Old Dog-New Tricks
By Nikki Pelezo / Dirt Roads
Like other seniors my age, I was given an internet device for Christmas. Just what I need, something else to control my world and make me appear less than intelligent. This booger can take photos, videos, play music, display maps, lets me know if I’m lost, text, gets me on Facebook, and loads of other useless conveniences. Charlie, my husband, has to learn how the machine works then translate the information into my wee brain.
Generally he is very good, but on the rare occasion he can lose his cool. Here is a snippet of our very recent conversation.
“Nikki, I’m not losing my patience,” says mild mannered Charlie.
“Yes, you are. You yelled at me when I hit the erasure button,” I lamented.
“Well, what we’ve been programming for the last three hours just went in the garbage can,” replied Charlie with spittle running down his chin.
“Well, it’s not my fault. The machine makers need to do better with their instructions. I don’t see why stuff can be erased by simply pushing the erase button,” I stated, ignoring the spittle.
Through clinched teeth Charlie goes back over the whole procedure of recording music, putting in phone numbers, etc. Then, and I swear this is true, he started explaining to me about Eniac, DOS, Binary, Octal and the first computer he purchased from AT&T back in 1987. That’s when my eyes turned blank and my breathing started slowing down.
“Oh no,” I thought to myself. “He’s not going to go over the whole entire life of computers again, is he?”
I should have known better, through half closed eyes I saw Charlie making a wave motion with his hands. “Oh no,” I thought to myself. “He’s going back even further.”
An hour later, looking at Charlie through glazed eyes, he said, “Think of radio waves going through the air. If it wasn’t for Marconi’s invention of the radio, we’d still be using Morse code.”
Actually, smoke signals are looking pretty good right about now.