All i needed for this was
- sharp blade
- (cutely colored) electrical tape
- piece of lace, or anything abrasive (like my old boss' personality- OHHHHHHHH!)
- vinyl letters (semi-optional)
Step 1: The problem
The part of the cable that responded to coaxing was the part that plugs into the computer, and the first few inches of wire beyond. The adapter fit normally into the computer, not loosely at all.
Past experience fixing my phone charger told me that the thumbelina (thumb-sized part you plug into the device) had probably strained the wire over time and the wire had broken inside, without any visible damage to the rubber outside, as is the way. I figured i'd fix it cause "not like it works now! as long as i'm not super aggro about it, i can't make it any worse!"