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Tuesday, June 20, 2006
THE VIRUS PART TWO
With computer parts now scattered across his bedroom all he needed was an extension cord to reach into the kitchen, since the only outlet on that side of the house was found there. Carter ran out to the shed and dug through nearly a dozen boxes until he found a dried brittle cord. Gramps once used it to secure his rocker to the porch in case another gas explosion was to occur. Now that gramps wandered off his family put his belongings out back in the shed.
Carter flew through the back door, plugged in the old pile of wires and plastic into the socket and hoped for science to reward him greatly for all his efforts. He pushed the on-off switch and sat back.
Much to his dismay there were no checkbooks, no girlfriends, no world wide web to take him to far away places–just a dim flickering green screen starring back at him.
"Should be someplace to change channels don't ya reckon," pa said, as he stood in the doorway, keeping his distance.
"Naw, its got one of them viruses," his younger brother Justin said. "Computers carry them viruses ya know."
Suddenly from the back porch granny started to scream in a rather piercing tone as if she was summoning up every force of darkness for miles around. She overheard Justin's comments though the family considered her nearly half deaf.
"I know'd it, I know'd it. First we get electricity poisonin' from the gobernment, now ya bring a virus home and turn it lose. Heavens to Betsy son, what are you trying to do, kill off your poor old granny," she said, waiving her cane in his face.
The remainder of the day and half way through the night granny paced the floor until she fell to the bed in a cold sweat suffering from swamp madness.
About 3:30 in the morning the screaming resumed. "Call Doc Peterson, call the parson," granny yelled. "That computer virus done took hold of me and I'm a dyin, Oh sweet chariot come take me home." At 4:12 granny got up from her bed, took her last breath and fell over dead on top of the computer that she was about to beat with her cane.
Word spread like wildfire around McCarver County that Granny Edwards succumbed to a computer virus, all because her grandson brought home an infected machine. Folks started calling Doc Peterson asking for vaccinations and antibiotics. Seemed like all the explaining in the world could not lessen the panic stirring about the county.
They laid Granny to rest the following Saturday. Some folks thought it would be best to burn the coffin and body but instead the Parson gave a simple eulogy attended by a few brave souls of McCarver County.
"Folks, now you all know the millennium is about to come to an end, well, sadly I'm here to tell you we are stuck right here and will never enter that glorious new age," said the stern faced old pastor, holding a King James tightly against his chest, with one finger stuck somewhere in the Book of Revelations.
"We have no choice but to accept fate. Much as Moses overlooked the Promise Land but could not enter there in, we too, are lookin' at the year 2000 and find ourselves locked out. According to what I been a readin' in them news magazines my dearest wife brings home from the grocery store, all them computers will lock up on December 31 of this year and we will be stuck here, completely unable to git inta the new year."
"Oh my dear friends," the parson continued, "the world will surely be a mess, but not to worry, this same ol' devil virus that killed Granny Edwards will surely kill the rest of us and the scientists who created them machines. Prepare yourselves, ye sinners, and especially you who are responsible for bringing the virus into Granny's sweet lovin home. We are surely comin' home soon."
A few amen's rumbled from the crowd as Carter slumped down as low as he could in the hard metal folding chairs. A few of the ladies were fanning themselves rather briskly and if the parson hadn't started the chorus of Rock of Ages as soon as he did a few more elderly ladies may have soon greeted the great by and by.
The funeral ended with a solemn rendition of Nearer My God To Thee sung by Matilda Evans whose husband owned the funeral parlor, guaranteeing her top spot in the funeral proceedings. Her abrasive voice had caused many a whisper in the audiences over the years. After she sat down the parson invited all to stay for some good ol' potluck funeral eatin's over at Sister Bessie Miller's .
The next day Carter traded the computer, his worn out 65 Plymouth sedan and Granny's bed which nobody would sleep in, for a ‘62 Dodge Lancer with the back seat missing. As he drove up the long hill to the Edward's homestead the radiator hose blew, releasing a great cloud of steam into the muggy evening air. Carter pulled the old dusty blue car down into the driveway mumbling what seemed to be curses under his breath.
The cost of a new hose was more cash than he could scrape up at the time. No big deal since Carter always knew he could catch a ride out on the two lane if he could wait long enough. After all, his life wasn't goin' nowhere, nohow.
The Life and Times of Carter Edwards