I have a writing-related question

I’ve recently started writing in bed, after buying one of those back-rest pillow thingies with the little arms – in the South, such things are called “husbands,” but they may have less metaphorical names in other parts of the country. Personally, I’ve always liked the Southern name, because its sociological implications are intriguing. Maybe this is one of those secrets of marriage no one’s ever let me in on, that married ladies get to use their actual husbands as back support when reading or writing or watching television in bed, while the rest of us are left with these corduroy-covered stand-ins to fill the void.

But I digress.

The other reason I recently started writing from bed is that I needed a change of setting, and my apartment only has two rooms. Well, unless you count the bathroom, but I’m not quite prepared to begin writing in the tub, or on the toilet.

Also, it turns out, both Marilynne Robinson and Frank Conroy write from bed. Though not together in the same bed, of course. And in Frank’s case I suppose we should use the past tense, since now Frank does his writing in whatever version of The Great Beyond you happen to believe in. Personally, I like to imagine Frank going a few rounds with God over the clarity of certain Biblical passages. “Do you really need all these characters begetting one another?" he'd ask. "That’s an awful lot of confusing backstory.” Or he’d slam his fist down on the table and tell God he’s drunk on the language. “Have another sip of champagne!” he’d yell. “Purple prose! Purple prose!”

Anyway, I really am getting to my question. Which is this: is there any truth to the rumor that sitting around with my laptop on my actual lap is going to bother my business? Slow down the little swimming fishies? Keep me from one day filling the Barrelhouse mansion with an army of miniaturized versions of myself?

Perhaps one of you scientifically or medically or computerically inclined Barrelhousers could give me some reassurance. Or else strict instructions to employ a metal TV tray or some other such shield-like device.

Thank you for any help you can offer in this matter.

Your friend,



dave said...

Sorry, man. I was looking forward to seeing the Mike Ingram illigitimate children coming out of the woodwork in 10 to 20 years, but according to the BBC, you're out of luck, man:

Actually, it sounds like the issue is with the temparature of your scrotum. That's right, peoples, we are talking about the temperature of Mike's scrotum. God, I hope search engines pick up blog comments and that can one day be listed alongside "Ryan Seacrest gay" in our top referring phrases: "Mike Ingram Scrotum Temperature."

Anyway, looks like you'd be okay if you just regulate that temperature. The one of your scrotum, that is.

And some laptops are definitely hotter than others. If you've got a Dell, you're probably frying your boys at a much higher rate than, say, an IBM.

Mike said...

Hmmmm. Maybe it's best if I go back to writing at my desk. Don't want to overheat the old scrotum. Or perhaps there's some sort of fan device I could have built that would ... oh, never mind, this is getting too gross even for me.

Kevin said...

I use a lap desk from staples or office max or one of those junk stores and it seems too be fine.

Or the have them marketed especially for the task of keeping things cool: Laptop desk.

Mike said...

Ah, so there is a product I could use, other than buying an old Spider-Man TV tray off e-bay, of course.

CM said...

In New York, those pillows are called "boyfriends." That's because we have loose morals. As for your issue . . . it's actually more about the position most laptop users sit in. Most of the heat actually comes from the thighs, not the computer itself. And really, worrying about this makes about as much sense as worrying over wearing boxers or briefs -- the risk is small, it's mostly anecdotal, and any damage is probably reversible. So, relax. And now I'm going to do my best never to think about this again.

TMC said...

One thing about Mike's scrotum... it's temperature is always under control.