Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Hee Dee Dee!

Go ahead, say it again. When you first read it, in your head you probably said it so that you were speaking phonetically (Hee [slight pause] Dee [another slight pause] Dee [odd look comprised of either contorting your lips and forehead, making the famous dog head tilt often following a loud noise or some combination]). When you do say it again, let it flow from one sound to the next, Hee Dee Dee – that’s it!

Now, you may ask (while someone other than you is researching ways to have me committed to a loony bin), what the #$@* is Hee Dee Dee! Funny, you should ask because I was just about to tell you. However, be forewarned, this is stupid silly and bordering on silly stupid. So, if you’re not into that kind of gibberish, you may wish to leave this post now.

It was a regular day down at the computer shop. As regular as a day can be that is in a predominantly Russian neighborhood not quite in the bowels, but perhaps the lower intestines of my hometown of Brooklyn, New York. It was the good old days of 486 computers at the high end running DOS 5.0 and Windows 3.1. A lot of those older machines had separate controller cards that were used to connect the hard drives to the computer system. Stunningly, they were referred to as hard drive controller cards (just brilliant). Well, every so often, these hard drive controller cards or HDD Controller cards (as they were referred to by the inner workings of the computer), would occasionally go bad or fail. In another brilliant technological innovation, the error message that would appear on the computer screen when the HDD controller failed would read, “HDD controller failure”.

On this one, regular day, a young Russian fellow came running into the store in search of the service desk nearly knocking over several insignificant merchandise displays with his computer in his arms. Upon arrival at the service desk, greeted by myself, my friend Rob (to whom this post is dedicated), and Glen (the store veteran at the time), in all his disheveled awkward demeanor stuttered in his thick (I’m talking new bottle of Ketchup thick, and not the squeeze bottle) Russian accent “my computer has not work…it’s a Hee Dee Dee!!!”

“Excuse me?” uttered Glen, the lead man as Rob and I look on bewildered. Again, Gorby in an even thicker Russian accent repeated himself only this time, with a slight intonation of anger and frustration, “my computer has not work…it’s a Hee Dee Dee!!!” Glen requested that Lenin take a chill pill by telling him to “calm down, let me plug it in and take a look.” Mr. Kremlin began to flail about in what appeared to be an attempt at finding a comfort zone (or perhaps a short battle with an epileptic condition) and began to take shorter breaths (which was good because I may not yet have mention the halitosis problem that our fine Russian customer was sporting) as Glen, Rob, and I huddled around the booting computer in hope for a quick diagnosis.

After a few whirring sounds, a series of beeps were emitted and the following message appeared, “HDD controller failure.” Utilizing his apparent bionic ears, Stalin lept into a new frenzy and with the heaviest of accents began yelping “it’s a Hee Dee Dee!!! it’s a Hee Dee Dee!!! it’s a Hee Dee Dee!!!” all while pointing accusingly at the computer screen. Without the least bit of professionalism, Rob, Glen, and I just began to laugh as if we had just witnessed the funniest moment in the history of funny moments. It was as if time stood still as we laughed about until we were gasping for breath, our faces red, and liquid substances were oozing from an assortment of cranial cavities. Then, as we all began to compose ourselves as we noticed Ike (the boss) looking on in anger. Oh, it’s not what you’re thinking; he wasn’t upset at the utterly poor treatment of a customer and lack of professionalism. No, he was pissed off because he wasn’t in on the laughter with us; that is until we described the situation to him which got us all guffawing to the point of breathlessness once more.

Ivan the great would have no more of our shenanigans. In a fit of anger, our customer slammed his hand on the service desk demanding an explanation (he may as well have been requesting a fresh bowl of Borscht; we had no clue what he was saying half the time anyway). Glen managed to compose himself first (as Rob and I continued to be idiots) and explained to Mr. Trotsky that his hard drive controller had failed and we could probably replace it and get his computer working again in a short time. “How much cost?” replied Boris to which Glen gave an amount (the actual amount is insignificant to the story as you’ll see shortly, I can tell you it was a fair and competitive price). At this time, Leonid’s bushy eyebrows rose in an unusual manner and began to move in sync with his lips as he spoke, “No, no, no, I mean how much cost for me?” “Excuse me…” uttered Glen not in disbelief any longer, but almost in an obligatory fashion. Sergei repeated himself with increasing volume, “How much it cost just for me, you know, my price?” You see folks, this was typical of our Russian clientele, they felt that we owed them a special price simply because they (what follows is bitterness, not prejudice) deserved it because they could come to our country and figure out how to get food stamps to pay for their groceries as they stand in line at the grocery store in $5,000 mink coats when back in Russia they had to wipe their asses with their hands because they couldn’t afford toilet paper and yet still can’t be truly grateful for their good fortunes in this great and generous, and far too tolerant country of ours (and here ends the political diatribe portion of this post).

Fyodor eventually anted up the fee and left with his computer but we at Computer Software Plus, more specifically Rob and I, were left with so much more. A new, meaningless yet whimsical catch phrase with no meaning at all (I know I’m being redundant but it’s important to understand how meaningless the phrase Hee Dee Dee is, that’s what makes this so funny [to me, and I suspect Rob] and ridiculous at the same time to most of the rest of the planet) that instantly sparks laughter (to Rob and me) and confusion (to those who are victims of its utterance). Occasionally, we’ve been known to voice the words Hee Dee Dee repeatedly as if we were compelled to do so by some bizarre obsessive compulsive disorder for no apparent reason other than our own amusement. I’ve often responded to questions that either have no answer, whose answer I do not know, or especially to those I wish not to answer with “Hee Dee Dee!” I know, it’s stupid, but that does not stop me from saying it, repeating it, or finding it funny. In fact, all these years later, when Rob and I chat live or via instant messenger, every single time without fail it begins with a line that includes a "Hee Dee Dee."

One of my insane hobbies is to get people to say Hee Dee Dee. I’ve succeeded in a handful of states and in two other countries (Canada and Brazil). Rob’s wife Diane refused to say it before they were married but was so ecstatic at their wedding, that she actually shouted Hee Dee Dee proudly to her new husband and his slightly retarded friend me. I’ve had all of my nephews and nieces, and as many other young children who don’t know better to speak the words Hee Dee Dee. The kids seem to really love the “silly” phrase and will often go on chanting it for hours after their first introduction.

And now my dear reader, you have a closer look and the insanity of my world, I’ve scratched out nearly 1400 words on a topic that has absolutely no meaning and a barely funny (at best) story that after more than 10 years still makes me laugh so hard that I could sometimes need to remember how to breath. Sometimes it’s fun to be this stupid.

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