Archive - November 2004

A Loaf of Mole Feet?

     I am naming all technology Carmen.  No, not because I think computers and such should be personified in an attempt to assuage our fear of them.  Though that does make sense.  There would be little pity around for a spaceship crew slaughtered by the ship’s computer named the MAIM-N-KILL 350.  Every death would leave you with a bitter “Well, D’uh” aftertaste.

      No, I’m naming technology Carmen because I’m smitten with it.  It is the seventeen-year-old girl to my inner seventeen-year-old boy.  I have an overwhelming desire to be around it.  I get a little excited when it’s near.  I will never, ever understand it.  And I get the distinct impression that my love for it is decidedly one-sided.  I suppose it’s possible I’ll meet up with it in a few years and it will tell me that it liked me too and why didn’t I just ask it out when I had the chance.  Though this seems unlikely.

      And, just like in high school, I can’t find any technology that is willing to do what I want it to.  My computer (Carmen) has a mind of its own – which, I suppose, is the point.  My microwave (Carmen) has the uncanny ability to leave food cold at the two-minute mark, but will cause it to burst into flames at two minutes and eleven seconds.  And then there’s the telephone (Carmen).  

      Ah the telephone (Carmen).  Although, it’s been around so long I’m not sure it qualifies as technology anymore.  It tends to get lumped in with other important yet blasé inventions, such as the wheel, paper, pepperoni pizza, or Maury Povich.  But it has wires, and for the purpose of this rant, that qualifies it as technology.  And I do NOT get it.  Which is big coming from me – a Bell.  I’m not really sure if we are related – Alexander Graham and I – but I always managed to convince my grade school teachers of it, and I think that’s all the proof I need.

      It started out great, sure.  Being able to call your laboratory assistant down the hall when you “needed” him.  Or ringing the sheriff when your cattle got rustled.  Though, this one still happens today as long as you replace “sheriff” with “bookie”, “cattle” with “home team,” and “rustled” with “beaten so badly they cried as they left the field.” 

      But, alas, those days are gone forever.  Laboratory assistants that sprinted over when “needed” disappeared decades ago.  And rest assured your bookie WILL come find you if your team gets embarrassed on national TV.

      The home phone (House-Carmen) is as easy to understand as second-grade math compared to her smarter twin, the cell phone (Mobile-Carmen).  That one really fries my synapses – literally, in all likelihood.  I think I can grasp the concept – in the largest, vaguest sense.  The same way I can grasp why people like country music.  The voices are being beamed down from above.  I get that.  I used that all the time in the principal’s office.  I wasn’t crazy, just ahead my time. 

      Excuse me for a moment.

      My wife just called on my Mobile-Carmen.  Grocery emergency, you understand.  And while I was trying to wrap my brain around her request for a loaf of “mole feet,” it occurred to me to pull the antenna up.  What scared me – even more than the store I imagined I would have to find in order satisfy my wife’s request – was that her voice became clearer with the extension of the two-inch antenna. 

How is it that the signal stops just above my head?  Can’t they make it go all the way to the ground?  Do tall people not need antennas?  Can midgets use a cell phone without a stepladder?  Can you call them midgets?  Should I be worried about the cell phone signal?  Should I be worried about the midgets? 

Probably.  I think someone should.


Dear Grumpy,

My name is Regina. I am in the tenth grade. My best friend Mandy and her boyfriend Shane broke up a couple of months ago, and ever since then, Shane and I have been flirting. I really want to go out with him. I think he likes me as much as I like him (you know, LIKES ME likes me) and I think he could be the one! But, I am totally freaked out about going out with him because it could totally ruin my friendship with Mandy. I don't want Mandy to be mad at me, but I think that Shane and I would be perfect together! What should I do?

Torn in Toledo


Dear Torn,

I'm so glad you wrote me.  I always love helping the kids with their problems.  My answer is, to hell with Mandy.  This may sound harsh, but let's look at the realities of teenage girls and their friendships.  First, Mandy most likely spends most of her time talking shit about you.  Don't act hurt or surprised, you know you do the same to her.  Second, she'd do the same to you if you had hot ex-boyfriend.  Which I'm guessing you don't, or you wouldn't be jonesing for Mandy's sloppy seconds.  And lastly, there is almost no statistical chance that you will be friends with Mandy after high school anyway, so if you're going to lose a friend you may as well get something out of it.  That being said, there is also no chance that "Shane" is the "one."  But you may as well live in the now.  So enjoy Shane and the awkward coitus you're bound to experience in the back of his mom's Volvo.

Hope that helps, 


Dear Grumpy,

My wife "Denise" and I have been married for almost 21 years. We have always had a good relationship and we have a lot of fun together. Recently, "Denise" has been going out with her friends for girls night. This wouldn't bother me except for the fact that she is out until 3am and when I ask her what she did, she won't tell me. She is very secretive about what she does when she goes out. Should I be worried? Do you think she is wandering?

Concerned in Canton


Dear Concerned,

Should you be worried?    No.  You should be stalking.  There is only one thing a woman in her forties is doing at 3am, a man in his twenties.  Buy yourself a nice camera with a telephoto lens and night vision.  Then be prepared to witness your wife being ravaged, albeit clumsily, all night by the stock clerk from your grocery store.  Fortunately, a few snapshots and a decent lawyer will ensure that you get the house while Denise moves in with new boyfriend in his parents' basement.  Get used to bitterness and leftover pizza.

Hope that helps,


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