We’re going way back here. I was still a fresh-faced forty-three, with eyebrows and periods and the whole works. And when I turned on my first computer, I could hear it cogitating away, and then I’d dial up the internet—it was like setting sail for the new world in a creaky old boat. Wheeeee whirrrrr bong bong clickety clickety… you don’t stay there and wait. Lawsy! You’ve got time to go out and hitch up old Dobbin to the buckboard and birth a baby or two, and when you come back, why, you’re on line, and ready to roar. You fetch up your mail, dash into a favorite website—we used to visit farts.com for the fart of the day—all the important stuff. You keep a stack of dollar bills at your side and peel one off to feed the internet every few minutes, and then you jump off again.
I grew up being conditioned to the instant response, though. Daddy was a regular search engine, and as long as he remained alive I really didn’t have to hone my research skills, or, frankly, remember anything. He was reliable, too. Can you explain the theory of relativity, Daddy? Yes he could. How do yellow jackets find a picnic? Why is electricity? What is this bug and, ew, what is it doing with that long hangy thing? He knew it all.
|Well, son, back when I was coming up...|
But even he was no Google.
Anyway, Daddy’s gone and I’ve moved on. And like most adults, I’ve come to realize my father was not the perfect fount of knowledge anyway. He had gaps. That lady who used to play the lady married to the curmudgeon on that old TV show, the one with the horse, you know the one that’s married in real life to the dude who used to sit in the top left square of Hollywood Squares? Her mother. Is she still alive? Google can totally handle that.