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Monday, March 22, 2010


Are you tech-savvy? Well, good for you, and all your new-wave, new-age, newest new thing friends. We're plain hunter-gatherers, sitting around the campfire singing our ageless melodies full of folk wisdom, etc. In other words, animism takes over when computer "issues" develop. To better understand what this means, imagine Early Man out hunting, seeing something on the ground, and picking up a GPS gismo.

--I heard your little jingle this morning.
--Did it surprise you?
--Yes, I guess it did. Chelsea and I were back from our walk. I was sitting in the study, having coffee, reading the paper. She was already snoring quietly on her bed, then the peace was slightly disturbed by a casino noise.
--I woke up and hit the button, to see if anyone had sent me a message.
--So you like your new wireless freedom.
--It’s nice. Snug as a bug in my bed. But of course no one had written.
--Did you give the laptop the finger?
--I did. “Take that,” I said to all the indifferent, uncommunicative people ranging in age from nine on up who haven’t written lately.
--It’s true. You can be as mobile and wireless as you want. If the little people who live inside the CPU don’t write, so what?
--All you can do is give your laptop the finger and go back to sleep.
--Our techie is due back at nine-thirty.
--It’s so maddening, being dependent this way.
--I hate it, too. You know you’re just one keystroke away, except one command stands between you and what you want to do. But you don’t know what it is.
--Ninety-nine dollars just to walk through the door.
--Don’t talk about it, it makes me crazy.
--And then, check in hand, he walks out and drives off. I log on—and can’t get the thing to load anywhere but in the kitchen.
--But you quickly brought the Knister Way to bear on the problem. You went into a different room and carried on.
--Except, if I stick with the Knister Way, I have to move the printer into the kitchen.
--I’ll see what I can do. I’ll bring all my wonderful people skills into play. I’ll get him back here, I’ll make it a matter of professional pride. “Please, young man, my poor wife, look how desperate she is, there in the kitchen. How pitiful, hunched over like that at the butcher-block table, unable to rest her poor old elbows because it’s too high. Unable to print. Is there nothing you can do for her? Doesn’t she remind you of your mother?”
--Skip the part about the mother.
--Why? It’s meant to make him feel responsible. Like we’re family
--Trust me, it will just lead to a comparison that makes us look even dumber.
--Damn it, we’re not dumb. This is not because of ignorance or stupidity.
--Of course it is. Why else do you need to “bring to bear all my wonderful people skills”?
--Come on. That’s like saying you go to a surgeon because you’re too dumb to do your own angioplasty.
--Besides, it’s still the Knister Way.
--Well, there, you’ve got me.
--The Knister Way. Along with adapting in weird ways when things go wrong, it also calls for schmoozing friends and relatives who know something. If Mark were here, that’s who we’d be calling.
--Well, Jesus, of course, Barbara. What the hell are sons-in-law for?


  1. Ha Ha !!! I love your clever posting.

    As for this technological age; Bah! Humbug!

  2. The Knister Way sounds a bit like the system we've got going at our house: we're old, we're out of it, and we're often reduced to wheedley charm/obsequiousness toward tattooed adolescents in order to get some tech widget to work. And we still can't get the damned remote to operate the microwave. Did we really NEED more lessons in humility?

  3. I use the theme from "Tammy" as my wife's ring tone. She may not appreciate it, but one of the employees in my local CD store thought it was the coolest ring tone that he'd ever heard. I counted it as a victory for all middle-aged men.


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