You take things for granted in life until you realize how badly you need them. Like true love. Or food and oxygen. Or the P key on your keyboard.

Dan’s P key is malfunctioning. Actually, it’s not only the P key. The colon, quote mark/apostrophe, question mark and end parentheses keys are also acting up.

And it doesn’t appear to be a structural thing. As we have discovered in recent weeks, computer keyboards mainly rely on a soft, bubbly little implement that’s just under the flat thing you press down. It’s buoyant and playful, and under normal circumstances it doesn’t require much pressure to get the bouncy little guy to produce a character on your screen.

But these are not normal times at North Star Marketing Content, and this particular grouping of keys will sometimes cooperate and sometimes not. The buoyant little bouncy guy keeps doing his thing no matter what, and there is no apparent rhyme or reason to why this sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.

But the P key is the biggest problem here. You never really think about how many words contain that letter, until you find yourself trying to come up with p-free alternatives every other word or so.

So we come up with workarounds.

You can put the letter P on the clipboard and then resort to CTRL+V when you need a P. You can set up one file on the left with a bunch of letter Ps (along with the other recalcitrant characters), then do your writing in a file on the right, and drag the characters over when you need them.

Or you can go P vegan, and only use a vocabulary consisting of P-free words. For every problem there is a solution.

Dude, you say. You can’t live like this! You’re a writer! You need a properly functioning keyboard with a functional P key! Get a new computer!

Easy for you to say. Dan’s computer is now entering Year 4, and it’s set up exactly the way he likes it. Except for the rebellious P key and it’s little band of rebel keys.

These are the times that test the mettle of men. Well, this one man anyway.

We’re glad to have shared this bit of news with you. We are not sure there’s a point to it. But we hope that, when you woke up this morning, you thanked God for another day of living, breathing, experiencing the exhilaration of life and typing the letter P without really giving it much of a thought.

By the way, when the Earth was young and we were a startup, we had a word in our name that started with the letter P. We eliminated that word from the name many years ago. Thank God.

Here’s where you can learn more about our P-free company.