"You have 10 new messages."
- Friday, 9:12 p.m.
- "Hi, it's your father. Um. . . this damn computer. I don't know what happened, but I think I lost everything. You know, I was just typing my letter, and all of a sudden it's gone. Just gone! I don't know what I did, but I can't find it anywhere. Do you think you can get it back? Call me when you get in, okay?"
- Friday, 9:17 p.m.
- "Hi, it's me again. I actually just found it, so you don't need to call. It's the weirdest thing. I guess I must've dozed off at the computer, and my arm fell on the space bar, so there was just all this blank space on the page. But I moved the what-do you-call-it, the arrow thing, back up, and luckily the letter was still there. So, whew! I'm just glad I don't have to retype it all. Anyway, I'll just -- Oh. . . damn. . . . damnit. . . Jesus Christ, where'd it go? It was just there. . . . I can't believe it . . . .(crashing noise) Ugh, I hate this machine. It won't even do the simplest -- "
- Friday, 9:18 p.m.
- "Damnit, I just got cut off! I don't know why you have your voice mail set that way. Anyway, I still can't find --"
"Ann, I'm on the phone!"
"Oh, I just picked it up. I'm sorry. . . . Who are you talking to?"
"Oh, is he there?"
"No, I'm talking to his machine!"
"I wonder where he is."
"Look, I don't have time to talk with you. I have to finish the message, or else it's gonna cut --"
- Friday, 9:19 p.m.
- "Damnit. It cut me off again! Anyway, it still doesn't work. I don't know what's wrong. I can't find my letter anywhere. Do you think I lost everything? Should I maybe start over? Let me know."
- Friday, 9:19 p.m.
- "Hi, it's me, Emily. I'd just really like to see you. I guess you were right. I am too suspicious about little things and maybe I do jump to conclusions. I'm sorry. It's just that I don't want anything to come between us. Call me. Okay?"
- Friday, 10:34 p.m.
- "I just saw something on the news about computer viruses. You don't suppose I might have one of those, do you? I mean, this machine is acting awful strange. They said that hackers can sometimes break into your computer over the Internet and install a virus thing. I dunno, maybe I'll just use the typewriter. It's probably safer."
- Friday 11:13 p.m.
- "Hi, it's me. You don't happen to know where the new typewriter is -- you know, the one you had in high school. Do you have that at your place? I have the really old one here, but the P key doesn't work on it, and --"
"Darn it! You're not calling him again!"
"He's probably asleep. Why can't you just go to sleep? It's 12:15 in the morning."
"No, that's the clock we cant change the time on. It's only 11:15, and he's not asleep. Look, I can't talk to you. It's going to cut --"
- Friday, 11:15 p.m.
- "Damnit. I just got cut off!. . . Actually, your mother thinks the other typewriter doesn't work, so I guess I'll just use the other one. Okay, I'll see you. But call me, okay?"
- Friday, 11:15 p.m.
- "Hi, it's me Emily. I know you're there. I keep getting one ring instead of four. Who the hell have you been talking to all night? Every time I call, you're on the line . . . Wait, you're not talking to her, are you? Damnit, I told you not to. I thought you said you wouldn't call her. You are talking to her, aren't you? I knew it. Yeah, it makes perfect sense, like last weekend when you claimed to be talking to your Dad for four hours. I mean, who talks to their parents for that long? Look, you can't keep telling me these petty lies. It's ruining our relationship. Maybe it'd be best if we just didn't see each other anymore. . . . Ugh, just don't call me. I don't even want to talk to you anymore! I hate you!"
- Saturday, 12:13 a.m.
- "Hi, it's me. Actually, I think I solved the problem. It said there's something wrong with the disk drive, so I'm just reformatting it. . . . Let's see. 'Are you sure you want to reformat the disk?' Let me just click okay, and that should do it. You know, I think I'm finally starting to get the hang of this computer. Once I figure it all out, it'll just be great. So I'll talk to you later. Good night."
This is fiction, by the way. Though a long time ago my father did once fall asleep with his elbow on the space bar, he's certainly not this bad with computers. In fact, if you ask him, the vast majority of his problems strangely coincide with my various "improvements" to his system.
|Copyright 1999 by Joe Lavin (who would make a horrible President)
Joe Lavin's Humor Column is published every Tuesday at: http://joelavin.com
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