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 Texas : Features : Columns : Letters From North America :

It could happen

by Peary Perry
Peary Perry

In spite of all of the so called Ďlaborí saving devices that I own. I still find myself looking around trying to find something I have either misplaced or forgotten almost every day of my life.

The other night we were sitting around the table talking and my wife brought up the fact that we had once owned a car that had gotten wrecked five times in a row. I remember the car, but cannot for the life of me remember the wrecks. I suppose to me it just wasnít that important to me at the time. I had other things going on in my life to fill up what brain space I had.

Maybe what happens to us as we get older is that we fill up our memory space with materials for all of the years weíve lived so far. Thatís why kids can remember stuff so much easier, they donít have as much in their brains. Then as we get older we tend to just drop some of the stuff out that didnít seem to be important and then after thatís done, we begin to question our memory.

This morning I sit down and start to write this column. Usually I jot down notes each week over something I think might be of interest or that I can write about. Believe me, once youíve written over 1300 columns concerning just about everything under the sun, you need to keep some notes just so you can keep coming up with something new and original each week. I look around for any and everything to expound upon. So, this afternoon I look for my notes, canít find them. They arenít in a notebook I carry around with me to actually write something down. I canít find any notes anywhere.

Not in my computer at the office, not in my laptop, nor at my computer at home. All three have different sets of files on them as well as photos. So if Iím looking for a photograph of someone I have to search through those three computers, not to mention looking on my cell phone. Itís lucky I donít have on my IPod or thatíd be another place to look.

Now in the old days, you just looked in a photo album or through some stacks in the spare bedroom closet. Today these things could be in any number of places. Same thing with phone numbers, you used to have a little book or a rolodex, you just flipped through the pages and voila there was your number. Then you had to actually DIAL the numberÖ.by hand, using your fingers. So, what did this accomplish? Simple, if you called your grandmothers house (as I often did when I was a kid) it forced you to remember her number (JA-2-2675) after fifty years. Today my kids are on voice call or speed dial so if I had to actually try and remember their numbers, Iíd be up the creek. Dialing 17 on anything other than my cell phone for my son Chris isnít going to get me anywhere. Speaking my wifeís name into a payphone wonít get to her either.

I suppose I could eliminate these problems by buying another one item does all tool. Then keep everything on one piece of electronic gear, photos, numbers, files, letters, songs, moviesÖyou name it and its there. But the problem with that is simply thisÖif that gets lost or stolen your life as you know it is over.

You see people walking around like zombies crying to themselves and in dire straits because they laid their new cell phone/computer/mp3 player/camera/movie/TV machine down on a bar somewhere and went to the bathroom only to return and find it had been stolen. They immediately go into a form of shock. I have noticed a large increase in zombie movies and books lately and am beginning to think that these arenít really dead people but people who are distraught over having their entire life on some handheld device. How long will it be before we see organized kidnapping taking place of these things?

It could happen.

Enough for this week.


© Peary Perry

Letters From North America
- July 16, 2010 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
Comments go to pperry@austin.rr.com

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