True stories with a twist!

LIVING UNDER A BLACK CLOUD

Is there such a thing as being born under a black cloud? Do some people seem perpetually worried and have more problems than other people, even though they start out seemingly hopeful, trusting and optimistic? Do their plans get convoluted and go awry most times for things they plan?

Horatio Hamburger is one of those people for whom things start out normally but quickly turn to disaster.

That pattern started the day his parents gave him the name they did. Everyone he ever met seems to find his name quite funny. Some giggle or try to stifle a laugh when they’re introduced. His name makes him stand out and creates a strange aura that he is different from the rest of humanity.

If he plans a picnic during a sunny and hot summer day the clouds unexpectedly move in to warn of rain approaching out of nowhere. The skies may be flawlessly blue, filled with puffy white clouds. Until word reaches the skies that Horatio is planning a picnic. That’s when the puffy white clouds invite black stormy ones, which come and deliver pounding rain.

Great for crops, lovely weather for ducks, but pathetic for Horatio and his picnic.

When he buys a new car it will, of course, turn out to be the very model that must be recalled because of ignition problems. Or rollover problems. Or fuel leaks.

But when he mentions that he has a problem with his Apple computer that is going too far. “Not Apple,” people insist. “Steve Jobs was the most finicky person ever known to mankind. His computers are designed perfectly; the pieces are exact. They never fail.”

Every tech person expressed that opinion, suggesting that it was he who was doing something wrong. The computer could not be wrong. It would hear, see or speak no evil. Nor would it play silly games or riddles with its owners.

Everyone who knew Horatio thought, “There he goes again; The Man Who Cried Wolf. This time he’s gone too far.”

Friends and relatives were unsympathetic and tired of Horatio’s endless complaints and criticisms. So alone he went to the manager of the Apple Store with his tale of apple-angst.

“The computer’s monitor screen falls off its hinges and hangs down. Every time I try to make the screen stand straight it droops down as soon as I take my hand away.”

Then something surprising happened. Something he never expected. The manager sat up and took notice of Horatio’s complaint. Waiting for the usual response of, “You must be mistaken. That can’t happen…” he said,


“You’re right. It’s not normal for the Apple to behave this way. I’ve never seen this problem before. There definitely is an issue with the computer, and we’ll take care of it.“

How refreshing! How amazing! Horatio’s concerns were taken seriously for the first time he could remember. Apple would make it all right again. It was a flaw in the assembling of the computer: he wasn’t imagining it all. It really happened the way Horatio described it. Nobody was trying to talk him out of his problem or tell him it all was because he was doing something wrong.

All Horatio had to do was get the desk top over to the Apple Store, leave it for a few days, allow the technicians to take the computer apart and await the arrival of a new, perfect version.

Steve Jobs, even you could have produced a machine with one fatal flaw. Even with your perfectly ordinary, normal name!

But why was Horatio the one in a million to have bought the computer with the defective hinge in the cover?

Was he born under a black cloud?

Comments on: "" (17)

  1. Happy to see you back, Ronnie! Was just checking on you last week 🙂

  2. Gillian Steyn said:

    Ronnie so pleased to see that you are writing again-missed your fun articles.Gillian

  3. Now that is a good question… is it the name or the cloud..??
    But nice to see you around Ronnie…

  4. Hahaha !!! Loved it, Ronnie. 🙂

  5. I found the post very moving, Ronnie. I’m so pleased that you are writing again.

  6. Had to smile when I read your post as I have a friend we call “Black Cloud” as everything seems to be wrong in her life on a continuing basis. Maybe? Welcome back!

  7. Exactly my thoughts. Welcome back! By coincidence, I just returned from the Apple store where the one-to-one person couldn’t really help me with Pages sections without inserting a page WHERE I DON’T WANT ONE. Time to download Word to my Macbook. I’ve given Pages six months of my life. Call me Horatio.

  8. gaye fulton said:

    She’s back! Hooray!!

  9. Thanks, Lisa. That was a tough illness to beat. It’s good to be back.

  10. Fun! Glad to see you back blogging.

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