Technophobics Anonymous

by Bill Bilodeau





... Man, THAT guy was REALLY a loser! Guess I'm next. Don't be nervous, now; these people are all here for the same reason. It's no big thing. After all, it's a support group, for Christ's sake. Just stand up and say it, get it over with ...

"Hi. My name's Bill, and I'm, ah, here to talk to ... I mean, I admit, I have a problem with ... technology. Okay, I said it. No big deal. I mean, it's not like ol' Joe here, who, heh, well, you know, THAT was pretty funny, haha, I mean, pretty awful, with the fire and everything. That poor cat, hahaha. Sorry, man, just nervous laughter, you know? Hey, anybody mind if I smoke? No? Oh, okay, just asking, you know? So about technology and everything. Well, it's not that I can't use it or anything; I mean, I have one -- a computer, I mean. In fact, I've had one for years. I bought one of the first Macs around. You know, when they were waaay overpriced, and you got next to nothing for a thousand bucks and it was About As Big As A Toaster And Had No Memory I Mean NO MEMORY AT ALL ZERO MEGS AND YOU COULDN'T RUN ANYTHING WITHOUT AN EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE NOT EVEN THE FINDER WORKED BUT I DIDN'T KNOW THAT UNTIL I'D BOUGHT THE DAMN THING AND HAD IT SHIPPED FROM EAST BUM--"

Chill, dude, you're getting hyper. Calm down and start over. Too much detail. They're staring. Even the loser with the hairless cat. Try again, but take it slower.

"I can't even create a database."

"Okay, then. Sorry. Sorry about that. Tangent, I know. So here's the thing. This isn't easy to say, obviously, but here it goes: I'm ... not ... on ... the Internet. There. I said it. Okay, THAT feels better. I can say it. I can deal with it. You see, it all started with my razor. I hate to shave, you know? So I bought me one of them electric suckers; three heads, two speeds, rechargeable. THAT was where I went wrong. Rechargeable!

"So I got this thing about six months, and it shaves okay, nothing special, but it's convenient, you know? And that's the point, right? Of technology? It's supposed to make things easier, like answering machines and microwaves and call forwarding -- who really, REALLY needs that shit, anyway? Like, who's sooooo busy, they can't wait to take a fucking call --"

Oops. Gotta watch my mouth, I guess. These people are so uptight. What am I doing here, anyway?. Like they're gonna help me get better? Look at them. Bunch of losers! Prob'ly not one of them's ever even surfed a Web cam sight. So what AM I doing here? Guess I'm no better. I can't even create a database. Let's just play along, go with the flow, see what happens. Worse comes to worse, I can always hit on the chick with the floppy disk virus.



"What? ... Oh, oh yeah. Sorry. Excuse me. I got carried away. It's just, you know, like take cell phones. Who NEEDS to be talking on one of those da--, uh, one of those things while they're eating? I mean, EATING, right? In a RESTAURANT! You're eating, your mouth is BUSY, right? But not these people. They're so f--, so VERY important, they need to interrupt their meal -- and everyone else's -- to blab on and on about God only knows what, you know; stocks or how they're flying somewhere the next week or what movie they just saw. I swear, I was at one place, this guy next to me, he's on the phone, talking to someone real loud, and he's describin' WHAT HE'S EATING!

" 'I'm having the nachos,' he says. 'They've got those hot peppers all over them ... no, I hate those ... of COURSE I took them off ...'

"Unbelievable! Who the hell can he be talkin' to that needs to be hearing that? ... What? ... Yeah, sure. I AM, yeah. Right now. Hey, don't I get to tell my story my way? Isn't that like a sacred rule of these things or somethin'?"


"Piece of crap."

"So I have this razor, an' it works okay for about six months. Then, one night, I'm sleeping, and I wake up 'cause I hear a noise in my room. It's a buzzing, like a whole flock of bees is in my closet. I don't know what it is, but I'm all alone in the dark, and a flock of bees -- Huh? ... Okay, fine, SWARM of bees is buzzing like hell in my -- I can say hell, right? Okay -- is buzzing in my closet, an' I'm practically wettin' the bed, you know? So I ease out, real slow, an' creep over to the door, and turn on the light. But the buzzing keeps right on goin', doesn't slow down or get louder or nothin'. And I see my tennis racket next to the door, so I grab it, and figure I'm gonna take as many of those little mothers with me as I can, and I grab the closet doorknob, and jerk it open, and ... there's ... nothing ... there! Nothing, except a box of stuff I put away when I moved. Did I mention I'd moved the week before? Well I did. I should have mentioned that, because it makes the story better. Anyway, so there's nothing there but this box, and I grab the corner of the box and drag it out into the middle of the room, and it's buzzin' and buzzin' away, not payin' any attention to me, and I carefully pick up one edge of the top and raise the racket and pull the top open, and you prob'ly guessed by now the stinkin' razor was in the box, humming away, trying to shave my boom box or anything else I had packed away that might get too close, right? It wouldn't turn off, no matter what I did. I finally wrapped it in a towel and shoved it in a drawer and then I couldn't hear it; but I knew it was in there, waiting. It had a short, and for about three weeks, it just kept goin' off any old time, day or night -- especially night -- without even being plugged in or recharged. Finally, it ran out of juice and I threw it away. Piece of crap.



"So that's how I feel about technology. I been shaving with blades ever since. But with computers, it's like, with music, you know? I go and spend ten gazillion dollars on every good album ever, and then everything goes to cassettes, because you can listen to them in the car. Then, I get all cassettes and everyone moves to CDs, 'cause they sound better and you can move around from track to track without fast-forward. I ain't buying a CD player, I can tell you, and I ain't buying a new computer until I know they're not gonna make it obsolete the next week. Really, that's the thing. I'm not a technophobe. I'm afraid of wasting money. Okay, maybe I'm cheap. I don't make a bunch of money, not enough to blow on a 200 gigabyte server with 100 megs of RAM and a 56K internal fax/modem and ultrasupermegastereo soundblaster thingy, then find out it's crap and I can't use it to find out what's in this month's Playboy or to e-mail my friends and God help me if it's not Y2K compliant next month and I lose everything I put on it, plus have to dig a shelter in my yard or somethin'.




"So anyway, you can imagine how weird it was to get invited to write a column for a webzine I can't even see what's on it. I had to look it up at work, which I never have time to do, plus the Internet's only on the computers at work that are in plain view of everyone, and I didn't know what this thing looked like, but I didn't want my boss seein' me pokin' through Web sites that got nothin' to do with my job, you know? So, I figured it was about time I faced my fears about technology, and I heard about your group. How long you guys been comin' here, anyway? ... Really? Wow, so I guess you're all pretty fu-, I mean, screwed up about it, right? I mean, hell, my problem's not so bad. I mean, I got a computer and a printer, even though the printer sucks the big one and I have to jump-start the hard drive from my car through the window. HA! Just kidding. So I -- Huh? ... Well, I think it -- No, I'm not making fun -- What? Well, fuck you, pal, and your horse! Yeah! Who needs your help, anyway? Bunch of losers. ... Fine! What the hell did I expect, anyway. I need a drink! And hey, Joe -- hey, maybe your burned up cat can do commercials for Taco Bell."




please email ducts with your comments.