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.