ISO: The Keys to Happiness

2001 > England

Don’t laugh too hard or milk will come out of your nose too!

Now ya gotta ask yourself: whose the tea drinker in this house?
Ai-ya! Get a
towel quick!
hard to argue with free pizza!
‘W’ key negotiations

Now I don’t often
ask much of you via my updates, preferring to beg for favors more
personally than this, but today I have a special problem.

Last night, in
reaction to spilled tea, someone tried to dry Jingmei’s laptop keyboard by
putting a lamp near the keys. Now I’m not gonna elaborate on how tea came
to be sloshing across the keyboard, or whose
brilliant idea it was to put a heat source so close to soft plastic, for
WWIII in the close confines of Jingmei’s dorm room would not be pretty.
Lets just say it happened.

This morning I spent
a few hours on hold with several different IBM call centers trying to
track down replacements for the now-melted keys. With suggestions to buy a
whole new keyboard or laptop I gave up on that boatload of fools to look
elsewhere, which is where you come in.

I’m in need of the
2, 3, Q, W, E, A, S, and spacebar keys that fit a 390x IBM Thinkpad. If
you happen to have a junked laptop, or you need an excuse to torment your
coworkers/boss/ex-lover, and the back of the keys has ‘1C-NB’
stamped on them in tiny letters (the keys’ model number), would you grab a
few for me?

I’ll be happy to pay
for any shipping costs, though if you get slapped/fired/spanked in the
process I will deny any responsibility. Oh, and I don’t seem to be alone
in my search for keys

The Washington Post, January 23, 2001

Purloined Letter

By Lloyd Grove, Washington Post Staff Writer

Incoming staffers of
the Bush White House are apparently victims of a practical joke
perpetrated by their predecessors. Bush aides settling into the Old
Executive Office Building have discovered that many computer keyboards in
their work-spaces are missing the W key — as in President Bush’s middle

‘There are
dozens, if not hundreds, of keyboards with these missing keys,’ a
White House aide told us yesterday, speaking on condition of anonymity to
confirm reports from two Republican sources. ‘In some cases the W is
marked out, but the most prevalent example is the key being removed. In
some cases the W keys have been taped on top of the doorways, which are 12
feet tall. In other cases the key is just damaged, with the spring broken
or removed.’

The Bush aide added
that the damaged keyboards are being found ‘in any number of
different offices and divisions at the Old EOB. It has the technical and
computer support people very busy. They already have quite a lot to do. I
don’t believe they expected to be coping with this as well. I think
they’re working to repair or replace the equipment, whatever they can

Our efforts to reach
former staffers of Al Gore and Bill Clinton were mostly unsuccessful
yesterday, but Gore campaign press secretary Chris Lehane, tongue in
cheek, fielded our request for an explanation: ‘My guess is that the
White House did not have many reasons to use the letter W over the last
couple of years. It’s possible they just fell off because of sheer
atrophy.’ Lehane added: ‘I think the missing W’s can be
explained by the vast left-wing conspiracy now at work.’