…it must be hard to be totally clueless about technology in today’s high-tech world. Indeed, it takes a real effort to NOT learn new things in a nation that obsoletes its gadget toys every 2 years.

Yet, The Peanut Gallery perseveres.

Somehow he manages to neatly circumvent the entire notion of absorbing an IOTA more new technology than he absolutely has to.

That’s why he owns a Jitterbug for a phone. Which is a glorified – and EXPENSIVE – featureless phone for the semi-retarded. No camera. No Internet. Not even Voicemail (because he wouldn’t learn to access this option anyways). Its address book is (cleverly) inaccessible to any but Customer Service (which means at least a 10-minute hold to change or add a phone number.) Jitterbug sports large buttons and display, a speakerphone for the hearing impaired that enables easy across-restaurant eavesdropping, and an actual ‘one chime fits all’ ringer with no ability to customize.

(My Interpretation: “If you can’t see, can’t hear, and won’t learn –JITTERBUG is the phone for YOU.”)

Even his favorite topic (one he formerly claimed expertise on), food, has gone high-tech. I have yet to locate a microwave Bill can readily use without accompanying cursing sound effects (…from him, not the microwave!). One whose features ONLY include ‘start, ‘stop’, and ‘minutes’.

We won’t even discuss the TV/DVD setup with its dueling remotes. If he can get the TV on and the ‘channel up/down’ buttons to perform, he’s doing well.

The other topic we absolutely won’t tackle is the Computer, which hunkers down and glares heavily at him (he says) and hums grouchily to itself, “doubtless plotting some cyber attack that someday will lead it to levitate itself from your desk and go after me.”  (And I quote directly from The Horse’s mouth.)

His lack of high-tech knowledge often leads to what I can only call “crosstalk” in our home (and you can define that either way: the mood, or the confusion piece).

Latest Example:

Diane (growling): DARN – I have a virus again!

Bill (unsympathetically sidling away): Well, don’t give it to me!

Diane (snappy): NO – I mean my COMPUTER has a virus.

Bill: What kind? (NOTE: I am sure he was expecting something vaguely human-sounding, such as Whooping Beep, Computer Pox or Flash Mumps)

Me: Malware.

Bill: I just noticed some on sale the other day!

Me: ???

Bill (warming to his topic, encouraged by his unexpected knowledge of computers which apparently was better than he thought): Yeah, there was a whole display over at Whole Foods.

Me: ???

Bill (on a roll): Yup. In Spring Colors too.

Me (faintly. Nausea is setting in.): Malware is actually blatantly ADVERTISED at Whole Foods and now comes in Spring Colors???

Bill: Ohyeah. I thought of getting you pink. But we have plenty already.

Me: You can say that again. One is ALREADY PLENTY enough in my book.

Bill (now puzzled again): One is NEVER ENOUGH.

Me: ???

Bill: You have to get a WHOLE SET.

Me (faintly): A SET?

Bill (condescendingly): They COME IN SETS. What, you thought you could pick up just ONE?

Me (panicking now): But I don’t want a whole set.

Bill: Sorry, hon – that’s the way they come. Take it or leave it!

Me: Oh, I’ll leave it: I never even asked for the first one!

Bill: EVERYONE needs more than one!

Me (shouting now.): I DON’T NEED ANY MORE DAMN MALWARE!

Bill (confused again): WTF! “Malware”??? What are you talkin’ about?

Me: What are YOU talking about?

Bill: DISHWARE, OF COURSE.

Me: ….. um, where did you put your hearing aid?

Da Man slunk out of the room reeking of confusion like a skunk in search of rabies.                      

Thom Watson / Foter

                                            Spring DISHware   

CARLOS62 / Foter

                                      vs.           Spring MALware:

                                       …two VERY different dishes!

Unfortunately Bill’s confusion stemmed not from the lack of a proper hearing device, but from his logical mixup of ‘Malware’ vs. ‘Dishware.’ To him anything ending in ‘ware’ holds only one definition which ultimately cradles one of his favorite things in life: Dinner.

Crosstalk. When 2 people ostensibly using the same language find something to argue about … but in reality it’s about totally different things.

Simultaneously.

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