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Someone Out There’s Messing with My Stuff

     All of a sudden the notes came tumbling out of my steering wheel. I was at a stop light on Washington Street and I burst out laughing.  I have this thing on my steering wheel that mutes the radio or CD player. You just press it lightly and – instant silence. Press it again and – instant sound. But I hadn’t pressed it.

     It’s been acting up lately. The other day I was headed in to work and thinking depressing thoughts about – well, you have enough depressing thoughts of your own. I won’t bother you with mine. But I was in a funk and it didn’t look like the day was going to get any better.

     I’d switched from the radio and all the news I didn’t want to hear, to a CD I’d been playing for several weeks. Too lazy to put in a new one. A few minutes of that and my funk wasn’t getting any un-funkier so I pressed the mute control and we all lapsed into freeway silence.

     Traffic cooperated and the drive was smooth. I rounded the bend into downtown, not really ready for the office. Not yet.

     As I merged into downtown traffic, the faint sound of Spanish guitars reached my ears. Where’s that coming from? The guitars crescendoed and next thing you know, the car was filled with soothing music, encouraging me, telling me all’s well with the world. The CD player had come to life.

     How’d you get out of the mute? I swear I never touched the steering wheel. I looked over into the back seat. No one there.

     Funny – both times the music was exactly what I needed. First time, slow soothing music to shake off the blues before I walked into work. Second time, a jump start. Hey! You’re headed home! Take a break. Enjoy life! I walked into the house with a big smile on my face that night.

     And it isn’t only steering wheels. Last night I went to check my e-mails and turns out someone had been in my computer. I knew, ’cause he – or she – left a message on the screen.

     “I updated your files while you were gone. Hope you like the new arrangement. By the way, you’ll need to restart your computer if you want to do anything on it. Bye.”

     I stared at the screen. Who said you could do that? What did you do? What do you mean you updated my files? Which files?

     Bad enough my steering wheel’s acting up, un-muting my Spanish guitars whenever it wants. Now someone’s rearranging my whole filing system.  Although that might be a good thing…

     I’m thinking Big Brother has evolved into The Vast Cosmic Manipulator. For sure, someone is sneaking around out there in cyberspace, reprogramming our electronic gadgets. Rearranging our sound systems, our files, our very lives. Maybe… Maybe what? Beats me. Maybe you know.

     I don’t know about the computer updates, ’cause I haven’t noticed anything different – yet - but those Spanish guitars sure flipped me out of my funk at just the right time, and I loved the music jumping out of the steering wheel at the stop light. It was almost as if my guardian angel was looking after me – cheering me up, wiping away the blues just when I needed it.

     You don’t think…? Naw, angels don’t mess with computers and steering wheels. Or do they?

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