The laptop saga (Part Three)

“My old laptop had tea poured into it and I got these insurance vouchers and I bought a new laptop from the shop and I got it home and it’s the wrong laptop because the battery life is so bad it means I can’t take it out of the house; the man said it was an ultra mobile laptop but the battery life is only an hour which means I can’t use it on the train or the plane and now I’m stuck with the wrong laptop and I can’t use it for what I want.”

Now, imagine that sentence spoken really fast, in a high pitched voice with a lot of sobbing and sniffling throughout.

Then imagine a long pause before the girl from the PC World helpdesk answered:

“Well sir, an ultra mobile laptop should last longer than that. It sounds like you were mis-sold your laptop, if you take it back to the shop they can organise a refund or an exchange.”

*sniffle* “Really?”

“Yes sir.”

“I love you.”

Yes! I can take the laptop back! Halle-fucking-lujah! I’m not going to be stuck with a ultra mobile laptop which can’t be moved away from the power supply.

Mind you, it is quite sexy. Maybe I can … ?

No, I’m getting shot of it. I’m going to get something else. In fact, I’m going right now before I get too attached.

So I bundle the offending, but sexy, machine back into its box and bomb down the A27 to PC World in Brighton, or maybe Hove – not sure.

The first man I see when I barrel through the door is the manager and I explain the situation. He takes one look at the laptop and says:

“But that’s not an ultra mobile laptop.”

My heart sinks as I remember the laptop wasn’t in the ultra mobile section, it was round the corner. I haven’t been mis-sold it, I just picked the wrong one.

Fuck it, time to do what I do best – lie.

“The man in Crawley said it was.”

“Ah, well the guys in Crawley are what we in the trade call ‘idiots’.”

And just like that, he agreed to exchange or refund the machine.

“Great! What have you got that’s got a 12 inch screen and about four hours of battery life?”

“Just the one, sir:”


“No. Absolutely fucking not. No pink laptop, not now, not ever. What else have you got?”

Nothing. Not a fucking sausage. Well, they might have had sausages, but they didn’t have any ultra mobile laptops. They’re all on sale because they’re clearing out the stock ready for a new range.

When’s the new range coming in?

No one knows. So we reach a compromise, he might know by Monday (it’s Saturday today) so he’ll ring me. He also asks if I can buy a laptop through a company, if so there’s a greater range on offer through their business centre. I think about this, and I’m fairly positive one of my friends will let me buy it through their company. So I say yes and we part ways.

I even get to keep the laptop I’ve got until a replacement can be found. When I get home, I sit looking at the box and have to force myself to leave it in the box. If I play with it, I’ll fall in love with it and won’t be able to give it up.

So here’s the situation: I had £840 of vouchers. I spent £600 on a laptop an £155 on a printer, keyboard, mouse, webcam and paper. That means I have £85 left, so the new laptop has to cost less than £685 or I have to put in some of my own money. The most I can spare this month would bring me up to £800 but that would be really pushing it.

(As I write this post, I have £1.80 left for the rest of the month, so that figure was woefully optimistic.)

Sunday morning, I get a phone call from the PC World business centre: would I be willing to compromise on screen size or battery length?


“Oh. In that case, sir, the nearest replacement we can offer you is a …”

There were some technical words here, followed by the price £1200.

After some choice words and not a small amount of swearing, I hung up.

 Yes, you read it correctly, I hung up. Apparently, at the business centre, they don’t mind you swearing at them.

What the fuck am I going to do now? I can wait until the new range comes out, but since I got my laptop in the sale, I’m definitely going to have to stump up some extra cash – which I can’t afford to and don’t want to.

A thought hits me, maybe they have the laptop I really want in some remote part of the country? I could drive to Scotland or something and buy it there. I pounce on the Internet and pound away at the keys.

Now, a stupid part of the PC World system is it won’t just tell you if there’s one of these:


Anywhere in the world. You have to tell the website where you live and it tells you there’s none nearby. So I randomly enter towns across the UK until I confirm my worst fear: there are no more left.

In fact, they have very little stock left at all; except, of course, the fucking pink one.

At least, they have nothing left in store. On the home delivery side of the operation, they have a few of the silver ones left.


So I ring PC World again and explain my situation.

“I’m sorry, sir; but the home delivery side is separate to the in store side of the business.”

“Yes, but they’re still the same business, aren’t they?”

“You’d think so, wouldn’t you?”

“Why can’t you send the laptop I want from the home delivery side to the store and I’ll buy it from there?”

“Because, the home delivery side–”

“Is separate to the in store side of the business.”

“Oh good, you were listening. Sir, why don’t you refund the laptop and then buy it again from home?”

“Because, I bought it with vouchers and you won’t accept vouchers over the net.”

“That’s right, we don’t. Well, you know what this means, don’t you sir?


“You’re fucked. Good day.”

And the bitch hung up.

I sat and sobbed over the box of my useless laptop. So what are the choices?

  1. Keep the useless one, buy four spare batteries and lug my own body weight in electronics around until I can afford a new one.
  2. Wait until the new range comes out and stump up a load of my own money (which I haven’t got) to make up the shortfall.
  4. 490394_01_huge.jpg









The pink one is £50 less than the one I’ve got. It’s exactly the same as the one I want, but it’s pink. Do I swallow my pride and buy the gay laptop, or punish myself and stick obstinately to some bizarre anti-pink prejudice?

I really am being stupid about this.

With a heavy heart I drive back to PC World. This time I go to the one in Bexhill, which I didn’t even know was there but is much closer. I drag myself up to the first employee I can find, explain the situation and utter the hateful phrase:

“Can I swap it for the Philips x59P, please?”

“x59P, the pink one?”

“Yeah. Do you want to fucking make something of it?”

No, apparently he didn’t. He’s just slightly deaf and wanted to make sure he’d heard right. The exchange is made, the refund is given, a second webcam is bought and I go immediately into a DIY store and buy a roll of black sticky-backed plastic.

And that’s the story. I have a gay laptop, a load of new gear and still have £95 in vouchers left over for ink and paper throughout the year.


It’s very pink, isn’t it? Luckily, from my point of view, I can’t see the pinkness. I’ve got the black sticky-backed plastic because the first time someone sniggers at my laptop, I’m going to wrap their fucking heads in it.

And we’re done. I have a gay laptop.


Since that day, I’ve conducted a straw poll and 100% of the gay guys asked* said they wouldn’t buy this laptop. However, one woman did chip in and say she’d probably buy it for her six year old daughter.

That’s right, it’s not a gay laptop, it’s not even a man’s laptop. It’s a little girl’s laptop.


* One. One gay guy, but he was pretty unanimous.

Categories: Random Witterings, Sad Bastard | 34 Comments

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34 thoughts on “The laptop saga (Part Three)

  1. hi Phill

    a tale well told. thank you.

    pink laptop or no, don’t forget: YOU KNOW KUNG FU. let s/he who is without tact or sense of self-preservation TRY IT ON.

    d 😉

  2. A tale well told – the best praise you can hope for as a writer. Thank you.

    Yes, I do know Kung Fu, unfortunately it’s more of the ‘learn to control yourself physically and mentally’ type than the ‘rip the face off of anyone who annoys you’ type.

    I suspect I would get my arse kicked in most confrontations; but I can wave my arms and legs around in a really pretty way.

  3. Lizzy

    I never thought it was a “gay” laptop and always said aloud that it was a little girls laptop….but it’s cute…ok it probably looks alot better with the sticky back black stuff you’ve put on it. I hate pink. You poor thing…

  4. I haven’t but the sticky black stuff on it, because I will mess it up and end up sticking it all closed or glueing my head to the wall or something.

    I’ve got in case I get really annoyed with it, but then again I might try and spray it.

    Or, more likely, I’ll leave it as it is, get narky with everyone and defend the pink laptop because I tend to champion the underdog.

  5. Lizzy

    Just tell everyone you’re perfectly comfortable with your pink laptop…then go see if PC World has a case thingy for it so you can hide it. lol I’d be the sameway with the sticky back black stuff, it’d get stuck to my face. BE PROUD OF BEING PINK!

  6. ginger

    “Ah, well the guys in Crawley are what we in the trade call ’idiots’.”

    That’s what we call those types of salespeople in Georgia, too! Good to hear that some things are worldwide!

    “I’ve got the black sticky-backed plastic because the first time someone sniggers at my laptop…..”

    LOTS of uses for that stuff, isn’t there? Promise that if you DO have to wrap someone’s head in it, you’ll take pics and post them for us…..!

  7. Lizzy: The laptop came with a case, it’s pinker than the laptop.

    Ginger: I don’t know what it’s like in Georgia, but in the UK, taking pictures of someone you’ve assaulted and posting them on the internet is probably not the best idea in the world.

  8. Never mind Phil, perhaps Phillips will get all innovative and invent different coloured snap on covers like they have for mobile phones. Then you would be able to have a lap top in any colour you want. I don’t think this is to far in the future as Dell already offer their laptops in eight different colours. That’s 8 laptops in different colours, not one laptop with 8 colours. I quite liked the ‘midnight Blue’ one myself, or maybe the ‘spring green’

  9. I’d love a pink laptop!!!! I’d swap you mine, but my battery only lasts ‘5 BLOODY MINUTES’ before it beeps like mad and switches off, leaving me
    screaming ‘NOOOOOO’ in the middle of the library!

    Use your laptop with pride. Girls will like the fact your in touch with your feminine side… ok, some will!

  10. Hmm … me working on a train, approached a beautiful young woman:

    “Hi, I really like your lapotop.”

    “Thanks. It’s got a 1.66GHz INTEL CORE 2 DUO T5500 Processor with a 667MHz front system bus.”

    “I meant I liked the colour.”

    “Right. Do you want to sit down?”

    “I did, but now I’m going to go and stand over there.”

    It’s not going to work, is it?

  11. Can I suggest covering it with stickers in an 80’s style collage. There’s a new Transformers sticker book out, after all.

  12. scudos

    That’s the answer. Either hippy-guitar that bastard up with stickers… or when someone asks (or looks) just say it’s not yours, but a chronically ill girl asked you to borrow it. Either that or wear a pink shirt and accept your fate…

  13. Or even better, pink little girls’ stickers. Unicorns and crap. That’ll go over so well with the ladies. Trust me.

  14. Yeah, then maybe I can say I’m a paedophile and it belonged to the little girl I just killed?

    What? Too far?

  15. Moviequill

    get some black tape and tape up the pink, leave a bit of flash and it will look ultra cool retro 1950s rockabilly

    if you spill tea in it again, get the Panasonic Toughbook, I hear you can dump a whole can of Coke in it and it keeps on ticking

  16. Today I am proud, for I have inadvertently provided the feedline for a paedophile joke.

  17. Todd: It’s a good idea, bbut I’m fairly certain any attempt I make at customising the machine will end in tragedy – maybe even a death. I have no talent for that sort of thing.

    Oli: That is indeed a proud day in anyone’s life.

  18. ginger

    “Ginger: I don’t know what it’s like in Georgia, but in the UK, taking pictures of someone you’ve assaulted and posting them on the Internet is probably not the best idea in the world.”

    Actually, that sounds like a pretty typical night down here (minus the assault of course) 🙂 You’d be amazed what Southern boys can accomplish with too much time on their hands, several rolls of black plastic sticky tape, too much beer, and a willing (and equally drunk) “victim”!

  19. JP

    LOL they offered me the pink one today, and I said no fuck off.
    he did find me 3 X59’s instock

    so I got mine today, silver and manly hehe

  20. Great, now I’m really pissed off.

  21. Frank

    Phill – thanks for your account of the pink laptop dilemma. I recognised every bit of angst and came to conclusion that the X59 is a great notebook, even in its pink guise – and of course there are probably no silver models left in the country anyway. So I’ve taken the plunge and gone pink.

    I thought I could live with the metallic pink lid, especially since you cannot see it when using the laptop. Also it should be fairly easy to spray paint it back to plain silver. However, it came as a shock to find a pink neoprene sleeve inside the box. This is really pink, not even sophisticated silver pink! Any ideas how to fix it?

  22. Well, I just gave it to my wife for her DVD player and carried on using the one I bought for my old laptop – it’s not such a snug fit, but it’s got a bit more protection.

    If you really wanted to use it, I don’t know – dye it? Fabric dye would probably sort it out, but that’s a guess, not a piece of advice.

  23. Pingback: The first hurdle « The Jobbing Scriptwriter

  24. Hey Phil, I have read this saga from start to finish (I think) and I have loved every minute of it, its the funniest thing I have read in ages.

    BTW I have the PINK one. I had to have 12″ screen, it had to have Vista with dual core and 1Gb memory and long battery. It was the only one they had. Even as a girly I dont like pink much, but the colour is not a problem, I am not laptopist 🙂

    How is it now you have had it a month? Any problems?

  25. Hello, Becky. Glad you enjoyed it.

    The only problem I found was it ran a bit slow; but a 1gb SD card in the memory slot and the ready boost sorted that out.

  26. Does readyboost really make that much of a difference?

  27. Seems to, but I’m going on my perception rather than any empirical data.

  28. HI its me again sorry, I wanted to ask something else. When I got this laptop I originally took it back as I found out it only had one memory slot when it advertised two. I got another but was not happy as it was bigger so ended up gong back to PC World and getting it back again (the original one so I still had my photos on it. lol)

    Anyway I was talking to the tech guys man and we both agreed that Philips deny all knowledge of putting their name to this laptop range. I know they don’t actually make them, but their name is still added to them, obviously with their permission. PC World called them to get some recovery discs and they just kept repeating sorry we dont do laptops.

    Does this aspect worry you at all? If my laptop is problem free then it will never been an issue, but if it does need proper repairing or replacement parts I feel we are going to be totally stuck as PC World with have nowhere to send it to.

    I suppose one consolation is that I took out the £9.99 a month pc performance plan which I think if they cant find parts they will juust simply replace it, but I don’t know, its a little worrying do you not think?

    You could send Philips a photo of your laptop box with their logo on and they would still deny it. 😦

  29. I’m not that fussed, no. Accidental damage is covered by my house insurance and I’m foolishly optimistic enough to believe it won’t just pack up before I trade it in.

    As for spare parts, I’ve since learned the real manufacturer is … erm … Avertec?

    I think?

  30. I think the manufacturer is Twinhead, but they badge it as that company in America, bit like Philips does here.

  31. Man up. Be confident enough to own a pink laptop! Sheesh!

    Just tell people it’s your built-in anti-theft device! (Because no self-respecting thief would try to walk off with it!)

  32. I’ve long since come to terms with my pink laptop and now regard it with some affection.

    Manly affection, of course.

  33. Pingback: The desktop saga « The Jobbing Scriptwriter

  34. Rob

    I came across your Laptop Saga when I did a web search for “Philips X53 replacement keyboard”. I had found a cheap X53 on Craig’s List with some bad keys, and like you, I was simply hoping to replace the keyboard.
    I suppose here in California the cause of the damage is more likely to have been coffee than tea, but result is the same.
    Anyway, I will proceed with caution and I will steel myself to the possibility of needing to buy either black sticky-backed plastic or unicorn and Hello Kitty stickers should I end up getting an X59P instead.

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