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Why Bother Chewing Through The Restraints?

This Column Was Supposed To Be About ...

I'll tell you one thing: Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints.

I was all ready this week to compile the great responses that I got to last week's column, in which I asked folks to send me the names of their favorite songs to sing along to in the car.

I got tons of responses. Tons, I tell you. I stored them in an e-mail folder in Microsoft Outlook, to which my employer recently insisted that everyone switch, and boy, wasn't that a great decision?

AngryOn Wednesday night, our e-mail server shut down. That meant not only that I couldn't send or receive e-mail from work, I also couldn't access anything in any of my e-mail folders -- including the witty, literate, invaluable column responses that I was about to begin assembling for this week's column.

Well, OK. I went home, figuring that Outlook would be all better on Thursday morning, and that I could finish my column with no trouble. I figured that nothing could be worse than the "ILOVEYOU" virus debacle a few weeks ago -- which, big surprise, also targeted Outlook, and which hit our company like that giant tsunami that everyone keeps predicting.

Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams: I found out Thursday morning that hundreds, if not thousands, of stored e-mails on company computers had been lost. And sorry, we were told, everything that was lost is -- how did the techno types put it? -- oh yeah: irretrievable.

Lost. Vanished. Floating around somewhere in the ozone. (Mulder's wrong: It's not the truth that's out there; it's a bunch of lost computer documents.)

Of course, I wasn't the only one affected, and as these things go, the e-mails that I lost weren't really that important. One of my colleagues in Cleveland lost a bunch of resumes that she'd kept in an e-mail folder.

Nevertheless, the air turned pretty blue around my computer for a while Thursday morning. Just ask Parker, Tim and Jon, the poor guys who are forced to sit near me. (I think they either lost a bet or are just paying really huge karmic debts; that's why they have to sit where they do.)

Anyway. If you're one of those who wrote to me in the last week to tell me what songs you like to sing along to on the car radio -- and why -- I must humbly ask you to write to me again.

And if you have any nasty experiences with Outlook to relate -- or if you know a really good way to defenestrate a computer -- let me know those, too.

God and Bill Gates willing, I'll publish the best ones in future columns.

Man. Some people are just incurably optimistic, aren't they?

Note: Betsy's pop culture column, Culture Shocked, appears every Wednesday in our Entertainment section. She welcomes your questions and comments.

Want to be notified by e-mail of the newest edition of Culture Shocked? Click here.

Copyright 2001 by Channel 2000. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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