Rest Area on Information Superhighway
Well, I finally did it. I bought a computer! Big deal, you say. Yeah, well, you don’t know my personal struggle against technology. On the information superhighway, I’m a rest area.
For months preceding this historic purchase, I voraciously read every PC publication in existence, including the really obscure ones like Computer Dirt Biking. I badgered every friend for technical information. Most had even actually heard of a computer, which really impressed me.
After reading myself blind, and amassing sources of information from pals, I developed lasting relationships, via various 800 numbers, with Joe, Pat, Steve, Scott, and Bob, all of whom are PC sales reps, and have agreed to be my pallbearers should I ever choose to die.
Research complete, it was time to shop. My destination was the computer headquarters for all serious consumers: Target, one of the few places where computers are sold in the convenient family-size 10-pack.
Smelling blood, Roger, the frozen foods stock person, noticed me wandering obviously, and sensed a golden opportunity to upgrade himself from Broccoli Boy to Computer Boy. Completing a difficult full-twist dismount from his stepladder, he raced to my side, only to find that his prey had somehow managed to get her head stuck to the monitor of a demo.
You’re thinking static cling? I’m thinking time to stop using cheap hairspray.
Impressed with Roger’s initiative, and wanting to get the hell outta there before anyone saw my face, uh, interfacing, I let Rog do his thing. He confidently compared frozen foods to computers. He closed the deal by insisting the unit I was ogling had been flash-frozen at sea on one of Target’s own ships. It had 4 GIG of RAM, a 300 GIG hard drive, a DVD burner, and less than 12 grams of saturated fat.
Lovingly clutching my new bundle of computer “thinga-ma-jigs” and “do-hickeys”, I am exulted in the knowledge that I have purchased the ultimate in cutting-edge computer technology.
Furthermore, I patted myself on the back for paying only $1,800—a steal, I somehow concluded. It was more of a steal the next day, when Target dropped the price to $6.99.
Even worse, the chip my computer was running on was perhaps not so state-of-the-art after all. Instead of some highly touted Pentium chip, I discovered it was powered by a Pringle, ranch-flavored. I suddenly craved a beer to go with my chip.
It’s embarrassing to admit, but even this lemon is too much machine for me to handle. I’m afraid that I’m just a cyberspace cadet. Of course, I refused to actually read the manual or take any kind of training.
Instead, I spent hours slumped in front of the glowing screen, clicking my mouse aimlessly until shooting pains incapacitated both my wrists, and my arms and began to spasm violently. This is not a pretty sight, and never in my wildest dreams have I wished to impersonate Joe Cocker.
And, attempting to become some computer hotshot, I had to own every software title on the market. The fact I don’t know how to install or operate any of them apparently had little to do with that purchase decision.
Windows 7 isn’t good enough for me. Oh, no. After all, everybody is getting that. I’m holding out for Bay Windows 7.
There’s a strange pattern developing in my computer use. When I finally screw up the courage to power up, I sit in front of the great machine, and reverently make the sign of the cross while chanting in Latin, which is beginning to worry me, because I was raised a Scandinavian Lutheran.
It’s always the same. I turn the machine on, crash the hard drive, swear like a sailor, and click the mouse maniacally until my wrists are jelly, and my arms are spinning like a windmill. This violent spinning eventually generates enough electrical power to turn off the computer. I briefly consider a reboot, while I not so briefly consider rebooting this damn contraption out of my life.
I always finish these virtuoso performances exactly the same way. Rising from my chair, I restore the jumbled pile of mail and magazines to their rightful place on top of the computer.
How cool am I? The proud new owner of a $1,800 nightstand.
Well, hey, consider the source. I just got my first cell phone a month ago.
And no one told me you actually had to be smart to own a smart phone.
Bye for now.