The Typewriter Virus, Part 2

Ah! Remember the old days? Back when life was much simpler. Back before we had cell phones, iPads, cars that drove themselves and wristwatches that connected to the Internet and worlds far beyond our galaxy. Okay, maybe they are limited to this galaxy, but who knows how long that will be. Of course, if you are under the age of forty, or so, you don’t remember what it was like not to have all this technology. Today, even the most primitive natives deep in the Amazon rain forest are capable of ordering their daily needs from Amazon.

As a child I remember rotating the TV antenna (not the rabbit ears that sat on the TV but the tall antenna outside the house) to allow for the best reception of all three available channels. Would you believe TV stations shut down at night? True story! I remember sharing our telephone line with other parties. At least we had a telephone and indoor plumbing. Many of my older relatives would share stories of how they came to this country from Europe along with Christopher Columbus, Henry Hudson (who later started his own automobile manufacturing company) Francis Drake, Vasco de Gama, Ferdinand Magellan and probably the most famous Perkins MacGhee.

I wish I had written down more of those old tales. Imagine the thrill of crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a ship without any form of communication with civilization. No satellite phones. No wireless radio signals. Not even a carrier pigeon. Sometimes the journey would take an entire week. Ye gads! (Gadzooks, egad, the dickens you say, or some other colorful term inserted here). Picture spending an entire week living with strangers on a ship cruising aimlessly through uncharted waters. The courage of those early seafaring captains must have far exceeded that of Captain Stubing or even Jonas Grumby.

Now I freely admit I would miss my flip-phone, my computer with its whopping 10 megabytes of storage, my 15 inch, cathode ray tube computer monitor and my indispensable road maps, that I stuff in the trunk, for use on my journeys across the Lincoln Highway. But I am spoiled. Ha! I’ve even heard of a company trying to develop an electric typewriter. How in the world would you use that if you had to move about the office or home? Such fanciful flights of fantasy. Alex Bell would roll over in his grave. Unless he was cremated. I wonder if anyone knows if he was.

But back to the typewriter virus. Where was I going with this? Yes, I remember now. The good old days. Back when you could eat at a restaurant and sit down, go to a store to buy groceries and not have to wait until an aisle was clear before entering, visit your local cinema and watch the cartoons before the double feature from the comfort of your ’63 Chevy. Listen to Larry Lujack on WLS and laugh as he and Little Tommy discussed the Cheap Trashy Show Biz Report. Are there reruns of Captain Kangaroo on anymore? I hear people complaining about not be allowed to leave their homes. I grew up in a period of time when 99% of people never traveled more than five miles from where they were born on the farm and Mom would plow forty acres later that afternoon. Were people tougher then? Now kids complain if they have to walk down the block to wait for school bus (Ooops! I forgot all schools are closed for the foreseeable future). I know you have heard this one before and will roll your eyes because it’s so cliché, but back when I went to school, we had to walk ten miles through three-foot deep snow (in the summer it rained ten inches a day) uphill both ways and even chop the firewood for the pot-bellied stove in the middle of our one-room schoolhouse. And we never complained!

I still have hopes things will return to a pre-typewriter-virus world, but in the meantime, I’m enjoying writing my serious, thought-provoking blogs (those never get posted just mindless stuff like this) and watching reruns of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis and You Bet Your Life. One of these days I’m going to guess the secret woid.

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