Sunday, 25 November 2007

How dirty is your keyboard?

If you spend any amount of time in front of a keyboard, you'll agree that turning it upside down and giving it a good couple of thumps is a useful way to pass a few hours while you wait for Facebook to open.

A lot of human, mineral and vegetable matter tends to come out of a well-used, well-slapped keyboard. If you're the average user of a PC, I can imagine that you'll find lurking under those keys some dust, a few crumbs, the odd pet hair, a skin-flake or two; perhaps even a paper clip or staple, and - if you're lucky - a furry breath-mint.

Not me. Read on if you have the stomach for it.

When I got so disgusted with the stickiness and grunginess of my keyboard the other day, I decided to take action. Because I didn't want to fritter away the hours on such a mundane task, I grabbed a box of ear-buds, a kitchen scourer and some window-cleaning detergent, and I dialled up the Johannesburg City Council to complain about my electricity account (sorting this out takes at least an hour, if you're lucky). With phone cradled between ear and shoulder, and with the help of a metal nail file, I popped all the keys off the keyboard, and cunningly layed them, in sequence, on the desk. My idea was to spritz them with Windolene, rub off the sticky bits, and then pop them back on again as I finished my call to the Council.

From the space under the keys, I blew/scraped/extracted/mined the following:

-1 kg cat and dog hair (how can this be? Are the little devils creeping through the window at night and sleeping on the keyboard?)
-2 kg assorted crumbs 'n flakes 'n pips (including biltong, Lays chips, mascara bits, granadilla pips, pistachio-nut shells, etc)
-1 kg cigarette ash (I blush)
-2 kg sticky stuff, comprising, in descending proportions, coffee, white wine, Coca-Cola and assorted dark matter
- and (eeeeeeu, EEEEEEUUU!) three tiny cockroaches, and their pitiful nest, located between the 'Print Screen' and the 'Scroll Lock' keys.

A few cans of insecticide met my keyboard, and I vacated my office for the day. The next morning, I scrubbed and rinsed the keys, and popped them all back onto the keyboard in their correct order.

Sfn gjren o wote hjis nkih oady, stbt o yjw vkwbqt dyxjwe?.

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meggie said...

I have noted that some of my keyes appear brown & stained. I am not quite game enough to address the underlying mess.

tonypark said...

There's Bulbul pooh in my keyboard. An occupational hazard of typing in the great outdoors

Juno said...

Ok, that trumps my cockroach nest, Tony.

angel said...

oh that is so gross!!!