It all started when my three-year-old printer went down. I called Staples to complain and was told flatly and unemotionally, “Yeah, they’re only built to last a couple of years. If you got three, you’re lucky.” I didn’t feel lucky as I plunked down money and then tried to figure out how to hook up and use the new machine.
Next, the DVR malfunctioned, which necessitated a visit to the Cox office and another machine to install and master. The “mastering” took a couple of days. I celebrated with popcorn and a freshly taped movie.
Strike three happened a few days later when the cable AND the internet went down on the evening I’d planned to watch the Golden Globes. It was AWOL the rest of the night. As I’m writing this, I’m realizing maybe I’m a little too attached to my television, which is depressing! I spent a quiet evening reading a book and cleaning my bathroom. I know, I know – I really should get a social life.
Sunday, I had planned to write poetry. Rarely, do I have a whole day for this thing I love so much – venting at the computer, in meter and rhyme. Grumpy Father Fate said, “I don’t think so,” and senselessly murdered my computer. All the king’s horses and my best computer “Obi One” couldn’t put Humpty Computer back together again. At this writing, Bob is draped in black, waiting for “Obi One” to arrive and breathe life back into him. Yes, I do realize naming my computer is a little weird but I thought maybe if I named him and talked sweetly to him, he might live longer. Apparently not. He’s barely three.
All of this makes me long for those childhood days, when the television repairman came with his suitcase full of glass tubes, took the back off the TV and tried tube after tube till he found the right one, bringing black and white magic back into our lives – those days when workmanship was a given, repairmen became lifelong friends, and we weren’t a throw-away society.
I have a computer named Bob,
who sometimes sits down on the job.
I warned him today.
He will have to pay.
Tomorrow he meets the Geek Squad.
(You can read more of Sharon’s poems about aging in our technological era in her poetry book, Tapestry.)
Sharon Canfield Dorsey is an award-winning poet and author of two children’s books, Herman the Hermit Crab and the Mystery of the Big Black Shiny Thing, and Revolt of the Teacups,and a memoir, Daughter of the Mountains. Her poems are also included in an anthology,