This reminds me of a story someone I worked with once told me. Sometime around 1989, he was writing his dissertation (or was it a master's thesis? memory dims, so call it a dissertation). On a typewriter. For some reason I don't recall, it really had to be in on the first of May, else he would have to wait until fall to submit it. And so in early April he went to rural Pennsylvania to hole up at a relative's cabin and finish the damn thing.

On the morning of May 1st, newly typed dissertation in hand, he got into his 1980 Honda Civic and began driving back to Philadelphia. It was a beautiful day, and he rolled down the windows (the Civic, natch, had no air conditioning), revelling in the beautiful spring air, singing along to the radio, when suddenly he noticed a jarring percussive beat undercutting the song's bass line. He looked over to see what it was, and found, to his horror, that it was the pages of his dissertation being whisked, one by one, out of the open window by the wind. He pulled the car to a screeching halt, but about half of his opus was gone. He pulled into the nearest motel, rented a room, plugged in his typewriter, and started trying to recreate the thing from his rough draft. Of course, the pages didn't come out evenly, so he had to do it again. Twice. By the time he got to Philadelphia, whoever he was trying to give the thing to had fled. That's why he was spending his summer working for a Ralph Nader group instead of doing something useful. Or so he said.

This holiday season, be thankful you're not him. And how about backing up your hard drive while you watch the I Love Lucy marathon?

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