An Unknown Hero Retiree. Based on real event / Alexander Samorodov

An Unknown Hero Retiree. Based on real event / Alexander Samorodov

A friend told me a story. Here it is…

One Friday night 1 was in front of a PC screen writing my memoirs. My upbeat mood was interrupted by bitter resentment at seeing the text self­deleting at an astonishing speed destroying the whole of it. Beginning with the last letter I had typed. Panicking I started pressing anything I could on the keyboard at random like a drunken pianist. Miraculously it worked; the Self-deleting stopped as abruptly as it had begun.

Alas, my victory was short lived. The file I was working on became like a cloud, or marshland, or cream (60 per cent), with the cursor bogged down in it. I lost the ability to either edit it or send to PRINT. I am a “dead man” – I thought to myself. Not only are they watching on-line what I am producing on the screen but they can also cut short the flight of my demiurge ecstasy at any moment.

All of a sudden, an ominous red light filled the room. “Yes, you are a dead man” flashed back the computer in large capital letters, reading my brain at I do not know what distance., I was only able to utter “Awesome” not believing my eyes. Smitten with horror and shivers running down my spine I darted on all fours under the desk hell-for-leather. As the “Households Wartime Manual” orders us all to do when under a nuclear attack.

Flickering, the “Red Light” faded away at a cunningly slow speed. I thus won. The enemy cleared the battle field as a result of my timely manoeuvre. At first sun, I left the bridgehead under the desk still perspiring with the cold sweat and fatigue which the victory had cost me.

My glorious victory was based on two postulates. Number one: Retreat is an ambush. Number two: Defeat is a victory including in its most destructive Pyrrhic form. Of course my victory surpassed Trafalgar, Waterloo, and El-Alamein taken together. But not Stalingrad, admittedly. For that, I am still a bit weakish in the guts. For the first time a little man like me unique on this planet had inflicted a crushing defeat on the all-powerful international e-Intruder, the “Red Light” surreptitiously watching us all from behind the screens. Let us not call it the “Mother of All e­ Battles” yet.

Based on the Rules of War, I wanted to send an ultimatum to the e-Intruder for signature using appropriate quotations from the New Oxford Dictionary of English Slang and Rude Words (out of print) but then dismissed my thought. The “Red light” was so demoralized that it left no IP address behind when fleeing the battle field.  A coward.

My winner’s largesse knew no limits. It manifested itself, in particular, in my not wishing the e­ Intruder to be “better dead than red”. Indeed, following the above e-Meeting Engagement the “Red light” never re-visited me. Likely, it was heeding popular wisdom: Once beaten – twice shy.

Put on hold for History.

Alexander Samorodov, ILO Retiree

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