So now we live in a sort of Buck Rogers future now that it’s 2015, with all the flying cars, hover boards, and tubes going everywhere. Wow just typing 2015 makes me feel old, but I’m not that old, I can still swim above the tide of technology… for now. I’m sure that twenty years from now my kids will be rolling their eyes at each other because the old man can’t make the 3D food replicator stop blinking 12:00. I’m already suffering from getting grumpy about pointless stuff, and rolling my eyes when the twenty-something kids at work talk. Don’t even get me started on my kids and the thermostat or closing the fridge door properly.
At some point in your life you stop asking your parents for help with technology and they start asking you. This confirms you are an adult approaching middle age. Especially if it’s your dad asking, dad’s don’t like to ask for directions or technical help from their kids. I’m still scarred from my youngest son jabbing a screwdriver in the car’s radiator while he was “helping”. This begins the first time a mom tells a kid “go help your father” to get the kid out of her hair. It always turns into an exercise in futility.
Back in the 80’s I remember my dad having to help Gramps with technology around the time they finally replaced the giant fake wood Zenith console TV with a SONY. I’m sure at some point long ago one of my relatives was teaching his parents how to light the new fangled oil lamp that had replaced the family candle on the mantle. And don’t get them started on those cockamamie shoes for horses.
Time marches on, and I find myself occasionally getting a call from one of my parents to fix something over the phone. The most frequent panic call used to be my mom and her television, admittedly it was a fairly complex setup that was my fault, and of course there was one button on the remote which would screw up everything. I would always get the calls while I was on set and couldn’t really talk.
“Yeah mom. What’s up we’re about to roll?”
“I pushed the button and screwed up the TV and CSI is about to start”
“Oh crap….Ok, did you try pushing input?”
“Yes and now it says “sat tuner active” what the hell does that even mean?”
This would go on for a couple of minutes, it was like a control tower trying to talk a passenger through landing a crippled plane. People on set would be smirking at me, even though they know damn well they take these calls too, and some day we all start making them.
In case you are not sure if you have crossed the threshold from tech support to caller here are a few signs to look for. If one of these is happening you’re probably just on the cusp, but if you suffer two or more it may be time to switch your Internist for a Geriatrician.
1. Internet password. If someone wants to use your internet, and you tell them the password is your cat or favorite band’s name with a number after it or something smartass, you’re still all good. However if you have to go get a notepad that has something like KJHGYIUTY972hU0O32ui& written down because that’s the one the nice young man who set up your wi-fi for you telling you “you can easily change it after I leave” You are probably getting old.
2. Are you getting weirdly particular about guests moving things in your house or kitchen? Do you find yourself accusing people of moving the salt rather than just poke around for it? Have all kinds of weird rules and a strict system regarding the garbage and recycling? Getting up there buddy. I myself am showing the very first signs of spice location obsession.
3. Is there a fake butter product in your fridge that comes in a tub?
4. Does a newspaper actually still show up at your house? You get a pass for just getting the Sunday NY Times or something. USA Today is not a real newspaper.
5. Do you have a land line you call people on, and not just so you have a phone number that’s not your cell to give out, so that your dry cleaner or pizza guy can call you? Do you call other people’s home land lines first?
7. If someone was to change the preset radio channels in your car would you lose your shit?
8. If a visitor wants to plug another media device into your home system, does it strike terror in your heart that something will go wrong and you’ll never get it back to working ever again?
9. Do you have a long running feud with a neighbor over something trivial? Do you give others updates about the feud frequently? His lawn still really pissing you off? Or that she bought a white car?
10. Are you keeping a lot of “perfectly good” food in your pantry that is terrifying to others?
So there you go, a helpful quiz to see if you’re getting old. Now where the hell did I leave my glasses, I have to go see if that jerk next door is not breaking down his cardboard boxes for the building’s recycling bin. Who does that???? It fills the giving dumpster with giant air pockets.