There is a saying in Venezuela which I have always felt identified deeply with the things that happen in my life.

“A mí, y al Pato Lucas” or “To me and Daffy Duck”.

The meaning behind this old and wise saying is that some of us have that weird luck of random things happening to us that would otherwise only happen to a cartoon character.

For the last year and a half I have been struggling with a nerve injury around my hip. I have gone to orthopedic surgeons, chiropractors and physiotherapists to try and sort this injury out (isn’t even an injury if it started without pain and just appeared?). What began as me not being able to walk on my right leg, slowly started shifting onto my buttock, with my right leg getting numb if I sat for too long. I’m constantly shifting positions when sitting, I can’t sit on our couch ‘cause it hurts me and sleeping has made me become a flopping fish. Eventually the chiro and physio where actually the most helpful, with the orthopedic doctor only pointing out other things I didn’t know where wrong and basically telling me to walk more. After many hours of trying to figure out what was wrong and seeing stars when people press down on the right spot to “release” that nerve, the pain has now moved to my left side. I’ve gone through a whole lot of shifting of bones, trapped nerves and facing “unresolved emotional triggers” that apparently as women we carry on our hips, particular on our left sciatica nerve (some stuff I found online was accurately scary).

It’s been a whole lot better but some days, when the wind blows the wrong way, I find myself cursing my hip. The running joke is that I need to be returned to the store where I was bought because I turned out to be a faulty model.

One morning, after a really bad sleep and walking like an injured bird, I walked as a zombie practicing my morning routine. Turn kettle on to boil water for French press coffee, open the living room’s sliding door to let some of the Hoedspruit heat out of the house while avoiding the laundry and other mess inside. Once caffeine hit my brain and soothed my hip I went back inside and found this note on the floor.

I have known creepy people, I’ve had really strange things happen to me but, I’ve believed in ghosts and yet, this was simply too much.

Whatever it was or whoever it was, it was listening, but to what? The note was on the floor, next to printer. I was home alone the previous night and wasn’t really on the phone to anyone so there was no conversation to listen to. The note wasn’t there when I went to sleep. The wording and spelling wasn’t grammatically correct and no hopeful google search produced such an automated answer from an HP Deskjet printer.

Someone had made my printer print that. Was it maybe the The Killer that had found my house after all this time?

Tayla went into panic. Tristan went on “don’t worry mode”. Gerry went on mom mode and started tracking my phone. Brent was on machete alert should I phone in the middle of the night. The Napiers adopted me over the weekend.

We all hoped it would have been Dylan as he’s one of the techy ones, but alas he swore it wasn’t him. The tech investigation then began and revealed that a while back, when having to print half a book of paperwork for a visa renewal, I had put my printer on “the network”. Apparently these networks are easy to hack, giving people the opportunity to get into your printer and do creepy things like producing ulcer-giving messages on someone else’s machine.

I disconnected the printer from the network and two days later worked up the courage to plug it back in to see if it had anything else to say. Although I was met with beautiful, peace-giving silence from my machine, for a whole month I slept locked inside my room with the biggest knife on my night stand.

If you are reading this and thought this was a funny prank, it really wasn’t. If you sent the message, you need to check your grammar. If you’re the ghost that lives in my house, please don’t eavesdrop and then tell me – I thought you had left.

My printer now lives unplugged, no one needs that level of AI.

Truly, “Daffy Duck and I”.

15 Comments on “I’m listening”

  1. Too creepy. As for hip pain has anyone considered some kind of spondylopathy? I have Ankylosing spondylitis which started with hip pain years ago. It probably isn’t that, but maybe worth investigating. Anyhow, hope your pain and creepy hacker (or whatever it is) goes away!

  2. Pobre mi Ale, yo también estaría c……. digo asustada. Un abrazo enorme, ya va mami al rescate

    • C*** es poco! No sé a quien le pareció gracioso pero a mi, no! Ya les mandaremos a robotina para que ponga todo en orden jaja

  3. So sorry to hear you are having back and hip problems. John just went through the same thing. The ortho was of no help except to send him to a back and spine doctor. He had the standard steroid pills which did not help. Then he got steroid shots in certain vertebrae. It has essentially resolved his issue. It will return and he will need the shots again but it is worth it. Take care and get better. We look forward to your joining us at Timbavati in September.

    As to ghosts, I too believe in them. I have seen them and, as for my kitties, have felt their presence at night. So hopefully your ghost is friendly, as most are in my experience. In the meantime take your printer off network if you can so random notes from no-gooders have no access.

    My thoughts go out to you and I am glad your friends are there to protect you.

    Susan

    • I feel John, it’s not the best feeling and it can be quite uncomfortable. Dr didn’t say anything other that I had to move more which can get tricky here sometimes. Seems like Physio has been helping so hopefully that will take care of it.

      Honestly, the ghost and I are on good terms so I doubt it was it. Likely some human with a really not funny sense of humor. Printer is off network and switched off!

      We are also looking forward to seeing you guys again on safari this year! Hope you are keeping well!

  4. Wow now that’s scarey! That printer is haunted!
    As for your hip I hope they can help you with that. I had something similar that was the piriformis muscle pressing on the sciatic nerve. I had to lift my right foot up a little and hop to walk. twice a week for 8 weeks of physical therapy finally got it under control. I hope they can do the same for you. It’s such an uncomfortable feeling.
    Thank you for your latest story. I always look Forward to them. Take care and God bless 🥰

    • Seems I bette Ruperts my Physio to try and resolve this issue. It’s not ideal but it’s gotten a lot better than what it was.
      Thanks for reading, as always 🙂

  5. I very much enjoy your writings Ale. I’m sorry to hear of your hip pains: I’ve found physiotherapists to be very helpful in getting to the root of these problems, but often it takes specific exercises and time to cure. As for the ‘ghosts’ – haven’t these hackers got anything better to do than send creepy messages to printers that are online??! Don’t loose any more sleep over it. xx

    • Thank you, I appreciate that. It’s just been an ongoing battle without knowing what the root it. Hopefully Physio will work its magic as it’s definitely helped.And the hackers… guess humans were all too bored in 2020 and had nothing better to do!

  6. the responses from tayla, tristan, gerry, and brent sound predictably spot on for each them…lol. thank you to the napiers for adopting you in your distress. i had a computer once that was pretty crazy, creepy at times. i eventually named it HAL. i kept waiting on it to ask me if i wanted to play a game?! hahaha! as far as your physical ills, i do pray they resolve…hip, back, nerve pain can be excruciating and so negatively life affecting…yup, experience speaks here. love ya, lady!

    • computers and gadgets with personalities are the worst! Hip seems to be doing ok, trying new exercises out and hoping they will help!

    • hahaha I would have preferred a different communication way then, this one was a bit scary 😉

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