Jul 13, 2010

Spilled Tea - Laptop Died - I Cried!

Yes, it happened – I spilled tea on my, relatively new, and very expensive laptop. I couldn’t believe it. I was always so careful. And from the time my daughter was old enough to tap her tiny fingers on the keypad I have preached about the importance of never having liquid of any sort near the computer. I was stunned, speechless, and that’s a rear happening for me I can assure you.

So what did I do? What did I learn? What did it teach me – for I do believe most things happen in our lives to teach us something; my default thinking I’m proud to say after 20+ years of watching the Oprah show.

Well, the first thing I did when I recovered my vocals was screech. And, I hate to admit it, but the second thing I did was spew a litany of unrepeatable profanities as I saved and closed files at record speed.

The stench of burning wires was unreal. My adorable little silver box of technology suddenly reminded
me of  Old-Sparky on Death Row in Stephen King's  book, "The Green Mile" only it was my ass frying along with it. Once I had it unplugged, I yanked it off its stand and turned it upside down while open in an attempt to let the tea drain out of it. Quote – I did say in an attempt – nothing came out.

I tried a blast of the hair dryer, on the cool setting mind you, I didn't want to fry it any worse that it already was. More tears, and a few words no good honest Irish Catholic girl would ever want her father to hear her say. Finally, I sat in the chair horrified at the sight before me and thanked God and every Saint known to mankind, that I had backed up my work the night before.

I wasn't just tired the previous night, I was shattered. It is nothing short of a miracle that I plugged in Click-Free to let it do it’s job before collapsing into bed. No, you don't have to copy or paste, or do anything with it other than plug it in and wait for it to backup – but when you are out of your face with tiredness after a long day at the computer it’s very easy to say, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Boy was I glad I hadn't left till tomorrow what I could do that day, as that wonderful saying goes.

The second thing I learned was NEVER EVER go anywhere near a laptop with liquid of any sort. You would think I would have known that after preaching for years to my daughter but…
Now don’t get me wrong here – it’s not like I was stupid enough to sit down to have a cuppa beside my laptop – oh no, far from it.

I suffer horrendously with sciatica; a burning sensation down my legs and it gets particularly bad when I am sitting, so I get up every hour or so and stretch my limbs. On this occasion, I decided to get a cuppa and read a chapter while pacing the floor slowly. It was either that or lie flat on my back on the floor, and whilst I often write that way, it’s quite difficult to drink tea in that position. Anyway, with tea in hand I reached across the laptop to get my glasses. I staggered, caught my toe in the base of the chair, and splash…..

Now if ever I needed proof that I am addicted to my writing, that writing is my oxygen, by golly I got it when my laptop fired. The fear of loosing my work consumed me. I knew I had backed up but I had never actually tried to replace work from my backup to know if it was working properly.

My fingernails got the works – the dog got yelled at – sleep eluded me, copious quantities of tea and coffee was consumed and my daughter was blessed she was away until my fingers were back on the keypad. Basically, normality only resumed on discovering my files were safe.

So my dear people – learn from my mistake and make sure you are ten foot away from the computer when you have the cuppa in your hand, and Back-Up, Back-Up Back-Up your work daily.

With a smile


  1. Hi,

    Been there done that, and it's a bummer!

    Did the same as you flipped it upside down and shook it, (designed to take minor bumps) didn't do the hairdryer bit until I'd used umpteen paper towels pressed to keys to draw forth moisture (still upside down). It worked, left it overnight and come morning (not too far distant from woodburner) it fired up first kick! Bless the pen-sticks I say, backup with one of those daily!


    I always, always keep a box of tissues alongside the laptop.

  2. Hi Francine - Thanks for the comment. I love getting them. It's nice to know one is not talking to the ethers!
    I wasn't so lucky with my laptop. I believe the mistake I made was starting it - or should I say trying to start it too soon. We live and learn!
    You just might be right as regards leaving the tissues alongside the laptop lol
    With a smile

  3. Hello, i see you have not updated your blog in a while, yes..these blogs are sooo time consuming. and one feels like one is talking to onesself at times, but i suppose one could thing of them as a sort of open historic diary of sorts for the world look at from time to time. i hope you are still writing. its a lonely difficult road sometimes. anyway take care Ivan

    1. Hi Ivan
      Thank you for taking the time to comment. This is possibly the most neglected blog on the net. You are so right - blogs are time consuming and between reading, writing, editing, editing and even more editing, not to mention twitter and facebook, one would almost need to cancel the rest of life to have enough time for a blog. However, I could no more give up writing than I could give up breathing. It's who I am.
      Thanks again for your comment
      With a smile

  4. I also faced similar accedent today... but i had and idea... i purchase cheap and big deodorant spray can and did spray on angle between keys' bottom and keyboard chip to wash any suger riched liquid of tea... it is "almost" clear now :o)