The Laptop Charger

I learned a lesson the other day; Sometimes following my innate man-instincts to rig something together with nothing but tape and stubbornness is actually a perfectly viable solution. Here's how I learned that lesson:

I'm fairly certain Griff wants to be a bomb disposal dog when he grows up. This is the only logical conclusion I am able to come to based on his obsession with biting through wires.

(On a side note, I would watch the hell out of an Air Bud/Hurt Locker mashup sequel where Air Bud goes to Afghanistan and diffuses bombs like a total badass). 

His first victim was my gaming headset, and at some indeterminate time he nibbled his adorably deviant way through the cord to Emily's Chromebook.


We don't know when he did it, but if we're being honest, it was probably on my watch. This is why we have dogs and not children; if Griff chews the laptop cord I can replace it, but if my baby sticks a fork in a light socket or something I go to jail.

I went out to Target after work the day after the chewed cord had been discovered in order to pick up a universal charger as a replacement. It would seem that our Target carries only one type of universal charger. The creatively named "Targus Laptop Charger" seen here:


Now, I've got a bone to pick with the good people in the package design department over at Targus. Their package proudly states that this charger "INCLUDES 6 CONNECTOR TIPS". What they have neglected to provide you, the customer with is any sort of indication as to what size any of those tips are. Not only is the package sealed in such a way that you cannot look at the tips hidden away in there, but nowhere on the front, back, top, bottom or sides of this thing does it give any information about these six connector tips. 

Presumably they are all different sizes to fit a variety of laptops, but for all I can tell from the way it's been packaged, this thing it could just be a grab bag where some minimum wage factory worker closes their eyes, grabs a handful of connectors out of a bin and chucks them in there at random. If that guy was having a bad day there could just be six identical connectors in there with a note that says "Go F@#k yourself".


Now obviously that's preposterous, there are of course going to be six different connectors, (Also the idea that a factory worker is throwing random connectors in is absurd. They'd obviously have outsourced that job to a robot years ago.) but I've got no way of knowing if any of them are a match for my wife's laptop. 

This thing costs sixty bucks and it's pretty much a total crap shoot as to if it works or not. C'mon Targus, get your shit together.

So there is like a 50/50 shot that this thing isn't going to work, but it's the only one they've got and like hell I'm going to walk out of this Target and have to drive five minutes to the Best Buy right down the road.

I get home with my begrudgingly purchased laptop charger only to discover that none of the six connector tips are even close to the correct size for my wife's laptop. I'm sure, somehow this is my own fault but I feel much better about my failures blaming them on a faceless laptop peripherals manufacturer that cant defend themselves from my snippy internet whining. So yeah, up yours Targus Laptop Charger.

At this point, the laptop is at like 9% battery and Emily needs it for work stuff. Time is short, plus its 8:30 at night and I'm not driving back out so that more companies can lie to me about the universality of their laptop chargers.

I decide it's time to handle this like a man. A man with little to no understanding of electronics or wiring but abundant access to electrical tape and a pair of scissors. 

Sometimes I have what we'll refer to as 'Man Episodes'. These occur primarily when I get the idea into my head that I'm going to fix or build something. A man episode can start any time without warning whenever there is something my brain deems 'manly' that needs doing.

Once the Man Episode has begun, I go completely silent. I suppose my brain assumes that to achieve maximum machismo I am required to be stoic and silent. I'll just get up and begin gathering all of the supplies I think I'll need. I then begin laying them out very precisely in my designated work area like I'm some kind of safe cracker or jewel thief as opposed to an idiot laying out his kitchen table with the same supplies second graders use to make arts and crafts. 

This happens frequently enough that as soon as I begin my supply gathering ritual, my wife understands that I'm off in my own world and pretty much just leaves me to my devices. I presume she is judging me in silence and reflecting on the direction of her life which led her to be married to such a disappointment.

Upon entering into a full fledged Man Episode fugue sate over this laptop cord and completing the gathering of supplies ritual I sit down and begin to work. I am always very serious about the fixin' I am doing during these Man Episodes; my brain invents some version of the task that is way more complicated and cool than whatever it actually is. As I sit there with my little spread of tools and this busted laptop charger the scene in my head looks something like this:


Meanwhile, outside of the delusional badass wire surgeon fantasy I've concocted for myself, the way the situation actually looks is more accurately represented by this: 


I may have taken some artistic liberty with the sparkles, but they just felt right.

I cut away the chewed up bits of the wire and stripped the plastic sheath from the now cleanly cut ends. I found a few different bundles of wires within the outermost casing and using my finely honed skills of knowing what colors are the same color as each other I matched up the individual wires, wrapped them together and taped them up with electrical tape.

When all the individual wires were connected to each other I taped the whole thing up in a wad and admired my handy-work.

Despite looking like it had been smacked together by a chimp in a unitard, when I plugged it in, it worked perfectly.

I am a god.

It has been several weeks since this happened, and I still feel like a total badass every time I look at the cord to my wife's laptop. The life lesson here I think is something like: Though usually rigging something together in a haphazard and likely unsafe manner is a terrible, terrible idea, sometimes it works out and you get to strut around basking in your own glory.

Also, enjoy those small victories in life. When I look at that shittily taped together laptop cord, I feel like I am riding on a t-rex whilst wearing a monocle and fake moustache like some sort of dinosaur riding Cowboy/dapper gentleman. Also the t-rex has a monocle and moustache too.


This is what gets me through the day.