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Today in My History

2000:  The Last of Peggy
2001:  No Business Like It
2002:  The Fleecing of Beverly
2003:  The Think System
2004: Not My President
2005:  Having the Time of Your Life

2006: That's Why
2007: 14,500
2008: The Problem with Internet Relationships
2009:  If You See the Chinese Guy, Tell Him I'm Sorry
2010:  KSFO and the Giants
2011:  No More Helmet Head

Bitter Hack
Updated: 11/2

Books Read in 2012
 Updated: 11/1
"The Year of Magical Thinking"

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The Paul Picnic

Mirror Site for RSS Feed:
Airy Persiflage

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mail to Walt


3 November 2012

This is as far as I've gotten.  I have a choice of a couple directions in which to take this and I'm not sure I'm going to work on it, but thank you all for your responses, whether as e-mail or as comments in the guest book. It was fun to revisit this, five years later!


In the morning Laura got up and went out to the kitchen to make coffee. Out of the corner of her eye she could see the computer, sitting there in the corner on a table near the desk where she sat to write the checks each month to pay her bills. Tim thought that would be a good place for it, so she could just turn around in her chair and use the computer when she finished with the rest of the work at her desk.

She moved a couple of plants around to try to soften the look. Laura had a green thumb and her house was filled with plants. She could make African violets explode with color. Her ferns were lush and full. She had a couple of ficus trees, which they said were difficult to grow, but they positively thrived under her watchful eye. She couldn’t actually put a plant on the computer, of course, but she found that by rearranging a few pots she could distract the eye from the monstrosity.

“Harumph,” she said, as she walked back into the kitchen. The air was filled with the aroma of French Roast coffee that she had specially ground for her at the local coffee shop. She added a bit of real cream to her cup – it was her one extravagance – and she settled down to read the newspaper. She would read the paper from front to back, including the comics and then she would work the crossword puzzle, in ink, before she would start her day.

As she immersed herself in the day’s news, she could almost forget that...thing sitting in the other room surrounded by plants.

The days passed and she continued to try to ignore the computer. Oh she dusted it. She dusted everything every other day and though she had no plans to actually use it, she would, of course, keep it clean. Nobody was going to come in and give her house the white glove test and find a speck of dust on the computer.

By now she had forgotten everything that Tim had told her about working the computer, and she was even more afraid of using the...thing...than she had been before. Besides, there was a “Monk” marathon on this week. The eccentric detective was one of her favorites and at the end of the day, she would rather sit down and laugh at the antics of Mr. Monk than even think about the computer.

At the end of the week, her best friend Sarah stopped by for coffee.

“Oh! You have a computer,” Sarah squealed.

“The kids gave it to me,” Laura said, trying to keep her friend from hearing the truth of how she felt about the computer in her voice.

“Don’t you just love it?” Sarah asked. “I’ve only had mine for a couple of months, but I’ve just had the best time. I’ve made so many friends and I’m learning about all sorts of things. Do you know you can make a telephone call and have your voice come out of the computer? And you can talk to people all over the world – for free!....”

Sarah went on and on and on about how much fun she was having while Laura made a pot of coffee and set out a plate of cookies, oatmeal with frosting on them. Mother’s Cookies. She had been buying them since Tim and Jenna were babies. They still liked coming home and finding the cookie jar filled with Mother’s Oatmeal Cookies. Jenna still liked dunking her cookie in milk and sucking it as it got soft, just like she did when she was five years old.

“....and if you give me your e-mail address, I can send you jokes and funny pictures,” Sarah ended her monologue. Laura realized, with embarrassment that she hadn’t heard a word her friend said, and wouldn’t have understood it if she did.

Laura mumbled something about having forgotten her e-mail address and said she would let her know later what it was. She didn’t even know what an e-mail address was or if she had one or how to get one if she didn’t have one.

Maybe it was going to be more difficult than she thought to ignore that...thing.


Jenna called the next week.

“Mom!” she exclaimed. “Are you going to come or not? I sent you the invitation over a week ago?”

“What invitation?” her mother asked.

“The one I sent to your e-mail address,” her daughter said, impatiently. You have been reading your e-mail, haven’t you?

Laura admitted that she had forgotten about e-mail and apologized for not having seen the invitation.

“I think it’s time for a refresher course,” Jenna laughed. “I know Tim can be pretty intimidating. He gets so excited about all the new technology. What you need is to have me sit down with you and go through things very slowly so you can understand.”

Laura tried to explain that she was very busy right now and really didn’t have time to sit down at the computer, but Jenna wasn’t listening. “I’ll be by tomorrow, Mom,” she said. “You’ll see–-you’re gonna love it.”

“Sure I am,” Laura muttered to herself as she hung up the phone. .....


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Windblown in Pennsylvania!

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