Beanery Online Literary Magazine

December 5, 2010

Times: They are A-Changing

BEANERY ONLINE LITERARY MAGAZINE

TIMES: They are A-Changing

Bob Sanzi

     Were you born before 1960? 

     If so, you would be one of those kids whose parents told their children what to do and when to do it. There was direction in your life then. It was a much easier world to understand. Things just seemed simpler. 

     Isn’t everything more complicated now? Nothing we do is simple anymore. Do you think the world is all out of whack?  How many times in a day do you find yourself thinking “Huh?”

     For example: Did you buy a box of frozen green beans only to find that when you opened it the beans were lumped in a plastic bag with a chunk of something yellow?  When you dug the empty box out of the kitchen trash did you discover specific instructions on what to do with the bagged beans? Did it involve a microwave? 

     See what I mean?

~~~~~~~~~~~~

     When I was in high school I learned how to type. Leaning how to drive a typewriter was supposed to help you when you went to College. So I was instructed to learn to type because I would be going to college.

     When is the last time you saw a typewriter? Here’s an interesting exercise: try to explain a typewriter to one of your grand kids (by now I know you have at least one of those. I’m reasonably sure you mother instructed you to have at least one.  Being a good little boy or girl you that life’s objective.)

     There was whiteout and a little white tape that let you back up to type out your typewritten mistakes. You used pencils because they had erasures on them. Now ink pens have erasures. You don’t need pencils, pens, or typewriters because you don’t use paper. You write to friends, old neighbors, or grand kids on computers using e-mail.

     E-mail is electronic and involves a computer and a mysterious thing called a program. You’ve been told somebody wrote these programs to make your computer do the stuff it does. I don’t know about you, but my computer seems to be a living thing. It tells me when I type something stupid, misspell a word, or don’t put the period in the right place. If it doesn’t feel good when I wake it up it gets an attitude. When it is sick it tells me what to do to make it feel better. When I don’t treat it right it forces me to unplug all its wires and cables and take it to the computer doctor. I am not sure if this thing makes me seem smarter or dumber than I really am. Still, though, it is great when it works and a pain in the ass when it doesn’t. 

     Baseball games came from the radio that sat somewhere close to where Dad sat. Remember when there were just four or five television stations? It depended on where you lived and how you adjusted your antenna the number of stations you could watch.  Phones weren’t things that stuck out of people ears and cameras had film in them. Do you remember when you learned about the world through shiny black and white pictures in the Look and Life magazines? 

     Now the world is all colors, fast, and sometimes just silly. Things don’t seem to have the same logic and direction like they used too. Radios don’t work very well and when they do what comes from them is senseless.

     What the heck happened? There are about two hundred channels on my TV now, and I have to pay each month to watch them. My phone fits in my pocket and I have to know which buttons to push to call or listen. I can’t even pick it up and hear other people gossip. Everything is just so confusing. 

     Did the world really change that much? Is it a different place now, or did I just get old and slow down, slow down so much that it all just zoomed right by me? Maybe that’s what happened—it all went by me, and now to get right I need to catch up. But I don’t think I can. It just isn’t likely I can go fast enough to catch up.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

     To hell with it—I don’t want to catch up. I’m not going to learn to use this new remote the cable guy left when he brought the new box. Instead of TV I’ll put a record on with supper. Note that I didn’t say CD—I said record, as in 33 1/3 or maybe even 45 vinyl.  No more frozen vegetables—I’ll start buying canned ones.

     But what am I going to do about that damned computer? Don’t have a typewriter. 

     Ah, what the hell, there’s someone at the door.

     Oh it’s the daughter in-law. She has the grand kids with her. Now I remember. I’m going to watch them while she does something, whatever. Grand kids are fun. Especially since they don’t wear diapers anymore.

     What was I talking about?  I remember—I was going to tell the grand kids how a typewriter worked.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

     It’s a pain getting old. Can’t remember a damn thing anymore.

~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

ADDITIONAL READING:

WHY NOT EQUITABLE “HORROR” ADS?

TO MATTIE

PERTAINING TO THE SPIRIT

DIANA DANCED

WILL YOU LOVE ME TO DEATH?

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