By Dick Platt
Corsicana Daily Sun
You know that technology has passed you by when you have a power outage and nothing you own is blinking. I refused to get a computer for many years because they scare the boogers out of me. It’s true, I hate computers and computers hate me. No one believes me, but I swear, last year my computer actually gave me a virus.
And VCRs are another terror to me. I currently have one for sale. It’s like brand new because I never did figure it out. I’ve had the damned thing for four years and it’s still blinking midnight. Really, how can I be expected to operate such high-tech equipment when I can’t even operate Velcro? I’m still trying to figure out how the Kleenex box works. The way the tissues continually pop up is fascinating. My son, ever the smart aleck, says that, by the time I get around to building a better mousetrap, mice will be an endangered species.
That same son drives me up the wall with his overuse of technology. He not only has a car phone, he has an answering machine on it. He also has “fax-waiting.” He had an extra phone line put in his house so he could actually take phone calls. He is a mortgage broker and he recently arranged a second mortgage through an ATM. Like any doting mother, my wife (this was before she became The Little Woman) nags him all the time but nowadays, it goes like this: “You don’t call, you don’t fax, and you don’t e-mail!” When he suggested I get a laptop for my personal use, I said, “Whatever for? I already have a very ample lap and it is the sole possession of Annie the Cat.”
For years, I thought “software” was cotton underwear. My version of the Lord’s Prayer went like this: “...and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from e-mail...” I once told my boss that I could not be expected to back up my hard drive when I can’t even find reverse. One time, I got a phone prompt to push the pound sign, so I pushed “LBS.” I didn’t have a clue that they meant the “tic-tac-toe” sign.
At that same job, which was my last, they wouldn’t trust me with a pager. So, to appear cool, I wore my garage door opener on my belt. And the women I worked with drove me nuts. They would send me a “receipt-required” e-mail to tell me my wife had called while I was out. They never did appreciate the usefulness of a “sticky-note” on the computer screen. They really made fun of me the time one of them caught me trying to enter my password on the microwave oven in our break room.
I called it quits and retired when my boss decided it was time to send me to “spreadsheet school.” Spreadsheets! Spreadsheets. I don’t need no stinkin’ spreadsheets! My job title was “Management Analyst” and I could manage and analyze just fine with a lined tablet and adding machine. So I hung it up and I never regretted leaving that technical jungle of work cubicles.
Let me close with a couple of technical questions that have been bothering me:
Why is it that, in order to stop “Windows XP,” I have to click on “Start?”
Wouldn’t it be nice if, whenever we messed up our life, we could simply press “Ctrl, Alt, Delete” and start all over?
NOTE: I am actually typing this rant from the past on Jan. 13, the day after the two teams I picked to play in the Super Bowl got eliminated. My beloved Broncos were defeated, in a thrilling double overtime game, by Baltimore Ravens and the Green Bay Packers were severely thumped by the San Francisco 49’ers. Wouldn’t it be great if the two Harbaugh brothers (Jim and John) coached against each other in the Super Bowl? All that human interest and “Beyonce” too may be a little much. (Editor’s note: They did, and she didn’t lip-synch).
A couple more drips from my urn of punography: I changed my iPod’s name to Titanic and it’s synching now. Broken pencils are pointless. England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool. I dropped out of the class on communism because I was getting such lousy Marx. When old chemists die, they barium.
Dick Platt is a Daily Sun columnist. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org