Freaky Luck

Halloween is a disturbing time, the nights start closing in, the weather generally gets rather cold, grim and depressing, and on one day in particular all things beastly and gruesome happen. This was one of those days, save for an uplifting occurrence that made the day less horrid.

It was a dreary Monday morning, well, most Mondays are dreary, but this one was more so due the combination of a cold, and the effects of a particularly heavy weekend on the juice. Somehow I managed to drag myself to work, feeling like something that would not be out of place in a graveyard, only to realise when I had arrived that my choice of attire for our dress down day was possibly the wrong one. Dressing oneself whilest barely awake is tough even on the best of days, but today I had chosen to wear red, to mark the occasion of Halloween. I had forgotten not only that my red jeans were a smidge on the tight side, but also that no one else in our department were in the slightest bit interested in dressing up, making me look like a failed audition for Rod, Jane and Freddy..

Speaking of Freddy, all was not lost, one of my colleagues commented how my stripey shirt looked reminiscent of Freddy Krueger’s top. A quick trip to the joke shop, and a chance encounter with goth chic glamour puss Juliet brought a comical version of the nightmare slasher character.

So with this turn around I was inspired with some confidence to take photos of all the other employees who had dressed up for the competition that work had arranged. So, I got my camera and went to snap all three of them. From a vampire vixen, to a outfit that looked like a mad farmers wife, to a inspired drawn on kitty face, the photos were not going to be amongst my finest (although the ones of the vampire lady were chilling I will admit).

But then, as I thought this could turn out to be a memorable day, the memory card failed when I tried to import the pics onto the computer, with the computer requesting to format it (quite the opposite of the intended course of action).
Suspicious of the tired looking card reader (with many scuffs from countless hours of being jostled in my bag amongst other camera odds and ends), I tried hooking the camera up to the computer directly, while developing localised Tourettes. Still no luck. “Not to worry” I thought, I’ll try a recovery program, which looked very promising at first – SanDisk’s RescuePRO listed all of the files on the card (and more besides, making me doubt the effectiveness of ‘formatting’), until a big message came up informing me of the 25 photo demo limit. If I had only ‘formatted’ it beforehand to clear the hundreds of photos off of there, everything would have been fine.

Foaming at the mouth now, I attempted to pay the $20 to unlock the program, but for some reason the website would not accept that I wasn’t in the USA. I didn’t want to put that I lived over the pond (not that I have anything against our American cousins), so I gave up and took more photos on a different card (but not before making my face colour match my jeans).

I then remembered that I had seen a serial number for this software on a piece of paper when I had bought the card, over 3 years ago. Not to be defeated I decided to look for this tiny paper when I got home that evening (I lead an exciting home life).

Now, it has to be said that although I endeavor to keep myself organised and tidy, my study at home could be a little more efficient when it comes to such matters. Finding a paper no bigger than a till receipt was going to be quite a task, akin to dried grass and a very small sharp item associated with buttons. Armed with some tea and some pessimism, I set to work.

I consider myself generally to be a very lucky man, I have a lovely home, wonderful friends and family, and a career that keeps me entertained and challenged (as this day certainly is testament to). But sometimes my luck surprises me to the point that it creeps me out and makes me want to hide like a little cowardly wimp. I looked at my pencil tin – an old Beano tin, that keeps old pens and highlighters in (reminiscent of the days where I wasn’t a slave to the screen), and also a few business cards and random things. Just in front of it was a white bit of paper, I joked to myself at how funny would it be if that was the one I was looking for. Upon turning it over my eyes bulged, it was exactly the paper I was looking for, the one with the serial number on!

Was this a bizarre bit of good luck? Had I subconsciously known it was there all along? Or did I just have a rubbish memory? Or, was it typical of the not-very-interesting things that just happens with me, and I’m tired enough to blow things out of proportion and make a big deal of it?

In any case, I got my photos back, and the memory card lives to fight another day. My sanity however has been pronounced MIA.

Freddy Birks Kreuger

UPDATE: I won 3rd place! Take that Drawn-on-Kitty-Face..!

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