Today I did a kind of cleaning I’ve never done before: I cleaned the keys of my computer keyboard. Not where crumbs have landed in between them – the keys themselves. Some of them were dirty, you see, with a sort of browny-grey film on them. The keys I use all the time were white, the ones I use occasionally had a white middle and dirty edges, and the ones I never use were just dirty all over.
It’s annoyed me for a while but today I hit on the solution. I took a rubber to the keyboard and rubbed out all the dirt. Now it’s sparkling clean and all the keys are white. But while I was erasing the filth, it occurred to me that in its dirty state I effectively had a keyboard-sized infographic showing which keys I use and which I don’t. For some reason, the square brackets were completely filthy, even though I’m sure I use them sometimes, while the weird § key had a clean spot, even though I can’t remember ever having used it before typing this sentence. Comma was dirtier than full stop. Q was cleaner than Z.
Even weirder, the numbers got gradually dirtier from left to right, so 1 was clean while 9 was pretty mucky.
It’s nice to have a clean keyboard again but I feel like I’ve lost a historical record of the letters I type and the keys I don’t need. A little bit of history wiped away.
12 comments on “Wiping away history”
Did you take any photographic evidence to keep as a record? Without it I’m not sure i believe you even have a keyboard.
No, I didnt. As a gentleman and a British citizen, my word is a cast-iron guarantee.
How dirty was the flimflam key?
I don’t have one of those. I just have to do my best with the other symbols.
If you press SHIFT then arrow keys up up down down left right left right A B X Y then that’ll activate the flimflam key. It allows you to turn all the correct spellings of words into uncorrect spellings.
My flimflam key is always on.
I just tried that. It didn’t work. My computer just made a sad coughing noise and a slice of parma ham was ejected from the CD drive.
Ian… That’s the Windows shortcut you’ve given him. Coincidentally its the coughing ham sequence on a Mac. On OSX you need CMD + F, OPT + L, UP, DOWN, LEFT, LEFT, LEFT, UP, DOWN, ENTER
Woi1! An ex7tra k|ey j__us+t spr0ut==d off the s!de* of m//y keyb(o]]ard!||}
Oh wait, it’s gone. Presumably I’d have to use “flimflam lock” to keep it on.
The IMPORTANT question, which I believe our associate, Ian Mac Mac Mac Mac McIver, asked earlier is; how dirty is it?
I wouldn’t describe it as “dirty” so much as “befouled”, or possibly “degraded”.
You have a besmirched flimflam key.
You disgust me.
I totally do. Bite me.