Many people have invoked voodoo when repairing computers. Steering away from potentially libellous references to Bill Gates, I shall instead relate the story of my uncle Brian. Brian and his wife Colin were both high priests of the Spanish Church of Super-Naughty Voodoo, although I believe Colin herself was not aware of this as she had been dead since 1974.

At the time of this story, my spiffy new PC was just coming together, as I had been assembling it myself from kosher parts imported from Israel. I plugged in the final component, a capacitor as it happens, and hit the power switch with an expression of expectation. And...


Huh. I flicked the switch a few more times, checked all the power cables. Still nothing. At times like this, I knew only one course of action: I picked up the 1930s telephone only recently purchased from the local Marxist, and dialed.

Me: Brian? Hi.
Brian (translated from his native Urdu): Who's this? If this is another one of you egg whisk salesmen, I can tell you where to stick that bloody...
Me: No Uncle, it is I, your faithful servant.
Brian: Oh. (I detected a hint of disappointment)
Me: I need your voodoo prowess.
Norbert: Am I in this write-up?
Brian: (With new enthusiasm) On my way!

Within minutes, Brian's car pulled up in the drive. Brian followed later on a bike, but the car was something to keep me entertained. Once inside the house, he removed both his coat and his head, and I hung them both neatly on the stand by the door. "Won't be needing that," said Brian's tracheal orifice, as I led him through to the famous computer.

Once inside, Brian lowered his trousers and squealed rhythmically until I calmed him with the business end of a credit card. I explained to him the problem, and he rubbed his healthy bosom in thought.

"Make the computer work?" he said. "I'll need two black candles and a chicken."

Six months on: The computer works like a dream, and both of Brian's reluctant testicles have now dropped. I love him like my own father, although to be fair I slaughtered my father with a sharpened Mexican. Nevertheless, the moral of the story is:

If you have a Voodoo Uncle: be thankful, you ungrateful son of a bitch.

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