| Boy, am I living out of the loop. I’ve never been entirely inside it, but every day I find myself moving farther and farther away.
For example, last weekend I did my monthly shopping with Adele and Chuckie. In the parking lot afterwards, I noticed something attached to the car’s dashboard.
“Is that a phone?” I asked. Everyone on TV runs around with a small phone in pocket or purse and I’ve even seen a live one.
“No,” Adele answered. “It’s an air freshener. Chuckie has the phone.”
He passed it to his Mom. It is tiny, and I had the chance to see it opened. There was a screen on the top and a dashboard with as many buttons as an SST on the bottom. I couldn’t read any of the printed matter and could barely see the buttons, which I certainly wouldn’t be able to punch.
“Wow,” was all I could muster.
“Wait a minute,” she said. “Let me show you something.” At which point she had Chuckie, who was in the back seat, sit forward and lean over the front seat. She held up the phone in front of his face, pushed something, and voila, on the small screen was Chuckie’s picture. Not only his picture, but a perfect one.
I know most of you are totally familiar with this phone that does everything but the laundry, but not I. I’m still struggling with my new cordless phone, and am using only less than half the possible functions.
My reaction was as strong as the first person to see a motorcar coming down the street. Naturally, I had a few questions. Never mind, how does that thing work? I wanted to know, but realized that both Chuckie and his Mom would know the scientific answer and I would only feel dumber than ever, trying to understand. My main question was how can you look at the picture again? I was immediately treated to viewing former pictures made to pop up on the screen.
My next question was how could I carry it with me without owning the phone. That’s when I learned about the other magic how one gets prints of the photos. It wouldn’t surprise me if that little gadget, no bigger than a lighter, and a total phone, could do the laundry, by turning on the machine by remote control. Of course, you’d still have to load the machine before you left home, so it’s not that smart.
I’m not inclined to even consider a magical cell phone. For one thing, I’m sick to death of seeing people with on hand on the steering wheel and the other holding a phone to their ears. It’s bad enough having people’s attention diverted by car radios, makeup sessions, hair styling, or conversations with passengers.
On Valentine’s Day I received a DVD player as a gift. This is something else I haven’t considered. I have not really mastered the VCR yet or the far too complex TV remote either. Also, I’ve read and heard some negative stuff about discs. They glitch easily, which accounts for the strange things that happen to the movie or TV shows you’re watching. Also, an in-depth report proved that it costs about three dollars to produce a disc and the consumer pays megabucks to buy them.
However, one doesn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, even if one knows his teeth are missing. A gift of love should always be received in kind.
I’d no sooner said my thanks than a DVD club was calling me with a membership lure. I’d bought many VCR tapes from this outfit so I knew they were honest and relatively inexpensive.
The first problem was picking the initial movie. The girl on the phone read at least 100 titles, not one of which I care to own. Looking at a movie once is OK buying it, something else. I was switched to a supervisor the big gun who could hardly suppress her irritation. I chickened out and selected a flick about which I know next to nothing.
The disc came in the mail with about a ton of printed material. I’m entitled to four free films as a bonus. My son and I read every title on another 100 selection list. I’m not sure what we picked except for a Jimi Hendrix documentary he wants.
I’ve still to run the machine on my own. The instructions are written out and one of these days I’ll have a go at it. In the meantime, I’m convinced that I’m right in refusing to own a computer.