its usual role of file-sharing torrent server (the number of Ministry Tools to be found out there is indeed quite impressive – as I dare say Peter Ould well knows). Then another week passed, and I begun receiving cryptic messages advising Toshiba were “awaiting parts”. Then another week passed. Flowers began to bloom, and young boys became men as their voices tremulously began breaking. Maybe I never really had a laptop at all.
Finally I received a message that the accursed implement had been repaired, dispatched and delivered to me. Yesterday.
Rejecting such preterist notions of the parousia, I made a bold stand for Orthodoxy, which was in turn denied by the false prophets of Toshiba, dwelling as they do in a reality a which can only (at best) be described as “alternate”. My prior agreement to collect it in person was discounted as “impossible” on account of the repair facility “being renovated” (if so then the construction work is being undertaken on a purely spiritual level, because a subsequent visit revealed no sign of any such work whatsoever), and further attempts to ascertain something remotely resembling the truth were met with a repeated directive to “contact the delivery company” since the matter “no longer had anything to do with Toshiba”.
By the Grace of God the delivery people proved helpful – the wretched gadget wasn’t sent yesterday at all, but collected the morning after Toshiba had sent their message. And sure enough, late this evening a noble messenger did indeed disturb the Rectory hounds by ringing the bell and delivering a parcel containing my computer. Which does indeed appear to be working, although it was also accompanied by an angry note explaining the full testing procedure could not be undertaken because the password wasn’t supplied. Do I need to mention that Toshiba also returned the large piece of paper I’d given them, upon is written in letters at least 3 inches high “Password: XXX” – the same piece of paper to which I had drawn the attention of the man with whom I’d originally left the accursed contraption?
Next time I’m getting an Apple. Or even just making do with an abacus, a box of crayons and a large writing pad. Anything but buy another Toshiba.