Let’s just text together

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“Excuse me, got to get this one,” Buddy tells me. Furtively he talks to someone in another part of town, pulling his hood over his head to block the wind from messing up his cell call.

My phone rings too and soon we’re both busy talking to others, our conversation punctuated by ringtones from people who all want to talk but have no time to greet. “Later,” I respond, texting him to meet me for a quick session at work in the morning.

Heading back home, taking the long route to take in some cool summer evening air before hitting the sack, I wondered why I bothered to look for Buddy when I could have just sent a simple text message instead. Ah, the impersonality of today’s technological paradox: you can meet, get to know, go out with and even get married (coming soon to a cyber-church near your website) and divorced without actually meeting someone in person.

Your taxes, your banking, your vacation, your life and most likely your funeral arrangements can now be managed from your laptop in mere minutes. Back in the 20th century and for much of history before that, if you had any kind of financing, it took a lot of manpower to get whatever you wanted done to be done for you.

Look at Cheops and King Tut—it took millions upon millions of man-hours just to erect monuments in honour of their deaths called pyramids. Today, a few pushes of a finger on a mouse gets you the casket of your choice, including a replica of Tut’s sarcophagus, all online. Wow!

Then there’s life insurance. Feel like insuring some bones? Recently I discovered that each bone broken on your body has a price tag when it comes to insurance payouts, and for only $14.95 per month, I’m covered from my little pinky to my big toe, bone-wise.

Click, click, click, I erode my new credit card on some cool deals, then head back to reality with a debt headache for the next month or two—still, it was a good deal. Could  have cost a lot more up here, where prices seem to increase with latitude. I search for an online dollar store, which to me probably would be a killer business for anyone within easy reach of a dollar-store supplier. No such luck yet.

Looking outside at a fog-covered runway (our only link to any place south with a department store) and checking my text messages for any sign of Buddy, nope… a picnic is planned instead. The sun pokes out and burns away the fog to reveal sunny beaches, where we head for some sun and wind. Ahhh, this is the life.

The ringtone tells me it’s Buddy, who happened to luck out and is busy enjoying the outdoors, same as me. “Care for some golf?” Buddy writes. I reply, “Sorry, tennis elbow, followed soon by some skin-burn.”

The accountant texts me that his work is done and should be sitting in my email box by now. “Good job,” I reply. “Should have brought a cooler full of drinks,” I think, before stretching out on the sand. The heat is just at the bearable-to-unbearable level. “And an umbrella,” I remind myself. Hard work this is, but someone’s got to do it.

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