How To Suck At Programming #473 Thief in the night

It’s 11pm. I’ve pretended to weight train in the basement for about an hour. My wife’s out of town. The kids have had dinner and are off to bed. I’ve killed twenty minutes or so fooling with YouTube and misc web articles and I’m now off in a development zone. The world disappears around me. Nothing exists except for the keyboard the Mac touch pad and my IDE.

Out of the blue my “Spidey Senses” grab hold of me to alert of an in-home intruder but it’s waay too late! Sneaking up from behind, I turn around to learn that the intruder is already on top of me. My heart drops, muscles lock. My internals drowned with adrenaline, I wanna leap up to defend myself but that would be unnecessary. This intruder is less than my shoulder height when sitting. Besides, my frozen, fatigued muscles leave me helpless in my seat while my brain trails to keep up with the action.

The body is way ahead of the brain as it already sees its death from the would-be 3 1/2 foot assailant. The internal organs have already moved from shock to shit stains while my grey matter performs what feels like a SQL Server deep index algorithm in the foreground. Using all the random pictures that my single threaded mental process could gather, I try to piece together pixel by pixel inside the unknown silhouette. I begin to feel a sense of familiarity with the figure. Still my body is stuck in fight or flight mode. Two mickey mouse circular shapes load up first as my linear search answers a series of sequential questions. “Mickey Mouse? No! Jerry, from Tom and Jerry? Not at 11pm! Chucky Cheese? Uh-uh!” Now its been 2 seconds that feel like 8 hours and my brain is convinced it knows the invader while my left arm is ready to throw a punch at the soon-to-be victim. “…Must …continue round 12 of Pictionary!” urges the sponge in my head. “Must… swing with full force”, my body fights back in disagreement.

As second three ticks away I’m finally able to defrag enough raw material in my skull to make out the picture of my 5 year old daughter who is now witnessing Daddy have a seizure. I fight to rescind the attack order from my left arm and replace with a hug order given to both arms. It’s too late. The damage is done. What could have been a warm greeting from daughter to Daddy has turned into the trail of tears as the adorable nighttime hoodlum weeps and informs she needs to go potty. Of course my under reaction to her presence disappoints as she obviously wanted to square up in a death match. I send her crying to the toilet while a sea of angry relief washes over me. If you wanna suck at programming have kids. Not only will you miss the opportunity to fix the double screen-drawing bug that will take the better part of the following day, but you’ll have lots of fun explaining… from the emergency room… to your spouse why your youngest child asked, no begged for an uppercut to the jaw.

(No children were harmed during or prior-to the writing of this post. However the author reserves the right to jab, kick, stab, and/or shoot random figures that suddenly appear within arm’s reach after 10pm regardless of age, height, stature, gender, or religious background.)

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