I took my Macbook into Best Buy the other night because it was making funny noises and the three-year warranty hadn’t run out yet.
Apple calls their technicians Geniuses. Best Buy calls their technicians Geeks. I guess there are good Geniuses and evil geniuses, just as there are good Geeks and bad Geeks. You just never know what you’re going to get when you visit Best Buy’s Geek Squad
There was one Geek on duty when we got there. His name was Ali and he was multi-tasking between three customers. I braced myself for things to be slow and frustrating.
Ali opened my computer, looked at it, and then looked me square in the eye.
“You have a bird,” he said.
I had given my laptop a quick clean-up before taking it in, but I guess I missed a spot or two.
“Three birds,” I said.
“What kind?” he asked, and he looked genuinely interested. Hopeful, even.
To a lot of people, a bird is a bird is a bird. It wouldn’t even occur to them to ask what kind. But I could see he was not one of those people. He was the other kind. He was a bird person. He was a kindred spirit.
“A lovebird,” I said, and paused, assessing his reaction.
He nodded. “And?”
“An African Grey,” I said, and his face lit up. He had been hoping I had an African Grey.
“You have an African Grey!” he said.
And then he told me that he used to have one, and he loved her a great deal, but his sister was terribly allergic to her and he couldn’t keep her.
“She was wonderful,” he said. “I’d say ‘Time for bed,’ and she’d walk over to her cage and go to bed.”
“Awww,” I said.
“And she was so smart!” he said. “I trained her to poop on paper towels.”
“I trained mine to poop on keyboards,” I said.
Ali and I had a really nice chat about birds while he worked.
In the end, he said he’d have to send my laptop away for servicing, and it would be gone a week and a half or longer.
He suggested I buy an open box macbook, use it until mine was repaired, and then return it. So that’s what I did.
I’m being very careful with the new macbook. I’m trying not to let the birds land on it, despite their determination and persistence. Simon and Oboe both love perching on top of my laptop screen, looking at me with their beady little eyes, and pooping. Oboe also likes to sit on my keyboard, absorbing the computer’s warmth, and pooping.
Oboe’s almost fully recovered now from the cat attack, by the way. His personality is a little different. He doesn’t fly as much, he isn’t as much of a brat or a daredevil, and he’s much, much cuddlier. I’d say he’s even better than new.