Multitasking isn’t generally one of my strong points, but what I do quite well is eat. I can combine eating with other tasks in a manner which makes me look exceedingly skilful.
I can cross the road, eating noodles with a drunken hunger only the drunk and hungry will ever know, without getting hit by bicycles.
I can eat while on the toilet – although it always feels futile.
I can even eat while brushing my teeth. Although it only works if I’m eating toothpaste.
Yesterday I exercised my multitasking abilities by eating a plate of pizza while simultaneously working on my laptop, the recently reformatted Lappy II.
When I say I was working, I mean I was nearly-working. Technically, I was procrastinating. There was a boss-shooter flash game involved, and I was progressing quite nicely through the levels until the point at which I thought my laptop had acquired a virus.
I thought this because the right-click context menu appeared on my screen suddenly, and wouldn’t go away.
This was quite annoying. Eventually I realised I could get rid of it by hitting ESC so I could carry on with my ‘work’, but it appeared again.
This was quite troubling, because my laptop is my only means of procrastination, and also it’s the only thing I have to write on. The last thing I wanted was a virus to incapacitate it.
I tried refreshing the page, and this seemed to work for a while. But then the context menu popped up again. It was like some invisible muse right-clicking to annoy me, or maybe persuade me to get back to work. It became a battle between my tapping of the ESC key, and this phantom force right-clicking.
I closed the game window. The problem remained. I cleared everything: cache, cookies, history. This killed all the progress I had made on the game, which was quite annoying, but I was more concerned about Lappy II. The problem remained.
So I quit Firefox and restarted, because that seemed like a sensible thing to do. But just before the window could reopen, the context menu appear on the document I had open in the background!
I started to panic.
The problem wasn’t just confined to my procrastination on Firefox – it had spread to my actual work too!
This was a worst-case scenario-scenario of the worst case. I couldn’t afford a Lappy III. I set my plate of pizza aside, preparing to unleash an arsenal of virus scans and anti-malware tools at the problem, to back up all my work, restart; anything and everything to stop the phantom clicker…
But the context menu didn’t appear again. I wiggled the mouse around my manuscript, and nothing happened. I wiggled it all around a Firefox window, but again, nothing happened. I navigated back to the site of my flash game to see if I could duplicate the phenomenon. But I couldn’t.
This was very odd, I thought.
I frowned at the screen, willing it to give me answers.
I made hmm-ing noises and pulled my thinking face.
I still couldn’t figure it out.
I was still hungry, so I retrieved my plate of pizza and set it back on my lap.
And at that point the context menu popped up on the screen again.
And that’s how I discovered that my lap isn’t actually big enough for a plate and a laptop at the same time.