Timmy picked up the next laptop waiting for repair. He carried it to the air compressor where he stood it on its side, with its fan vents pointing up. He grabbed the compressor’s air hose and pulled the handle. Air shot out in a violent stream that soon became a constant, smooth flow. He aimed the air stream into the vents.

A white cloud of dust, and God knew what else, blew out of the bottom vents on the computer. “Yuck.” Timmy knew that would happen. “You think I’d be used to that by now.” He knew he’d never get used to the crap that came out of the vents when he blasted air through them. “At least this looks white.” He was glad it didn’t look yellow, brown, or black. He was glad it didn’t smell like someone was smoking an entire case of cigarettes at one time.

Once the cloud faded and Timmy was fairly certain he wasn’t going to blow more dust out of the computer, he picked it up, and carried it to the workbench, where he made his next discovery. “Ah, the joys of opening the laptops.” He raised the display, and shook his head. “Look, mom! Crumbs!” He stared at the keys on the keyboard, and wondered what the stains were. Sweat? Snot? Spit? “God, I hope it wasn’t a guy that watched porn.”

He picked up the can of disinfectant spray, and coated the keyboard, touchpad and palm rests thoroughly. “Soak a while, you slimy thing.” He fetched the next notebook computer, and blew the dust out of it. He set it on the workbench, next to the one he’d left soaking in disinfectant.

Timmy pulled three paper towels off the roll, he stacked them, then wiped the disinfectant off the keyboard. He wanted to let his inner 3 year old out, and make a funny face, and say, “Ewwww! That’s yucky!” but he was a grown up, so he didn’t. He did, however, look at the gunk he’d collected on the paper towels, as a voice in his head screamed, “Don’t look, Ethel!”

It was too late. He stared at the soiled towels, and groaned, “Yuck,” as he wondered what nasties his fingers were going to encounter when he had to type on that keyboard. “Another experiment in human immunity, brought to you by, “ he looked at the name tag tied to the computer, “Henery Smith.”

There was nothing really to do, but turn the computer on, and hold down the escape key to reach the boot menu. He booted it from the diagnostic flash drive he’d inserted in a USB port. “I sure hope I’m immune to all the shit on this one. Jesus.”

Yeah. Timmy knew. It was just another day in the yucky land of a computer repair tech. Another day in the never ending experiment with his immune system. He wondered sometimes, how many bacteria of how many kinds he’s had to stick his hands in just to do his job. He decided he didn’t want to know.

“Could be worse. They could have puked all over it.”

He laughed. Yeah, he needed all the optimism he could get. It looked like one of those days.

It’s April 30th, the 26th day of the A to Z Challenge 2015. This is the 25th of 26 pieces I’m writing in April for the challenge. This one’s for the letter Y. Next is the letter Z. And I know exactly what I’m writing for that.


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