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Talkin' Smack: Real Time

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I don't have a UPS hooked up to it, and I'm not too sure about the quality of my surge protectors. Nevertheless, there was writing to be done, so I continued on past midnight, as did the partiers upstairs, their noise increasing geometrically with each can of domestic beer they popped open. In addition to stomping, they also seemed to have taken a shying to opening and closing their sliding glass door leading to their balcony.

I couldn't really blame them, though. After all, they're salt of the earth proletarians drinking away their woes. Besides, I'm probably the biggest noise maker on the block usually, what will cranking up Starship Troopers full blast through my stereo system into the wee hours and having drunken singalongs to all my favorite long-dead punk bands.

Anyway, the hour grew closer and closer when we would finally end Daylight Savings and return to Standard Time, or, as I like to call it, Real Time. Hence the headline.

"Oh. I thought this column was going to be about real-time video editing or something relevant for once. Oh well, I've wasted half my day already, so I might as well find out what happened. Continue."

Very well. The rain pounded outside. Branches were being ripped from the palm tree in my back yard. The thumping upstairs had turned into a rhythmic pounding. A liquid—water, I presumed—came dripping through my ceiling, right over my head where my upstairs neighbors were pounding, pounding. "THUMP, crash, crash, crash! THUMP, crash, crash, crash!"

Still I continued writing.

"THUMP, crash, crash, crash! THUMP, crash, crash, crash!" And the rain beat still more furiously, and the liquid poured through my ceiling. Lights flickered. And just as the clock signaled the return to Real Time, everything went black. And silent.

The rain had stopped. The thumping had stopped. My G4 had stopped.

I looked out the window and could see nothing. The whole neighborhood had gone black. What could I do? I lit up a cigar so I could kick back and wait it out. As I sparked my Zippo, I glanced out the window, and at that brief moment when the wick caught flame, I saw, staring back at me through the window, a visage from my worst nightmare. I saw the face of Bill Gates.

"That's a good one, Dave."

No, really, reader. I swear to Jeebis it's true.

"Who's 'Jeebis?'"

Don't you watch The Simpsons?

"Oh, that 'Jeebis.' You must be telling the truth."

Of course. Anyway, needless to report, I leaped out of my seat and ran for the office door. What was Bill Gates doing outside my window? No time to figure it out. I lit my lighter to use as a torch and headed for the phone in the kitchen. But there he was, staring at me through the sliding glass door. I bolted for the bedroom, and there he was again outside the window. I ran into the bathroom, and there he was, not three feet from me. It scared me so bad that I ran out of the house.

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