Thursday, April 01, 2010

Pent Up

That hollow slapping sound you can hear in the distance is me striking the back of my head with my open palm. If you ever wondered what the sound of one hand clapping sounded like, well, this is it.

A while ago, driven by chagrin and self-recrimination, I posted here about the possible theft of my pen drive. The pen drive that contained the most up-to-date version of my novel (not my only copy thankfully). Even in the depth of my howling despair I knew I couldn’t class it as a proper theft because I and I alone had gone and stupidly lost it. I kept my pen drive loose and cavalier in my coat pocket along with my house keys and, despite it falling out on several occasions, I didn’t see fit to heed the warning signs and store it somewhere more secure.

Eventually the inevitable happened. It simply wasn’t there one day. I searched high and low for it, far and wide, in places probable and improbable.

But it just could not be found.

On this very blog I voiced my greatest fear. That some unscrupulous plagiarizing little toe-rag would not only spend days of their life reading my novel but then would achieve the near impossible and publish it as their own. In my mind’s eye I could see royalty rights disappearing down the toilet. Interviews on Jonathan Ross being given to the faux author whilst I hung about outside BBC Television Centre, a one man picket line, waving my beautifully crafted placard in the air to nobody in particular.

Some of you mocked this. Some of you mocked me. Like anyone would bother to read it, you said. They’ll just wipe it and re-use the pen drive for their own uses, you laughed.

But still my fears plagued me. The possibility was there, you see. It could not be denied.

But in the end – at the final denouement – we were both wrong.

Because I found my pen drive the other morning in the pocket of my “other” trousers. I suspect it had been there quite a while and has been through the washing machine at least once. Certainly all the logos have been thoroughly washed off.

Amazingly the data is all intact. Persil might get your whites whiter than white but it can’t do a damned thing about all the expletives in my novel.

It’s safe. The security breach[es] have been plugged. I have learnt my lesson. I have a new pen drive now that I can hang around my neck.

Along with my shame and embarrassment. Sorry folks, panic over.


30 comments:

The Dotterel said...

Ah, I do love a happy ending. Good job you're not using new Aerial Activ-lift. On the other hand I always wanted to know what the novelistic equivalent of John Cages' 4'33" would be like!

Steve said...

The Dotterel: wish I'd thought of that. In fact I might still send it as a proposition to a publisher. 50 chapters containing no text at all. The world's most avant garde novel... or the world's most expensive sketch pad.

Clippy Mat said...

told ya it would turn up.
didn't I?
well if I didn't, I meant to.
;-)

Steve said...

Clippy Mat: I'm pretty sure you told me so. And if you didn't I knew you were thinking it.

Mark said...

You could also lock the drive with a password. But then you might forget it and then... oh, for printed manuscripts.

French Fancy said...

All the while reading this I was waiting for a moment when a horrible thing was about to be announced

e.g.

*and I've just read an excerpt from my novel in the new Granta*, only it's not my name on the by-line

I am delighted that you found it - or it found you and it is now fully laundered as well.

Rol said...

So it was in The Wrong Trousers? Call Wallace & Gromit next time you lose it.

Steve said...

Mark: I rue the day I threw out my old Olivetti.

FF: I'm thinking of cleaning money for the mafia.

Rol: I already have and now I can't get rid of them. They're talking wistfully about the strong smell of cheese...

ArtSparker said...

Like coming across unexpected treasure.

EmmaK said...

To prevent such further crises might I suggest you have the pen drive surgically inserted under your skin so that this kind of petty misshap does not happen again. Apparently all the big authors do this. Stephen King has several stapled to his netherregions. And no it is not April Fools Day.

lunarossa said...

All's well that ends well. Once looking for my mobile, I found it spinning in the washine machine! I couldn't do anything, just watch it spinning. Useless to say that I wasn't as lucky as and didn't work anymore...Have a nice Easter! Ciao. A.

Alienne said...

I am glad you found it - most things turn up in the end. I found something I had been looking for for nearly 3 years the other day. I had replaced it so it didn't really matter, but at least I know where it was all that time now.

Steve said...

ArtSparker: lost treasure is always more pleasurable to find than "new" treasure.

Emma: I'm thinking of the old joke about Ben Dover and Phil McCavity...

Lunarossa: pen drives are hardy things. A colleague at work once dropped hers down the toilet and that still worked too.

Alienne: I guess all lost objects are safe... we just don't know where they are (which possibly makes them safer).

Selina Kingston said...

Wally!

Steve said...

Selina: no, I can never find him either.

Suburbia said...

Yay! Glad you found it!

:)

Owen said...

Ooff, a happy ending then... Have you seen Ghostwriter by any chance ??? There's a USB drive that plays a role in that story too...

Now there's a thought, maybe you could get some extra work ghostwriting... Just don't sign up to do the memoires of any ex prime ministers, ok ?

Steve said...

Suburbia: so am I!

Owen: I think Mr Hoon's memoirs would be far more interesting...

EmmaK said...

yeah I was gonna say something crude like that about orifices and pens but I was worried you'd find me too vulgar - you seeming like you are the metrosexual touchy feely kinda guy??? am I wrong

Steve said...

Emma: whilst I am not a beer swilling, rugby playing, porno mag buying every day kind of bloke I nevertheless have a sense of humour dirtier than the inside of a Turkish toilet...

Joe Bloggs said...

Glad you got that misery-mystery cleaned up :)

Being a paranoid android I must also add; it would also make for a cool April Fools' story - either way, good for you!

Steve said...

Joe: I was tempted to make it an April Fool's but then decided the only real joke was on me...

Fran said...

Reading your posts made me laugh, fellow Leamington Spa person. Great blog.

Steve said...

Fran: thank you. :-)

The Sagittarian said...

hahaha, my mother lost her car keys and house keys the same way. She didn't find them of course until we all had searched high and low, betwixt and between...then she famously announced "Ha, it'a always the last place you look!" (To which we muttered, 'obviously cos you don't keep looking once you've found 'em"

Steve said...

Amanda: it would be far more helpful and less time consuming if it was the first place you looked... see, I knew something was messed up at the heart of the universe.

Old Cheeser said...

Embarrassing but SUCH a damn relief, I'm sure!

I don't what you think but I swear it's an age thing ... as I enter my 40s I am starting to become more forgetful about stuff too ... leaving things in places and not actually recalling that forgetful moment when I did it. Case in point: yesterday I was in town with Gustavo and amongst my fabulous shopping purchases was a brand new umbrella, in part owing to the horrible downpour that was occuring. In Argos (don't laugh) I suddenly mislaid the aforementioned newbie brolly, cue lots of hasty rushing around trying to locate it. After a few frantic minutes, I realised I'd left it on one of the counters next to the catalogue section ... pheweee.

Rather ironic seeing as another of the reasons why I was buying a new brolley was that I'd absent mindedly mislaid the previous one ...

Sorry, this became an "All about me" response. But you know what I mean, dude??

Steve said...

OC: Oh I do indeed. The really worrying thing is when you "lose" something that you are actually holding in your hand... ;-)

A Write Blog said...

Sounds like the sort of thing I go through...............not too recently either.

Really glad you got it sorted Steve.

I empathise on this if not on Doctor Who LOL

Steve said...

AWB: thanks!