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by Kenneth Lyen

I like giving advice. It gives you the feeling of superiority. "Backup your data, photocopy your document, make a copy of your work," I tell everybody.

Do I listen to my own advice?

Hah! What do you think?

Well, the other day I could have killed myself for not listening to my own advice. I had a deadline to meet. I needed to send some music files to a friend overseas for a musical collaboration. It had taken me two solid months composing 12 songs. Lots of blood, toil, tears and sweat. I had stored all my information on one minidisc. Then fate stepped in. I decided to record my 13th song. But my regular minidisc recorder was recharging its battery. So I brought out my very old minidisc recorder that I haven’t used for a year.

You don’t want to hear the details of what happened, nor do I. Suffice it to say that when I played back to listen to what I had recorded, I couldn’t hear a thing. When I checked my minidisc, there was a message "Blank disc".

If you have ever used a minidisc, you will realise this message spells doom. Once erased, forever lost. There’s no recovery. None at all. No second chance. Zip. All zapped.

What do I do?


I explete! Funny, this word does not exist. It should. Anyway, I execrate. Yes, this word exists, and I think you can smell its meaning.

I mourn the loss of the 12 songs I had written. Not only has it been lost from my minidisc, but it has also been obliterated from my own memory. I cannot for the life of me recall any of the melodies I had written. Not one measly strain. I am left with a profound sense of bereavement, because one of those songs could have become a smash hit (not that I’ve ever written a smash hit). Yeah, I’m angry with myself.

So what next do I do?

I sat down for the next few hours and wrote 5 songs, one of them in 10 minutes. That’s the fastest I’ve ever done. A record (what an ironic word)! Then I wrote another 4 songs over the next day. That’s another record. Well, I didn’t quite come up with the 12 songs I had started off with, but at least I got up to song number 9. I’m exhausted. Hell, I need a break.

I will not do something so stupid ever again! I promise to backup all my work! Otherwise I shall make another scatological remark. Shit!!