Chapter 49

DOOMed

Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 08:57:53 PM EST


 
I'm in a REAL bad mood. I've had a REAL bad day.

 

 

 



It started out well enough, pretty much like any other day, with the alarm clock rudely calling me to work.
Work... Jesus, I wish I was independently wealthy so I could buy an island somewhere and never have to deal with the species homo sapiens ever again. But this morning, even work started out OK. I spent an hour in the office, then told the acting boss (the real boss is on vacation) I would probably have my brakes fixed after my appointment and didn't know when I'd be back.
I had an appointment with some government bureaucrats to see if I could get child support. Fucking bitch should have stayed out of my retirement money.
I was lucky I wasn't in Europe, because it was a beautiful 70 degrees. Very lucky, as 70 degrees in Europe would be a hundred fifty eight here.
I was in an excellent mood. I greeted the guard at the door, gave him my name and signed a sign-in sheet, and waited about 20 minutes for a government caseworker.
She was pleasant, and had me fill out a government form and sign more papers than you have to sign to buy a house. I was there about an hour.
I left, and took my car down to the garage. I told them I needed the brakes fixed and the oil changed, and to see if they could find out where all the oil was leaking. If it's that big main seal at the bottom that costs a ton, I'll keep dumping oil in it. If it's a valve cover gasket then fix it. They told me they'd call me to let me know what it was going to cost, and gave me a ride home.
My daughter was still asleep. I woke her up and asked her if she had to work today. “Yeah, from eleven to two.”
Damn. I was going to use her car. Well, I'd drive her to work and could she get a ride home?
I dropped her off at the mall where she works, and drove a quarter mile to Best Buy. I wanted DOOM.
Some Best Buy kid greeted me at the door, and I asked him if they had DOOM. “Yeah, they have a big display in the middle of the store.” I walk down there, and there are four five by four foot cardboard shelves making a cube, all filled with mostly empty.
Christ, this game is selling. The display looked like it would hold a few hundred copies of the game, and there were only a couple dozen there. Yeah, maybe it's a marketing illusion designed to mimic popularity by not stocking very many, but there is a small crowd of people plucking copies like they're getting paid for it. Most of them are old fucks like me.
“I wonder if my new computer will play this thing?” I wondered out loud. “Well,” some guy says, doubt in his eye. I could read his little mind, “Gee, mine's not brand new!”
“How fast is your processor?” he asks. “It's a 1.8 ghz PIV,” I reply. “Hmm.... what kind of graphics card?”
“NVidea, but I couldn't tell you what model. No matter,” I said, “If I don't have enough computer I'll just buy some more parts.” I took it to the cash register and paid for it, just short of sixty bucks.
Fucking elitists, expensive as hell and you need a brand new computer to play it, and they still make money hand over fist! It boggles my mind.
So by this time it's close to when I normally have lunch. Now, last year I was on a temporary assignment really close to Boone's Saloon, and got to eating lunch there every day. They have damned good lunches, the help is all pleasant and the service is good. But the food is excellent. If you're ever looking for somewhere good to eat in Springfield, there are a lot of very good restaurants, but mostly the bars have better food and lower prices.
Best of all, Boone's has about a dozen different kinds of beer on tap, from Busch to XX.
I ordered a pilsner and a blackened prime rib salad, the special today. Now, before you think this is some snobby dump, it's not; the pilsner I ordered was Busch. And the salad was about five bucks, a huge bowl with plenty of meat.
I may sound like I'm singling out Boone's but all the bars are that good. I've been eating at a different place lately, since I'm too far from Boone's. Top Cats is every bit as good, plus they have all you can eat walleye on Fridays. Of course, so does Frankie's, but I dislike Frankie and hate his shitty little bar. Even if their food is good. The service there sucks; I hear it's because he treats his help like shit. Businesspeople, let that be a lesson to you.
I open up the DOOM package, and start reading the fucking manual (or “FM” as they call it at slashdot). My salad comes, so I put the FM down.
“Wow, DOOM 3 is out?” the waitress asks. Pretty little thing, not old enough to pour beer. “My brother had the first DOOM. That was a fun game!”
I talked about DOOM with the pretty little waitress for a minute, and she went to wait on a different table and I ate the salad. The prime rib seemed more plentiful and with bugger hunks than I remembered. Too bad they closed down a few years later.
This was a wonderful day. I finished my lunch, left a tip, paid and walked outside...
...straight into the ovens of hell.
The 70 degrees Fahrenheit seemingly had turned into 70 degrees Centigrade. It's Illinois in August, where Satan comes to warm up when hell gets too chilly.
I got in Patty's car, and holy shit it's hot! She doesn't have an air conditioner. Damn. Or maybe damned.
I pulled out as the light turned green. And almost got slammed by someone running the light. My day had turned a corner, and not a good corner, either. The guy who ran the red light was one of the better drivers I encountered on my way back to work.
But I got there. And not in too good a good mood. I was glad to be in the air conditioning... damn, though, I was still hot.
There was a note on my chair. As I was puzzling over it, its author came in. I'd gotten some of the “controls” in the “experimental” group. Oops. Oh well, easily fixed.
“But you have the experimentals listed in alphabetical order.” Yep, standard operating procedure.
“But these are time-dependent!”
“You didn't tell me that!”
“But why did you change the order??”
“So people could find the items easier when they see this dumb report. And for me to find bad data because I'm suspecting there are some really bad data in there.”
“Well, it has to be in the order you found it on this one document!”
She never could explain why SOP wasn't being followed. The bottom line was I was going to have to redo the whole damned thing, and I had been so glad to be done with it. My mood went from not good to fucking pissed. Shit! Fuck! Son of a bitch! Goddamn it!
“I'm pretty darned frustrated by this,” I said.
I studied it for a couple of minutes, wondering why I ever quit smoking, and remembering how God damned hot it was outside, and how God damned cold it gets in the winter, and how you second class citizens (AKA “smokers”) have to go outside every hour. And figured maybe I could move some rows around or something and fix it up...
A couple hours of mindless drudgery later, and she comes back in.
“Now I'm frustrated!”
“What?”
“That document that was supposed to have the right order was in the wrong order.”
Somehow, I made it all the way to four o'clock with not only not murdering anyone with my teeth, but without even being brusque or rude.
But before that happened, my cell phone rang about three. It was the garage, and they'd been trying to get hold of me all day. God damned cell phones... Now it'll be tomorrow before I get my car back. But at least there was some good news: I only needed pads on the front, and an inexpensive seal for the leak.
I stepped out at four, and it was hot. Didn't seem quite as bad as earlier though. At least, until I'd driven a few blocks,
Smoke came from under the hood. The smell of rubber; the car wasn't on fire, thank God. But Patty's going to need a belt or hose or something.
Sweat pouring down my jowls... when I was skinny I never sweated. Now I sweat like a horse. And the heat isn't helping my mood either.
A city vehicle, one that drives cripples and blind people around Springfield cuts me off, nearly taking my front bumper. I lay on the horn, signal, get over, and pass him. He proceeds to speed up, and drove three feet from my bumper all the way from 6th street to McArthur. #131, if you happen to be an SMTD supervisor or Mayor Davlin or somebody. You sure hire some incompetent assholes, you know that? And guess what, I can't vote against the driver of #131 this fine 4:10PM August 4 2004 in Springfield, Illinois, or his supervisor, but damn it I can vote against your damned ass, mayor. And I plan on doing so. Fucktards.
I put some gas in Patty's car, and put air in one of her tires, thankful that I didn't buy them in Scotland where they were invented and where I'd be forced to call them “tyres”. And of course, I bought a six pack of Rolling Rock.
I get home and immediately drink two full glasses of water, and open a beer, and tear the cellophane from DOOM's CD jewel case. I stick the CD in, and it says...
“Now installing the DOOM 3 Installer...” which I find mildly amusing.
Then it says “In order to run the DOOM 3 installer you must reboot your computer. Do you wish to reboot now?”
What a stupid fucking question. I'm trying to install a fucking game I've been waiting years for.
After the reboot, the installation screen comes up, and I'm impressed. It is in a window, but the window has no frame, no border, no title bar. But it doesn't fill the screen; there are icons around it. Never saw a program do that in Windows before.
I click “Install"
“WARNING! You are currently trying to install DOOM 3 on an unsupported Operating System (Windows 95/98/98SE/ME/NT). If you proceed with the installation you will not be able to run the game. Are you sure you want to continue to install DOOM 3?”
God Fucking Damn IT!!!!!
Do one of you l33t h4x0rz have a copy that will run on Linux? Because, God Damn it, I am NOT going to buy Windows again.

 

 


Chapter 48
Index
Chapter 50

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