I Had It But I Lost It (tf)

I despise technology but can’t function without it, which means I’m perpetually miserable. Working all day on a lap-top with a VOIP phone connected. Some video conference calls in between. Cell phone in my pocket so I can be reached in the event I need to visit the bathroom. Ipod churning out the background noise. Vacation spots are chosen based on Wii-Fi access. If there’s a leak at work I need to be able to plug it….beach be damned. Not that I like the beach. Actually, I hate the beach. I’d much rather vacation in a shack in the middle of the woods…a house filled with firewood, books, and Diet Cokes, and surrounded by a moat brimming with half-starved piranhas. But for some reason my kids always choose the beach option. And try finding a secluded shack with high-speed internet these days anyway. You’ll end up paying a fortune.

So yea….there’s no avoiding it. I try. I’m still resisting this whole “Kindle” nonsense. Some computer-type device that replaces all your books, or some such thing. I don’t want to replace all my books. Without my books I’m just another stupid person who votes. I don’t want to hold something that beeps at me or runs out of battery time when I’m reading. Stevens is always laughing at my quaintness…him sitting there smugly downloading books for $8 while I climb over shelves looking for a $15 paperback. He says I too will succumb and he’s probably right, but that doesn’t mean I can’t fight the good fight. He’s always shoving his Ipad in my face. I don’t have one of those either, mostly because I’m not sure what an Ipad is (or what the difference between an “Ipod” and an “Ipod Touch” is…..other than the fact that my kid needs both of course). But again, he assures me that he’s been liberated and I am an antiquated cave-man trolling in the slow lane. Then he begs my pardon to answer his constantly bleating cell phone. A blackberry or Iphone or some such flashy thing.

How have I been technologically lapped by a guy so much….er….older than me?

By a guy who still writes with a stubby pencil?

Who knew that Stevens, with his folksy charm and his down home TV spots and his rugged man-of-the-people pick-up truck is, in secret, a techno geek? I’d see him walking around town, backpack slung over his shoulder, thinking that perhaps he stored survival gear in there. Or bug spray. Or mountain climbing rope. Little did I know he’s a walking Apple trade-show…always seeking Hot Spots and electrical outlets and dark places to read Bram Stoker novels on his Kindle.

The word is now out. The genie is out of the bottle as it were.

You cannot judge a book by its cover. Even if you have to download the book first.

Sill, all in all, Stevens is a good guy despite his techno-fetishes and his alarming propensity for disco music. He’s a good friend to have. He’s a straight shooter and smart as hell and never gets aggravated when little old ladies come up to him and say things like “you should put me on your show…..I make Christmas ornaments out of horse dung and Cheerio’s boxes and sell them to the Germans….do you want my phone number?”….which they do at a truly alarming rate. The man is a TV star after all.

He always has time for them though. His huddled masses. They probably think I’m his agent.

I do notice, however, that he never writes these phone numbers down. Maybe he’s collecting them automatically with something buried in his back-pack.

–Tom Flannery


~ by admin on June 8, 2011.

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