“What do you want to eat tonight, Fred? I haven’t got a clue what to make.”
“Why not pick up a hamburger and fries? Maybe make a salad with it?”
“I’ll go,” I offered half heartedly. I jumped at the chance to skip cooking tonight.
As I pulled into “Lumpy and Grumpy’s” and parked next to a speaker, I noticed some new additions. There was a TV-like screen under the menu.
“Hmmm.” Hadn’t seen that before” I thought as I pushed the button.
“Grumpys. May I take your order?”
I stared at the menu, trying to remember all the details.
“Let’s see, I will have a No. 2 hamburger, hold the mayo, a junior burger with everything.”
“Schumff, erfer mayfo, grshump, foofy dump..eleven fofty foots?”
“Electronics! I had no idea what she said. So I repeated the order.
“Do you squnt kesherup nif ferverstiff?”
I didn’t want to expose my inability to understand. I just hoped it was something edible. Fred says he NEVER understands; that they must go to school to learn to talk like they’ve got a mouth full of mush!
“Sure,” I answered.
I slid my plastic into the slot; yanked it out fast, hoping it was paying attention. I accidentally looked at the screen. Oh my. There was my order with the total added for me to see.
There’s a new surprise every time I turn around. I am trying to keep up.
Just lately, Fred and I stopped at a gas station-convenience store while on the road. We pulled up to a pump. Fred inserted the card into the slot and pulled it out. Nothing registered. He then gently inserted the card into the slot, and carefully and smoothly pulled it back. Nothing.
A little demon was playing with him.
The screen said, Pre-pay attendant. “What? You have to go inside?” Cars were lined up behind us. Panic.
Isn’t that totally irrational behavior coming from a mature, seasoned, techie couple like us? Not!
Fred got irritated. He turned the card in the other direction, pulled it out. He turned it around again, pushing and pulling. Finally, the little imp inside the pump gave up.
The little stinker then commanded, “Make gas selection.”
We sighed relief.
Things don’t always go that well.
The nasty telephone is another example.
Calling insurance companies, government entities, theatres, Wal-mart, you name it; you have to listen carefully to the recorded instructions, and then quickly, quickly punch the correct number. Just lately, I accidentally pushed number two.
“Ara escuchar sus negocios en Espanol, favor de empujar el numero dos.”
There I am trying to answer some guy who is in Quito Ecuador. Oh well, if I had pushed No. 1, I would have gotten that same guy only now he would be hiding out in India!
Fred gets better results when he wants to talk to a live person. He punches the “0” over-and-over, and he is one happy camper when someone answers in American English.
He says, “If I wanted Spanish, I would have called Spain!”
It’s sort of funny. But if technology continues to change and multiply its many uses, we will be sunk. Won’t be funny any more!
I don’t look forward to a drone flying onto our front steps to deliver a package. Who knows if it will bite or not? And, I don’t think a drone has any business flying in the sky in air space. The airlines have enough to deal with just avoiding all the dang, squawking Canadian geese.
I don’t want to pay for gadgets on our car that tells me that another car is close by. God gave us eyes for that. I don’t want to pay more for a car that drives itself, either.
The truth is, we just plain want a return to knobs and dials,
I know we don’t stand a chance in this robotic race.
The toll roads already take license photos; I totally expect that the time will come when some guy beams down into our front seat to either drive or chastise us for something or other.. Anyhow, the gadgets and technology advances already know where we are and what we are doing so why require us to figure out all those bells and whistles.
Me thinks that Fred and I are in big trouble. Even if we retain our right minds, and (I am not sure we still possess our faculties) we will never figure it all out if we can’t keep up now. Fred says it’s a Communist plot.
As Forrest Gump says, “And that is all I have to say about that!”
“A Woman’s View” is Judi Tabler’s reflection of her experiences and events. She is a wife, mother, writer, teacher, grandmother, and even a great grandmother.