This is why Dave has now been elevated to Super Dave status... I make a frantic call to Dave and it's 11.30pm. Rather than ignore my call and pretend he's off having a life like most normal people would do, he takes the call with good grace and humour at my panic and calmly offers to help there and then. So, I strap my laptop into the carseat and put the seatbelt round it and set off in my pyjamas, over the River Wyre into the dark side (Hambleton) which at midnight is like a scene from Sleepy Hollow. I get out of my car clutching my laptop and with a rape alrm clenched between my teeth, and he's there at the back door in his Bill Gates PJ's, smoking jacket and cravat. The ivory cigarette holder completes the look. The kettle goes on, and while I'm quaffing coffee whilst thinking to myself 'how the bloody hell did I manage to drive in my slippers?', Dave explains that the 'virus' is in fact a scam to cheat people into giving their card details in exchange for a 'fix' that never comes. The virus however, sits on your hard drive and resides in memory and will be constantly causing damage without ever going away.
Dave prescribed an overnight fix and scan for the laptop, 2 paracetemol and some relaxation tapes for me. I drive home to dolphin mating noise on my CD player and try to ignore a headless horseman riding through the mist of Shard Bridge and get home and to bed around 1am.
Tonight, I've collected my laptop which has been cleaned virus-free and has new virus software and spyware loaded. I'm so chuffed there's no lasting damage (other than cancelling my bank cards so will have no access to money until the replacements arrive) that I promised Dave I would write nice things about him. We've come a long way since the days of us being next door neighbours and sitting for hours in his garden in the summer drinking beer and swopping filthy jokes. On evil days I would lean over the fence and flick mayonnaise at his boxer shorts on his washing line and blame the seagulls. Sorry Dave, it was me.
I owe you a big lunch as a way of thanks. Just don't ask for the Hellmans...