I’m lost…can’t find myself. Last I remember, I was in one of the “Hidden Files”…

The Caricaturist has gone missing again. She needs to geo-tag herself, she needs some meta-data on her dress, she needs to make herself searchable; or she’ll lose herself so completely that she’ll never be found again!

This is what happened – as I remember it, and unlike always I am not exaggerating.

The time was 9 in the night. I had been working on the computer since 6 in the morning. (Of course, I took the much needed breaks of both kinds. Now what kind of unasked question was that?!) Now, you’d expect me to be tired…to be falling down on my keyboard, slipping off my chair, typing bad four-letter words instead of nice four-letter ones (yep! the nice ones! Did you ever hear of the four letter word called “love”? Now replace that with “work”! You see what I mean? They don’t get any worse.)

Anyway, to make a long story short, I was peering into the screen trying to figure out who was actually making the text blurry – my computer or I, when it happened. My computer screen exploded into a riot of colors that began to swirl and twirl, opening up a sort of tunnel, which had a sort of light at the end. Now, most tunnels that I encounter these days have absolutely no light anywhere – they are dark, damp, and dingy. So I was mighty pleased with this particular tunnel, and I jumped right into it.

The practical ones among you would expect me to end up in a hospital, with my head bandaged up and me being nursed back to health by a Tom Cruise look-alike nurse (No! NOT Ben Stiller look-alike…no way – not even in your imagination would I be nursed back to health by Ben Stiller look-alike.) The more imaginative readers would expect me to find light and be happily ever after.

How pleased am I to tell you that both of you are wrong. The moment I landed in my computer, the light at the end of the tunnel vanished. I looked to my left and then to my right, and saw that bits and bytes were zipping and zapping up and down…and the whole place looked as busy as hell. Before I could make sense of it all, a byte zoomed in near me, picked me up, flung me on his shoulder…and banged my head against a passing zip file.

I’d have immediately lost consciousness, had curiosity not forced me to keep my eyes open. The byte who was carrying me, glided past many different folders. I saw my favorite software applications and I saw their less favored cousins. While Photoshop and Flash proudly displayed their six-packs that they got through their rigorous work routines, all those other applications looked like they could use some work. They lounged, they loitered, and they had all put on weight. Illustrator, in particular, looked like a bum; beer-bellied with a week’s worth of stubble! Not their fault, I thought and made a mental note of it.

While I was taking it all in, the byte who was carrying me, missed a step; and I saw myself flying into the No Fly Zone!

With a soft thud I landed on a file. I looked around and saw rows after rows of files after files. The file on which I landed opened up and swallowed me. I realized that I’ll never be found again – because I was in one of the hidden files.

I have painstakingly encrypted this message in one of the icons on your desktop. The icon automatically sends a message to your browser and forces it to display this message on my blog. So, if you are reading this…please HELP!