Ever have those days when you’re not entirely sure you’re sentient? When seemingly basic technology foils you at every turn?

I was probably thirteen or fourteen (this is the earliest instance of tech ID10T I can remember) and about a year or so into teaching myself guitar when a TV show with Leona Boyd, Chet Atkins and a ton of other guitarists at the top of their genres would be playing. The show was coming on at 8:00. I sat in front of the TV, worked on some homework with the lead-in show on. I couldn’t wait for this show. This, remember, was in the days WAY before recording on VHS was an option.

At about 7:45 our big Persian cat (Syla — I think that’s how it’s spelled) walked by, ignored me with intent, and crawled behind the huge floor model TV.

At about 7:55 the TV went blank. I was devastated. I’d finished my homework early to watch this damned show.

At about 8:45 that fucking cat walked out from behind the TV. I looked behind it and saw that he’d knocked the plug out of the wall. Basic stuff, and I didn’t have the foresight to check. And because of that I missed watching George Benson.

Flash forward about twenty-five years to September 11, 2001. I was in Singapore at the time so it was evening and I was on a conference call with my head office. A regular Tuesday night thing. Someone on the call mentioned a plane crashing into the World Trade Center. Wan’t sure if was a light plane or what. The call was terminated and I spent the next hour on the internet attempting to get more information. Lines were terrible. Links were extremely slow to open. I was getting bits and pieces of the story but also was getting more and more frustrated that it was taking so long to get information.

Then it occurred to me that the television was right in front of me and if I turned the damned thing on there’d be a better than even chance that every news network in the world would be beating this story to death.

Again, basic stuff that eluded my allegedly intelligent brain for almost an hour.

Third third one wasn’t mine. And I’ll freely admit that there was probably a background that I’m not aware of that might provide an explanation.

I was in a tire shop a couple of weeks ago getting a new set of wheels after hitting a nasty pothole at about 80 kph. There was another guy in there face-timing his wife. At first I thought they were speaking really, really quietly, then I noticed they were signing each other. ASL stuff. Going right to town with it. My immediate thought was “What en excellent use of technology.”

I actually held that thought for almost fifteen minutes before I replaced it with another, more logical thought.

“Why in the hell aren’t they just texting each other?”

About the author: tonymcfadden

Since Tony McFadden left Canada two decades ago he and his wife and two children have lived in the US Virgin Islands, various American cities (LA, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta, Fairfax), Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and now, finally (and for good), Australia. All of those places and people have provided a wealth of characters and settings for his books, all filled with thrills, suspense and adventure.

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