From the List of Things that Make a Writer Crazy

Keyboard and other computer accessories

What Goes Scritchy Scratch?

Photo by Took-A-Pic

I kept hearing it and after a while, the noise intruded on my concentration just enough that I paused and looked away from the window. The clatter of keys paused and the tactile sensations that somehow provide my brain with enough feedback to know they are in the correct place and hitting the correct keys ended.

Usually when I'm working on something that requires more than a few words, I use OpenOffice because I know all the control-key combinations and type nonstop without pausing to use the mouse. Honestly, those dang mice force you to pause too often as you work. It interrupts the flow so to speak. When it comes to writing, I prefer the good old fashioned control keys. Control-S to save. Control B for bold. And so forth.

Today something was amiss. After the first two pauses, I was starting to get annoyed. Was there some small critter in here that was making that scritchy scratch noise? I couldn't even place the sound of it or locate its source. It was the sort of thing that starts to get the best of you and when you're annoyed, it interferes with the flow of words that gets translated into characters and drives your fingers which in turn reassembles the thought train into a cohesive sentence that is somehow different from the one formed in your brain, but makes more sense when it appears on the screen.

(Yeah. I know I'm weird, you don't have to say it. And yes, that was a run-on sentence, but it's my blog.)

The trouble was, whenever I stopped typing, the sound disappeared. And yet, it was coming from my right and just out of sight. With no resolution to my annoyance in sight, I went and refilled the coffee mug with the last of the coffee in the pot, contemplated making a new pot, and decided that emptying one pot would do for the day.

I sat down and heard the noise. Okay, that was different. It happened when I wasn't typing. I looked at the coffee mug. Which is by they way, emblazoned with one of my favorite sayings "Lack of Planning on Your Part Does Not Necessarily Mean an Emergency on My Part."

But I digress.

Having heard the noise as I put my mug down, I was able to further investigate. Nothing seemed amiss. I picked up the mug. Nothing. I looked at the bottom. Nothing. As I turned my attention back to the screen and the keyboard and set the mug down, I heard the noise.


I picked up the mug. Nothing. I put it down. Scritchy Scratch. Now as some of you know, I'm not one to employ the average curse without good reason. This seemed a good reason, but the uttered profanity did nothing to assuage my irritation.

Let's try that again. I picked up the mug. I put down the mug. Scritchy Scratch.

Hmmm. It seems when I pick up the mug, it does nothing. I watched carefully and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the mouse cord move when I picked up the mug. No noise. I put the mug down in the place where it usually lives and the cord moved again in the opposite direction.

Scritchy Scratch.

AHA! I followed the cord behind the picture of my niece (needs dusting), around the lucky bamboo plant, past the devil's ivy, and finally the Christmas Mug that holds all my manual writing implements, before it disappears off the edge of my desk on its merry way to the back of my computer.


And there it was. A debit card receipt from my favorite farm stand. The cord would move away from the receipt and not make a sound, but when it moved back, it made the bedeviling noise that was driving me crazy.

Further investigation revealed that as I typed, the keyboard would move slightly, which moved the cloth it sits on, (more comfortable for my wrists,) which in turn moved the mouse pad, (call me old fashioned,) and that moved the mouse and the mouse cord, which was making me crazy with that stupid Scritchy Scratch noise.

Sigh. And a good curse wasted at that. Now I'll feel guilty if I use one in the next week or so, because apparently I have placed a mental cap on the acceptable level of curse employment. Unless I slam my fingers in a car door or accidentally knock over a paint pail (unlikely, I'm not painting anything in the near future), I'll have to make do with other, less than satisfying expletives.

And that my friends, might just make me crazy.


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