From the prompt: https://smcadman.com/2016/11/06/52weeks-shortsto…-6-writingprompt/
A F*cking Comedy of Computer Errors and Love!
by SM CADMAN
“He’s the best. But I should warn you… he has a small neurological quirk. Well, it’s rather a humorous one,” Chris my editor said.
“Most of these computer science geniuses do. He’s a graduate of MIT. It’s exactly what makes them so creative, intelligent and—perfect at their jobs.”
I scrunched up my nose and thought for a minute.
“At this point I don’t care what neuro-whatever quirks he has. Can he get this Ransomware off my pc? It’s bricked my machine! The article is due on Wednesday. I’m in a bind. I’ve tried everything. I’m not paying the ransom for it. A picture keeps popping up with some stupid FBI warning it. Screw that!” I responded.
“He’s the best in the business. Long-time hacker, from the early days of the Internet. Usenet and IRC etc. He’s around our age too. He’s a pretty cool guy. Most of these men and women in computers nowadays, the best ones at least, are somewhat nuts. But in a very good way. Trust me on this. Just go with the flow. He’s a bit unorthodox. And very verbal,” he laughed.
“Use-what, IRC-what? Fine, fine. What’s the name of the business and what’s his number?”
“We Yell At Computers Repair Inc.! 1-800-GOT-BOTS”
“Shit Chris… you can’t be serious?!”
“Dead. Serious. Trust his process. He really is a genius. His name is Abe. He’s worked everywhere. From the government to private security firms. He’s pretty much semi-retired. He does this now to keep busy and because he loves it so much. He knows his hardware and code.”
“He’s semi-retired? But he’s our age? Okay. Calling him now.”
I hung up the phone. Stared at the numbed I had scrawled across the Post-It. Well, it can’t get any worse, right? I dialed the number. It rang.
“Uh hello, is Abe there? Chris Merriman referred me to you. I have Ransomware on my computer,” I explained.
“Fucking piece of shit! Oh! Oh! Sorry,” Abe said.
Okay. It just got weird and worse.
“What the fuck?!” I hollered back.
“Oh I should explain. I’m so sorry. I have Tourettes. Son of a mother pooper-shithead!” Abe blurted out.
“Didn’t mean to scare you. I also have High-Functioning Autism. Damn booger turds!”
“OH! I understand. All good. If it’s any consolation, I have Bipolar disorder myself,” I giggled.
He laughed. I laughed. We laughed so hard it took a few minutes for both of us to regain our senses.
“So you have Ransomware? Damn fucking bastard Blackhats!”
“That’s exactly what I called them too! But without the black-whatever. Yes. I clicked on some link. I guess my firewall didn’t detect it was malicious. Now every time I boot up it locks up. So yeah. Damn fucking black-whatever-bastards!” I giggled as I said it.
“Blackhats,” Abe explained, “It’s just a term we use for the bad hackers. They’re the bad guys on the web,” He said laughing.
“I can stop by today and take a look at your pc, I assume it’s a Windows machine, what’s the OS, operating system, Windows 8.1?”
“Yes! Exactly that. How about at 2pm today?” I asked.
“That sounds good. Shitty, titty fucking boobies! I’m sorry. It gets worse around women. My apologies. What’s the address?” He asked.
I laughed so hard I had to take the phone away from my face. I muffled the receiver with my hand. I brought the receiver back to my mouth.
“It’s 1337 Yonge St.”
“LEET! She’s fucking Leet! Okay. See you at 2! So sorry again,” Abe said as he hung up the phone.
I put the phone back in its cradle. I laughed so hard I gave myself a stomach ache. I clutched my stomach. I had a half hour to tidy up. I wondered what he meant by Leet. I cleaned up then did a quick search on my mobile to find out more info about Abe and his business. I came across an ad with a meme picture of Abe Simpson from The Simpson’s on it, yelling at a computer, I chuckled. The reviews on Yelp! of him and his work were positively glowing with accolades. I found his website and saw a picture of him too. Below a photograph on his site I saw his name, Avram Klein. He was in his early 40’s and very handsome. I spent the better part of twenty minutes reading various articles about computers and security he had posted on it.
The door bell rang. It was Abe. I answered it.
“Why hello! So nice to me you. I’m Isabella,” I said.
“Hi!” Abe smiled.
“Come in. The computer is in my office. Would you like some coffee Abe?”
“She’s so fucking hot! Oh my god. So sorry. My tics have been particularly bad this week. It’s been one thing after another,” He nervously laughed.
“It’s all good. How long or how did it start?” I inquired as he walked in. I showed him to my office. He put down his box of tools and computer bag with a large assortment of cables, black boxes and back-up drives.
“Well, it started with my dad actually. He had Tourettes too. Pussy-pussy-pussy! Gah. Sorry. So the HFA was just the icing on the neurological fruitcake of hell that is my life,” He said laughing.
“I deal with it. It’s got me into trouble more than once. I’ve been kicked out of all the fanciest places on earth. The Autism I’ve grown accustomed to. I’ve had fairly good help with it throughout my life. I’ve just accepted it’s who I am. For better or worse. Today it’s worse,” He winked and smiled.
“Coffee should be done by now. I’ll grab you a cup. What do you take in it?”
“Bit of milk and sugar, thanks.”
“Back in a minute.”
I made the coffee and returned with it. I sat the cup down on the bookcase near my desk.
“So, do you have a password for it? Let’s boot it up and take a look.” Abe pulled out a small notepad.
“What’s the password?”
“1092RedOrangeGreen,” I said.
“Case specific? Here better write it out for me,” He passed me his notepad and a pen.
I wrote it out.
“Ah I see. I’ll have to reboot it in safe mode. I’m going to then back up everything. Think I have just the tool to remove it. Did it come up with fucking dammit shit! fucking dammit shit! ugh, sorry, with a warning saying it was encrypted with a police blurb on it?”
“Yes! Exactly that. Then it threatened something to do with coins. Bitcoin. It wanted that to decrypt my hard drive. I turned it off immediately,” I said.
“Have you been backing it up to One Drive, your files? I’ll back it up too and see if I can clone the drive. Give me an hour or two. It’s going to be a while. Here’s my standard waiver, have a read through and sign. I also respect other people’s privacy so I won’t go through your files or anything either. Go watch some TV and relax,” He said as he handed me the waiver.
I read through it, signed it and handed it back to him then left the room.
I went back to the living room, sat on the couch with my mobile and started outlining my article that was due on Wednesday. I kept hearing various swear words and tics emanating from my office. I heard shrieks and soft yelling too. I laughed. I dozed off while listening.
“Wake up! Fuckedity-fuck-fuck-fuck!” Abe said.
“Oh I must’ve dozed off. What time is it?” I asked.
“It’s 8:00 pm. It’s fixed,” Abe smiled.
He showed me it was up and running as good as new. He had also installed new security measures and antivirus plus firewall.
“$125,” He said.
“Why so cheap?! Will a cheque do?”
“Because I love doing it. And I don’t like to take more than I need. That would be fine.”
I walked him to the door.
“Say Abe, would you like to get a drink sometime?”
“I’d like that very much. Fucking score! The hot chick asked us out! Booyah! Booooo-yah! Booyah! Sorry again.”
“It’s okay. I’ll call you tomorrow.”