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Computers ain't what they used to be

By Joe Giorgianni

Someone once said that when you finally get it all together, you most probably will forget where you put it. Boy did I ever fit that description. Well, I almost did anyway. I thought I had it all together, and pretty much knew where everything was, then my computer crashed. All was lost, including address books, previously written columns, and most importantly, my long list of favorite jokes. After describing my loss to my son, the computer guru of the family, he suggested that I bite the bullet and switch to a Mac computer made by the very smart people at Apple. I was assured that it is by far more user friendly and capable of doing things my old computer never thought about doing. So, being the dutiful dad that I am, I bit the bullet and bought an iMac. 

During the week my new iMac arrived, my son came with his family for a visit. Wow, I thought, my guru son can help me get started with my new user friendly, computer. I was excited to finally have a piece of equipment that wouldn’t tell me that I couldn’t do something. One that would understand that in everyday living I am really computer illiterate, and need to be treated with kindness and tenderness, and should not be left unattended in a room with anything sharp or that looks like a computer. Then, the fun started.

It has been four weeks now since my son has left. This past week, I found the little button to turn the machine on. At least I thought it was on when the screen lit up. Then, I saw something labeled “help” at the top of the screen. Upon clicking the help label, the screen that I had been using disappeared, and was replaced by another screen wanting to know who was using the computer. I thought it was none of their business who was using the computer, and told them so, although the only one who heard me was my wife, but she thinks I’m strange anyway. Then suspicious sounds, much like those coming from a large pipe organ started emanating from hidden speakers. I found myself wondering if there might be a secret camera or microphone inside the blasted thing planted there by someone in the government. Quickly, I called my son, the guru, only to find out that he was not home, but his thirteen-year old son was. “Alex”, I cried. “Help me, please. My new computer doesn’t want me to use it.” I’ll never forget my grandson’s erudite words. In his best Forest Gump voice, he said, “Poppy, a computer is like a box of chocolates, when you don’t know how to use it, you never know what you’re going to get.” I found myself wishing I could put him in timeout or something. 

The next week, by wife surprised me with a book by Mark Chambers, entitled iMac for Dummies. I thought who needs a grandson who could work this computer in his sleep when I have a book with all the answers? After leafing through this anthology of brilliance for what seemed like a week, I’m considering calling Mr. Chambers to see if he could write a book entitled iMac for idiots, which is what I felt like. In reality, I have no better idea about how to do what I want to do than I had before reading the book. So, putting my pride aside, I called Alex again. 

“Alex, do you know that you really are my favorite grandson?” I thought I’d soften him up a little. 

“Still can’t figure out your new computer, can you Poppy?”

I swear, if that kid were mine, he’d be in timeout for a month. 

© Joe Giorgianni

* * * * *

Joe Giorgianni is a newspaper columnist for the Venice Gondolier Sun in Florida. His award-winning column is humorous and revolves around family vicissitudes and political oddities. He has multiple publications in U.S. Architecture Magazine as well as transportation marketing magazines. He professes an insatiable desire to write daily, and has a “yet to be published” novel, a compendium of columns awaiting publication, poetry, children’s fables, and multiple submissions of short stories. Joe is also professional wedding and commercial photographer with twenty years of experience and holds a degree in Marketing/Public Relations.


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