True stories with a twist!

Yes. I am angry.

And incredulous.

And shocked.

OK, I admit it; it was my fault for leaving a cordless telephone outside during a rainstorm. Yes, it got drenched. Soaked. Waterlogged. I admit it. I did it. It was careless. But the phone now has problems. It still rings and it can send and receive  calls. It can even record messages. What can’t it do anymore?

Caller ID drowned and no longer will reveal the identity of the “friendly” voice on the other end of the line. Now I have the hardship of picking up the receiver to know the identity of the intruder trying to gain uninvited access to my home.

How many calls to your home come from salespeople? How many are seeking donations or contributions? Diseases I never heard of need my support for research. Organizations I never heard of need my old clothes. Groups I never joined need my help to survive. These callers never leave voice messages, so only if you answer the call will you have to listen to their sales pitches. It’s gotten to the point that I am almost phobic about answering a phone before knowing who is calling.

But I digress. Why am I so angry? Because of the conversation I just had with the “technical support” person at Panasonic. After all the time it took for me to look for and recite the microscopic print of the model and serial numbers on the bottom of the phone set this is what I learned about the value of Panasonic’s technical support. The technician gave me the outrageous information that I could send the phone back for repair. But the company will charge $9.95 simply for providing the address I need to send it to for repair. Once they receive the phone they will inform me how much it will cost to repair it.

Am I being unreasonable for being so surprised to be asked to pay for an address? It’s not as if I’m trying to get Tom Hanks or Meryl Streep’s addresses, is it? So what’s the big secret?

I hope the IRS doesn’t get wind of this outrageous way to raise money or they may charge us all for the address we need in order to send them our tax payments next April!

 

 

UP, UP AND AWAY

What is that? Over there, on the left side of the road. No, not there. Look up. No, look higher. Higher than that; move your eyes up about 30 more feet.

images-2   A drone? Is that what that is? That strange flying gadget is a drone? I’ve been hearing about them for some time now, but never saw one “in person” before.

The young man in the field, seemingly controlling the drone’s movements, reminds me of children we used to see, running across the open fields, flying kites, playing soccer, or controlling battery operated airplanes. They were the playground air controllers of their day. Now rather than children running across the fields they are flying drones. Drones that weren’t even a distant concept when their parents were their ages.

The drone we saw that day was flying about thirty feet in the sky. It was a non-descriptive color, about four feet long, and as wide as an eagle taking flight. A pretty big toy! How much higher must they fly to become a royal nuisance? And danger? How high into space must they go before they interfere with air traffic, bird migration flights or sadly wandering, floating, lost helium balloons?

These drones some day may become tools of people-moving. A drone bus? A drone car pool? Drone day charters to Machu Pichu?

The lower sky will need drone traffic laws,  licenses to operate drones, drone rules of conduct. How would drone operators manage “road rage”? Since there wouldn’t be rage over stolen parking spots up in the sky there could still be “fender benders.” A drone traffic officer would be called. Then Drone Insurance would have to be produced. The officer will fill out forms explaining the accident and fly the report to the “DIC” or Drone Insurance Company. Will drone drivers receive points on their licenses for rule infractions? A whole new court of Drone Controls would have to be established.

Imagine a parent of the future, as a child leaves the house to play saying NOT “don’t forget your sweater,” but “Bring the goggles and helmet for your drone ride.”   images-3

And then off they’ll go, up, up and away, into the future.

 

FAMILY DINNER

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How exciting: a dinner party for our adult children, who are joining us here, coming from all over the United States. What fun this is going to be!

I will be super organized and make step by step directions for the meal. It will be as easy as pie, if that were the dessert, which it is not.

First a list of menu items. Then the ingredients in each dish. What does that leave me with? A shopping list with everything on the list I need to put this amazing dinner together.

We’ll start with my famous hot, luscious chicken soup. My grandchildren always love my chicken soup. But, I suddenly realized,  my daughters wouldn’t consider eating the chicken soup. Neither of them would appreciate anything made with cute, cuddly, chickens.

Better leave that recipe aside for a while,plan the main course and move on from there. My wonderful recipe for rack of lamb stuffed with a delectable filling of ground beef, truffles and fragrant spices. I prepare that only for company; it’s too much work to prepare for the two of us.

Oh no! I remember that another guest on the dinner list that would object t my cooking with lamb. “Don’t you know the terrible conditions lambs live under? You must boycott buying lamb to protest this inhumane treatment.”

Maybe a dinner based on read meat is not the way to go. We can have a fish dinner: that way nobody can be offended, put off or nauseated. How about a ciappini or bouillabaisse? Not again: now someone on the guest list is allergic to shellfish. It wouldn’t do to have to call an ambulance for a guest who is experiencing Anaphylactic Shock! OK: no shellfish. I’ll prepare a simple fish stew.

“NO,” my son protests. How can you accept the risk of a small child getting impaled on a fish bone and choking to death?

Undefeated, I try the idea of a fish or meat pie. “NO!” they shout in unison; “some of us have gluten intolerance.”

Close to tears, with my heart in the right place, when the guests arrive I hand each one a printed menu from the local restaurant. The restaurant delivers.

All will be well and I will be resolved of any deaths, allergic reactions or nightmares thereafter.

 

 

I have a great idea for a new business. It’s sure to be a success. No question about it. To be conservative I’ll predict that I will probably earn several millions of dollars . I shouldn’t let the idea go public before I’m ready for the launch of my multi-million dollar idea, but you’re all my blog friends, and I trust you with my exclusive, secret plan.

We all know that to an extent, ordinary space exploration is already quite ordinary. It’s been done: no longer a shock to hear about. Billionaires all over town are getting into the act: Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk have attempted producing and flying their own commercial space ships for years.

To set me apart from those original thinkers, my trips are out of our comfort zones and out of the “old familiar.” Unlike theirs, which are quite ordinary, mine are fantastic. In the true sense of the word, meaning that they are fantasy-like. Just ask yourself: Would you go through all the trouble of space exploration just to experience the sensation of weightlessness? Would you try to Break the sound barrier just to feel the gravitational pull of earth? Walk on the moon with your true love just to have an original, first of its kind wedding ceremony?

Nah, not for me. I want to organize … here it comes…space trips to Cyberspace.

Think about how amazingly wonderful a trip to cyberspace would be. Getting into a rocket ship and be fired up to the secret place in the universe that all of our old missing emails live. The place where all our erased documents hide, especially the ones we did not purposely erase. The ones that disappeared with one mistaken click. All our deleted documents take sabbaticals at that site.

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We could zoom up to that secret spot and find old and wonderfully familiar, brilliantly written reports, intellectually executed final term papers and carefully documented tax forms. Oh, to see them again!

We all need to visit cyberspace to understand where those precious pieces of works of ours have gone. After spending hours, days or months of work on a new project, or cramming for a big exam just to have it disappear into cyberspace is simply unacceptable.

So be kind to yourselves and sign up for my new concept trip into cyberspace. Watch your world welcome all your hard work’s documents, and experience their rebirth! Recapture the hidden brilliance of your mind’s inventiveness, cleverness and adventurous spirit.

Sign up for my “MAKE HASTE  TO CYBERSPACE” adventure.

NATURE

As I watched a Public Broadcasting Company’s beautifully, scenic show, “Nature,” I came away with the accusation that we humans have done terrible damage to this planet and the wildlife that populates it. Building roads and destroying natural habitats, poisoning waterways and poaching animals are some of the evils we have imposed on our planet.

That was my mind set as I sat peacefully in my kitchen, calmly sipping a cup of tea, enjoying the peace and quiet. And then a flash! What was that? A streak of movement zoomed across the floor, heading for the stove. The blur disappeared underneath it. I didn’t scream! Not audibly, anyway. But along with the internal scream I shuddered and shimmied all over, like a salsa dancer feeling some “hot” music.

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It was a traumatic sighting, and a new awareness that my private property had a mouse interloper. A rodent intruder. A field invader. This hair curling, scream inducer had to be dealt with. So a call to the exterminator was the only reasonable move, if not an admirable one. The foe must be destroyed!

In the six years we’ve lived in this house there has never been a mouse on site or in sight within. There’s not even been an awareness that those outdoor monsters could insert themselves into the sanctity of these four walls. And now, along with the list of traumas to the planet: earthquakes, floods and  tsunamis, it is fitting to me to add a mouse in a house in Morristown.

In the season of Passover here is one more blight that tales of problems befalling Egyptians can add: mice overrunning peaceful private homes. Egyptian plagues of locusts haven’t anything compared to the plague of a mouse running across the kitchen floor, almost colliding with my right foot!

So the exterminator did his job, leaving our property once again clean, unfettered and peaceful.

But my mind went back to the television show, “Nature,” as I realized that I too, am contributing to the damage to nature that we humans impose on our natural world.

But what’s  a person to do, Public Broadcasting System?

 

 

 

 

 

What television kiss shocked, shook and scandalized the TV world more than any other kiss before or after? It’s a bit of a surprise to think that television viewing was so insulated as recently as 2012.

According to the New York Times, February 11, 2012, the kiss to which I refer was given by Sammy Davis Jr. to Archie Bunker on the Number One show at that time, “All in the Family.” The episode was shown on February 12, 1972. Archie Bunker played the part of a bigot, and was the main character. Visiting guest star, Sammy Davis Jr., the black singing sensation of jazz clubs who had many hit records to his credit, was the cause of the ruckus. Sammy Davis planted an unexpected  kiss on Archie’s cheek, which caused a ripple down the spines of viewers, causing comments and discussion for weeks to come. (Youtube: February 12,1972; SAMMY DAVIS JR. AND ARCHIE BUNKER.)

And he was not the only one: Madonna, the 1970s pop star, kissed Brittany Spears, another younger pop star, at the MTV Award television show in 2003. It caused many shocked comments and much derision. It wasn’t common to see same-sex couples showing any physical expressions of feelings. This kiss was quite scandalous at the time of the show’s airing.

And finally, are any “Trekkies” out there? Do you remember the episode where Captain Kirk kissed Lieutenant Uhuru? The old southern saying, “I just wanted to get a rise out of you,” meaning I wanted to shock you” certainly did. That episode got “the rise” out of the 1968 television audience, even though Captain Kirk was supposedly compelled to kiss Lieutenant Uhuru by telekinetic aliens. No matter whose idea that kiss was, it was the first intergalactic kiss shown on television.

No matter how scandalous these kisses may have been at the time, interracial, same sex or intergalactic, the kiss was a definite attention getter.

Sometimes I wonder what will materialize as the top attention getter in this 21st century. Looking at the direction our society is heading, I don’t think I want to know!   

“Oh no you don’t; not without an argument, a fight and a lawsuit!” That’s what I’d say if they ever tell me to relinquish my driver’s license. They’d probably claim that I’m a hazard on the road. They’d reason that I could hurt myself and everyone passing, driving or thinking of entering my space. They’d say that they have no choice for the sake and safety of society but to get me of the road.

I’d be grounded: permanently. Condemned to a life at home except for the distance to which I can walk. Or totter. “Oh, Fie,” to quote Shakespeare.” Or as Mercutio said in Romeo and Juliet, “A plague on both your houses.” Shakespeare understood these feelings even though he couldn’t have known that this stage of life was approaching. Nobody had these problems with the horse and cart.

Do they plan to provide any compensation? Will the town provide  compromise? Will they offer free Uber service? A pogo stick as an honorarium? A bicycle as payola? No, of course not.

But now that scenario never has to be be played again!  We are fast-forwarding to a world that has invented self-driving cars! You’ll be the non-driver in your own driverless car, free to come, go, or stay in your car for as long as you’d like. Never again will there be a need for higher mathematics, figuring out how much of a tip to leave for a taxi cab driver. No more fears of “Road Rage.” No more facing the perils of backing into too small parking spaces.

 

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And it won’t stop there! Maybe some day soon the car industry will re-partner with the computer industry and configure a vehicle for snowy, rainy, foggy days. It will drive you to the supermarket, the drug store or the shoemaker. And whether you’re a baker, butcher or candlestick maker it will park itself and go inside to manage your errands while you relax in the warm, dry car!

Downton Abbey has run it’s course so we can no longer be part of the scenario as footmen, butlers and maids see to it that everyone in the household is properly served. But we can maintain the freedom to move about independently and relish the joy of freedom. The future is bright and active!

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