From now on, this weekly Newsletter will be called ROBERT A. MILLS'S OP-ED COLUMN. Access it and enjoy!
Newsletter Dated: 2/18/2012 6:16:15 AM
Subject: TôT OU TARD! – Feb 18
TôT OU TARD! – Feb 18
We recently received an amusing email outlining certain pitfalls to the electronic invasion that has overtaken us, and the time is ripe for a column proclaiming we are mad as hell and will not take it anymore!
My wife received an iPhone for Christmas, and when she plays with it, we cannot help but think of the vast number of employees we once managed at our travel agency. It’s astounding that we ran that business in the ‘60s and ‘70s without a single cell phone that takes video pictures, that plays music, that enables people to play games and that communicates with Facebook, Spacebook and Google—not to mention Twitter and NASA!
Which reminds me, our youngest daughter said we should also sign up for Twitter, and being dutiful parents, we did. Now we can keep tabs on our three kids, their spouses, six grandkids and five great-grandkids—not to mention all the in-laws and outlaws who followed us to Georgia.
After all, how difficult could something as simple as Twitter be, with only 140 characters?
That, of course, was before we signed up for Tweeter, Tweetea, Twhirl, Twitterfon, Tweetiebird, Twitterific, Tweetdeck, Twitpix—and something that sends every message in the texting world directly to our cell phone 24/7.
Our cell now rings every three minutes with details of everything except anticipated bowel movements of the youngest of the outlaws’ kids. Let me tell you, we can no longer live like this. We now keep our cell phone in the basement, in the bottom of the dust-covered golf bag, totally out of harm’s way. A plaything for the spiders and scorpions.
For Martin Luther King Day, my wife bought us a Tom-Tom GPS unit. She says it’s embarrassing when we get lost going to the corner QuikTrip for a lottery ticket or to the library with an overdue book. We keep the GPS thing in the toolbox out in the garage with our Blue Tooth (it’s really reddish), which we’re always supposed to have with us when we drive. We wore it once, but when we were standing in line at Borders, everyone within 50 yards started glaring at us. We guess we had it turned up so we could hear how the bankruptcy proceedings were going.
We have to admit, though, the GPS thing looked pretty smart on the dash, but the lady inside (we named her Lily Tomlin) was the rudest, most annoying person we ever met! Every ten minutes she would sarcastically say, “Re-cal-cu-lating!” and you would think that for a hundred bucks, she could be nicer about it—like she really believed we were some sort of Cretin! Then she would let go with a deep sigh and tell us to make a U-turn and go back as soon as we could. And if we erroneously made a right turn—well, it was a sick relationship.
To be frank, we’re still learning how to use our mobile phones—we finally go rid of the land line (which we had for nine hundred years), and how we can lose all the mobile phones at once is beyond us. Every time the damned things ring, it’s like a Chinese fire drill, running around digging under cushions, checking bathrooms and hampers. Going through pockets in clothes we haven’t worn in years.
This is getting far too complex. They even screw us up at the grocery store. You’d think they could make decisions for themselves, but this business about “Plastic or Paper?” when we go to check out is absurd. We even bought one of those reusable cloth carriers, but we aways forget it and leave it in the trunk.
Now when they say “Paper or plastic?” we just say, “I don’t give a flying fornication. I am bi-sacksual!” Then it's their turn to stare at us with a blank look.
We were recently asked if we tweet. We answered, “No, but I toot a lot."
Old age is an art form. Yeah, we know a lot of you are not yet 65, but we’re writing this because most of you are—and the rest soon will be. It’s just that we don’t need any more electronic gadgets. The TV remote and garage door opener are about all we can handle.
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