Friday, September 26, 2003

For The Technically Challenged

I'm having a little trouble getting started this morning. It seems my computer at home has been converted itself into a boat anchor and will require the attention of experts. It's not so much the cost of the repairs that bothers me, but my utter feeling of inadequacy when it comes to all things technical. You are, after all, reading a man who views the flipping of a light switch as something of a miracle. Worse still, this now necessitates that I must have dealings with the techno-monks whose withering glare and patronizing tone reduce me to a quivering mass of schoolboy insecurities.

"What's wrong with – (some unintelligible dialect spoken at this point)?"

"I, I don't know sir."

"You don't know, do you?" as he rolled his eyes in the direction of his fellow acolytes of the Brotherhood of Geekdom, "Did you check to see if it was turned on?" he bellowed, scarcely concealing his contempt.

"Of course, of course," I stammered.

"DID YOU FOLLOW THE PROCEDURE?" his patience with the unworthy cur cowering before him nearing its end.

"Yes, yes…I laid the burnt offering in front of my keyboard, lit the incense, and recited the incantations as laid down by our ancestors."

His watery, spectacled eyes narrowed with suspicion as he brushed back the greasy strands of hair from his pimpled face. Removing his glasses, he polished the lenses with his thumb and forefinger with the bottom of his egg-stained "Lord of the Rings" t-shirt. Readjusting the wobbly frame, he took a tone that would make a Spanish inquisitor cringe, " With the powers invested in me by Bill Gates, the Almighty, I think we might be able to help you, call back in a month."

"But, but…." my pleas falling upon his now turned back. He spoke to one of his underlings in a language I thought might be Klingon and then disappeared behind a curtain.

The lackey then stepped forward, "That will be ninety dollars – Visa or Mastercard?"

It is these encounters make me long for my Remington Reporter Manual Typewriter:

Ode to Eaton’s Corrasable Bond

In memory of Doris Grant

While the other kids, that is to say,
The normal kids; The Campfire Vets,
The Furtive Farmers of Mary Kay,
And the Brokenmarriagenettes
Took Typing I & II to hedge their bets,
Therefore insuring their success.

Honors English was to be my conceit,
Pondering the doom of Sir Patrick Spens
“Wi’ the guid Scots lairds at his feet.”
As the doleful dirges of Mr. Yeats portend
“Things have changed; changed utterly.”
And I, damned to type; type in utter agony.

©2001 Barney F. McClelland


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