More about technology for the middle-aged:
I want to meet the electronic woman who talks to me when I dial directory assistance. I think I would like her. She's so polite even when I get impatient. She always says, "I'm sorry, I didn't understand you." That's a problem that I have with real human beings. Many, many years ago, directory assistance used to be called, Information...just information, so that's the way I used it. When I wanted "information," I called those skilled at giving me the answers. SalGal and I were in our twenties (way before Google gave us all the information...way before home computers), and we got the munchies after smoking pot, so we decided we wanted some gingerbread. We HAD to have gingerbread. We had all the ingredients except for molasses. Knowing that we were too stoned to drive, we decided to substitute the Karo syrup that we had in the pantry. Then we got paranoid about how it would turn out, so I called "Information."
Back in the day, the operators actually identified themselves. I got Rebecca. She asked me what number I would like, and I said that I had a different problem. I explained our situation..."Rebecca, can we substitute Karo syrup for molasses in a gingerbread recipe?" She replied, "Absolutely NOT. You have to use molasses or it doesn't get nice and brown like real gingerbread. I know this because gingerbread happens to be one of my specialties." We had a fifteen minute conversation about it...well, she's the one who talked for fifteen minutes about the gingerbread houses that she makes for Christmas. Because I was so stoned, it was the most fascinating conversation I'd ever had. At the end of it, I said, "Rebecca, are you bored with your job?" To which she replied, "KK, I am so glad for calls like this. Can you imagine looking up telephone numbers for strangers all day long, never knowing who the other person is on the line?"
I then said, "Okay then, I have another question to help you pass the time. SalGal and I have been playing Gin Rummy, and we differ on how to score the game. Would you know anything about that?" Rebecca's reply, "Hold on just a minute." I then was privy, as she conferenced in a call to her husband. "Honey, I have a gal on the line who has a question about scoring Gin Rummy. Can you help her?" Rebecca said to me, "KK, my hubbie just happens to be a Gin master and judge at Gin Rummy tournaments." SalGal and I were given the rules on scoring Gin Rummy by Rebecca's husband, Rick...more rules than we ever wanted to know.
After an hour and a half on the phone with "Information," Rick and Rebecca were our new best friends. When we finally hung up after declaring our stoned-out endearing love and gratitude for eternity to our new pals, SalGal and I realized that humanity comes in some pretty weird shapes, sizes and voices. We spent the rest of the evening playing kick-ass games of Gin while eating our delicious gingerbread!
So, the next time you get the electronic woman, say the word, "operator," and when you get a human being, I dare you to ask them something that will catch them off guard, something that they might want to talk about. See how long you can engage another human on the phone with a question like, "What's your dream? Do you have children? What do they like to do? Where do you live and how's the weather where you are? ANYthing...oh, but, smoking a doobie beforehand will help you if they decide to play the game.
PS- let us know your stories via email to firstname.lastname@example.org hehehe.
Boy, those were the good old days when you got actual people on the phone right off the bat and they actually talked to you. Speaking of technology, the seventies were primitive. If the phone rang you had to go to where it was and answer it. You were always trying to uncoil the cord that went from the ear part to the body of the telephone. I remember later than that when somebody told me that there was a machine that would send a document from your telephone line to another machine hooked up to another telephone line across town and it would only take 20 minutes. That blew everybody's mind and now people don't even FAX that much anymore because you can email everything anyway.
That's why we babyboomers are so technically challenged. All of this stuff was science fiction and now it's true and developing even faster than anybody could imagine. I think Bill Gates is an alien who came to Earth to bring us up to the knowledge of the mother planet. The next thing you know he will be making personal home worm holes so we can travel in nanoseconds to the mother planet.
Did you ever see that 'Twilight Zone' episode where the aliens came to earth and made it an Eden of plenty while using a book that nobody could translate? People were travelling to the mother planet in droves while this guy was finally translating the title of the alien book which was called, 'To Serve Mankind'. Very altruistic you might think. So the guy's girlfriend decided to see what the fuss was about the beautiful mother planet that nobody ever came back from because it was so perfect and such a happy planet. Just as she was entering the spaceship her boyfriend came running up to the ship, waving the book and screaming, 'It's a COOKBOOK! IT'S A COOKBOOK!' But it was too late. The door closed and she was gone. Nyuck,nyuck.
I think Bill Gates is an alien and developing us for some ulterior motive of his planet and the book he is using is called, 'Making the World Fun', but it is actually a 'how-to' manual from his planet to turn all humans into blobs so we can be invaded and used as intelligent toys for their planet's children. Sort of like smart Teddy Bears.
So get off your ass and go talk to plants in the garden or run the marathon or something. Don't let Bill Gates win!!!