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John Pilafidis

A Fistful of Floppies – or – How I Met John

John came to town when I was sick in the hospital and couldn’t defend myself.  While in the eighth grade, I caught a really nasty case of pneumonia.  I was sick at home for three weeks followed by a week in the hospital. 

It was during those first three weeks that my friends formed a computer club and elected me president (despite the fact that I was in absentia). I wasn’t surprised at my election.  I was something of a top dog in the nerd scene.  I had more floppy disks than anyone else.  Never mind that my family didn’t actually own a computer.  That didn’t matter.  I had 40 floppy disks, and in the little town of Pioneer Jr. High, that meant something.

My illness took a turn for the worse and I ended up in the hospital.  My friend, Mike, came to visit me.  He had news.  “There’s a new kid at school”  Mike hesitated.  “And he’s got even more disks than you.” 

I couldn’t believe it.  They said he had hundreds of disks.  There was just no way.  I resolved that when I returned to school, I’d find him and expose him for the charlatan he was.

I hung around the computer room my first day back, waiting for the stranger to arrive.  Soon enough, he came.  They called him John. 

He seemed charismatic, even friendly.  I didn’t let that distract me.  I had work to do.

I wasted no time: “They say you have hundreds of floppies.  Is that true?”

John laughed.  “Nah.  Only about 100.”  He then told me about living in Singapore and it’s bustling, though not entirely legal, software trade.  He showed me some of the cool programs he had with him.  All the while he was warm and genuinely funny.  Within minutes, I was hooked.  This new guy John was cool.  Very cool.

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