Rice Saves the Day

Posted: October 2, 2016 in Life
Tags: , , , ,

Mistake #1: Having a glass of water anywhere near my laptop.

Mistake #2: Forgetting there was a cat in the apartment.

Mistake #3: Letting the cat get anywhere near that glass of water.

The cat stretched up to grab the water glass, I saved it from toppling to the ground, and in retaliation a small dribble ended up on my keyboard. A little bit of paper towel and it’s all cleaned up, right? Right? It’s not the first time my keyboard has had a close encounter with H20 so I wasn’t even on high alert.

And then the screen started freaking out. It’s on, it’s off, there’s my open Scrivener document, there’s the log-in screen, there’s my document, the screen is off… it’s off?… it’s off!

I lift it in the air and it comes back to life with my document. Weird. Everything’s fine, right? Right?

My brain is on high alert now and very aware of the fact that I haven’t backed up anything I’ve written in the past month. Worse still, I had recently gone through all my paper snippets and transferred them into digital form. There was no backup. There was no back up!

I fly to grab a flash drive, put it in, and in the middle of backing up the computer has another seizure, turns off and does not come back.


There’s water under the keyboard and frying something! I don’t know what and I don’t have the tools to get in there at my apartment. I make a quick call to my computer guru friend. “Hey, so a little water got on the keyboard. I thought it was fine but it’s not fine. The screen freaked out and now it’s turned itself off. How screwed am I?”

Good News: Not as screwed as I thought I would be. He told me to take the battery out, put the computer in rice, and try it out in the morning. It had worked for his iphone. Worst case scenario we’d trouble shoot it on the weekend. Worst Worst case scenario he assured me the hard-drive where all my stories were stored was very hard to kill, and not to freak out.

I did as I was told, emptying the dregs of my large box of rice, cursing that I didn’t have more, and my roommate offered up her small box. There was enough. I waited.

The next morning I hesitated to turn the laptop on. Scared to my core it was a goner. But at a text from my guru asking if it had worked I found within myself the courage to confirm my worst fears.

The power button lit up, the hard drive whirred to life, and upon the screen was the beautiful purple of the sign-in prompt. Half my keys didn’t work, but at least it wasn’t dead. The touch pad still reacted appropriately, and that gave me hope.

More hope was given later that evening as I inspected the laptop and realized my keyboard wasn’t fried. It was dirty. The dregs of the rice came complete with tiny little rice shards that had finagled their way under the keyboard. A little shaking and wiggling of the keys and every one of them began to work.

My laptop had come back from the brink of death.

It’s been several weeks since the incident and everything seems to still be in working order. All hail the Rice Lord, King of Hopeless Electronics!


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