Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Zoe vs. Steve Jobs

If Steve Jobs were still alive (and if he'd ever had cause to visit our apartment) I imagine he'd be distressed by the damage Zoe has wrought on our Mac.
From a screen sticky with syrup residue from when Zoe tried to swipe a treat from Cookie Monster to a misuse or, perhaps, underuse of Apple's wonders due to her obsession with a fifty-second cartoon of "Frere Jacques," our Mac has been debased. Profoundly.
Think Ruined
Let's start with the hardware. Besides the sticky screen, which glistens in the morning sun revealing a pattern of a thousand tiny fingerprints, Zoe also broke our keyboard. And in such a specific way it's hard not to believe she was sending us a message. Her damage was limited to the left side of the keyboard, and the keys we could no longer use were the shift key, the "a," key, and the "z." She knew we were discussing her, and she wanted it to stop. We replaced the keyboard and then I started this blog. I suspect it's only a matter of time before the Z mysteriously goes out of service again. Zoe's more ruthless about stamping out negative publicity than Steve Jobs and the Scientologists combined.
Our mouse still works but it's not for her lack of trying to break it. I've observed her using it as a lasso for the cat. I suppose there's a certain justice to this truly cat-and-mouse game considering the longstanding enmity between cats and mice. I watched Tom and Jerry cartoons as a kid but now they seem too violent to ever show to my own child. She hardly needs any more encouragement.
Then there's the printer/scanner, or, as it's now called, the scanner. The scanner's glass has fingerprints as well as crayon marks, but those can be cleaned. I can't make out what she was trying to write, but my guess is it was "Eat this," since the crayon she used to scrawl on the surface was then jammed into the printer's control panel, which is why our printer/scanner lost the rights to the first part of its name.
Oh yeah, she also broke our Internet connection by jumping on the box that houses that particular magic.
So clearly Jobs's design aesthetic is lost on Zoe. However, though form is a big part of Jobs's legacy, he was also a visionary in terms of function. Here too, I'm afraid, Zoe's use of our Mac would disappoint him. As stated above, Zoe's interest in the "pee-yu-ter," as she calls it, is limited to the various cartoon renditions of "Frere Jacques" to be found on YouTube. Sometimes she branches out into other animated songs, also from foreign countries, which has firmly established for me that European children's programming is just plain batty.
One more revolution and we will unmake Teacher
AND open the gates of Hell. 

Most of these videos are just short enough that I am practically tethered to the computer. Again and again, I click on the video and by the time I form a plan and manage to walk a few steps away, Zoe cries, "Again!" The sound of French children singing will probably always send a chill through my heart.

Literally: "Lark, I will pluck you," from this cartoon donkey
inspired by the nightmares of David Lynch.
(Note, the donkey is naked except for orthopedic
mustard-yellow shoes--wrongness!)
I'm pretty sure that when Steve Jobs dreamed of the possibilities of the technology he helped to create and market, he never imagined Zoe, though perhaps he would have appreciated that she also has a pleasing and compact design belying a complicated and multitudinous efficiency . . . to destroy. She is the perfect killing machine.
Zoe's most mysterious damage to the computer occurred a few weeks ago. She somehow pressed certain keys in some magical combination that enlarged the display. For days the whole screen was taken up by a giant black arrow, pointing up and to the left, directing our attention to the heavens, where perhaps Steve can be found, seated next to the Original Innovator in the Sky, and if we prayed hard enough, he would do us the favor of leaning in and putting in a good word for our Mac to protect it from further devilment.
Zoe: 13; Universe: 0


  1. Oh Zoe. I am so sorry! Poor universe! ;)-Ashley

  2. My oldest LO did the SAME thing - enlarged the display and locked the orientation so the screen moved when you moved the mouse and the little white pointer stayed stationary. Steve Jobs must have planned that. A command set up as an Easter Egg that only children could find.

    1. You might have something there! And I think I'm familiar with this particular LO.

  3. Does it make you feel any better to know that Henry has decimated my Android tablet? Probably not. I'll go back to my corner now. ;-)