Not For Me!!!
Off the Wall, May 18, 2017

Really, folks, we’ve become spoiled. All this electronic ‘junk’ is making us more dependent on things and less so on people.

When I speak of these subjects, most residents of our tourist community will think of the cell phones or the computer, but one is leaving out one key component – the telephone – the old fashioned wire-to-wire units that sit on our counters in the kitchen, hallway tables or bedroom stands or desks, as the case may be.

Now, for seniors who have found ourselves sliding into an age category of no return, we have enough hardships let alone straining our brain to try to figure out how to call somebody on an iPhone, whatever that is.

Just the other day, I went to make a phone call on my ‘ground’ phone that has enlarged letters, each key squared on this flat, tilted mechanism. I was calling another party here in Latrobe. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? I did whatever I had done sixty-five years only to hear noisy mish-mash with a woman following stating there was no such number as I was calling.

Don’t tell me that. I have called this number some 50 times plus before and eventually always became connected. Oh yes, I know it works. Sometimes I find I have to dial very slowly before I get through.

Hey folks, this is the modern age. I think my dialing practices and my age should be in sink without getting Ms. Missy-Massy throwing me into conniptions.

“Now, take a deep breath, Pee Vee.” I know all about that. I do, believe me. I certainly do! A matter of fact, not just one, but also two or three before making the valiant effort of trying again.

But, the problem is, once one reaches that annoying female on the fourth time around, one can only take so many deep breaths before hyperventilation sets in. I don’t want that. It’s time to walk away, play with my son’s dog, and try again. It does work on call number five, if one can believe that.

So, when I look over at that white instrument they call the telephone, I definitely get mixed feelings, but I’d still use that equipment that that flat rectangular pocket device that has to be recharged nightly. Forget one night and it turns out to be a pretty drawer ornament that stays there longer and longer because the ‘ground phone works better than the thing that comes on half the time and the other half one to expect anything to happen – and I mean anything.

Tell me one person who doesn’t have one or two of these Twitter or Tweet boxes. In my estimation they’re not so Tweet to me. Even our president is tweeting the world on his latest interpretation of this or that. How Tweet!
So someone may ask, “Why do I even have a cell phone if I don’t use it?” I got suckered into buying it after I saw individuals advertise it on a home shopping network. That just goes to show one, “Don’t watch those shows!” I may be bumpy, but they are smooth talkers. “We only have three-hundred and forty-eight left, and twenty three of the red ones. If you want a red one, you got to call in now.”

Guess who bit the bait. My drawer ornament is red… Now that is just a simple cell phone that’s said to have everything. If I would have been a six-year old, I have the whole thing mastered in two weeks. Now some three weeks later, I have to ask my son multiple times how to make a phone call – and I don’t even Tweet. I’m afraid to pop the question.

Let’s get away from me for a moment and bring the real problem to the surface.

Here I’m walking uptown. I see a chap coming approaching me. I get all pumped up to shout out, “Having a blessed day today?” He doesn’t even look my way. His look is stern as he stares straight ahead.

Seriously, do you think of Mr. Rogers would have approved of these things by any means of one’s imagination? How can it be a “lovely day in the neighborhood” if people are all caught up in themselves, their entertainment while plugged into a whole ‘nother world?

Can’t we publicly revert back to the old times when we greeted people on the streets and received a similar response in reply? That’s the Latrobe I know...

- Paul J. Volkmann
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To buy my book, Off the Wall Favorites, call me at 724-539-1951.