I've contributed to perhaps the best humor compilation I've ever read. Available now on Amazon!

My second chapbook, "The Second Book of Pearl: The Cats" is now available as either a paper chapbook or as a downloadable item. See below for the Pay Pal link or click on its cover just to the right of the newest blog post to download to your Kindle, iPad, or Nook. Just $3.99 for inspired tales of gin, gambling addiction and inter-feline betrayal.

My first chapbook, I Was Raised to be A Lert is in its third printing and is available both via the PayPal link below and on smashwords! Order one? Download one? It's all for you, baby!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Those Darn Kids And Their Stereopticons

If you’re like me – and there’s been no evidence that you’re not – you have at least one family member who has failed to stay in step with technology.

You know it’s true. Your mom’s VCR is still flashing “12:00”, isn’t it?

Wait a minute. It’s not your mom’s? It’s yours? Ha ha ha.

Dummy.

Aw, I’m just kidding. Relax – you’re talking to someone with a stack of eight-tracks in the other room.

But this isn’t about my eight-tracks.

I was on the bus this morning – as is my wont – thinking about being another year older and what the odds were that any of my birthday cards would have money in them…

Yep – today is my birthday. I won’t tell you how old I am, but I’m old enough to drink in the bars now, so that’s cool.

It was 16 degrees below zero at the bus stop, and that there’s what we call a harsh reality. Luckily, I was wearing the clothing equivalent, weight-wise, of a kindergarten class; so when the next bus showed up, some 20 minutes later, the only thing truly starting to get cold were my feet.

Somewhere, today, there are little boys peeing outside, checking to see if it will freeze by the time it hits the ground.

I have it on good authority that it will not.

But this isn’t about little boys peeing outside!

I’ve a routine on the bus. I take off my hat and gloves, take a vitamin. I watch the people getting on, scan for anything that looks like it’s going to “happen”, ready to pull out my notebook if it does.

I got a nice window seat on the bus, in the back.

And that’s when I looked at the window. And there, etched in frost, between my elbow and shoulders, there it is: A Sign. My Birthday Present.

The very image of The Grinch.

I considered telling the person next to me, but she was busy highlighting everything in her college textbook (The Big Book of Sociology or People Are Fun or something – it had a lot of pictures).

The Virgin Mary on Toast? Yum!

The Grinch on a Metropolitan Transit Company Bus? What's it mean?

By the time I got to work, I had to tell someone.

“Ma,” I said (I call her “Ma” because that’s her name), “I rode on the bus next to a frosted image of The Grinch in the window. What’s it mean?”

“Cool!” she said. “Did you get a picture of it?”

I stared at her. “What?”

“Your cell phone! Don’t you have a camera on your cell?”

Dammit.

The worst part about it? I do. I do have a camera on my cell phone.

And that brings me back to the flashing “12:00”.

The urge to shake my fist in the air is undeniable. Dagnabit, you kids! Cameras on phones! I can’t keep up!

41 comments:

Skywalker said...

Happy Bday.

Do try and keep up. VCRs??? What's that? just kidding

Toivoa ja Elämän said...

happy birthday (:
lol the grinch, how worrying...
it's a bit late / early though, isn't it?
oh well

IB said...

Hi Pearl,

Happy Birthday , pal!

I've got 8 tracks too, so you are not alone.

IB

Maryx8815 said...

VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY FOR YOU GAL!!! Keep on blogging to our heart's content...

And yeah, as Skywalker says... VCR???? HEHE!!

The Grandpa said...

Happy birthday, Pearl.

My cell phone also has a blue tooth. But I wouldn't know, because I've never seen it smile.

Ann's Rants said...

Happy Birthday, Pearl!!! I don't know if you remeber this...but that just might've been the Goddess of Comedy herself beaming herself over to rejoice with you.

The Retired One said...

Happy Birthday from me too, Pearl!
I hate to admit it too, but I sometimes have had to call my kids to figure out something funky on my computer or phone...but I only do it as a last resort, because I know they shake their heads and call each other after and snicker. But I know (because I am older and wiser) that their day is coming..I can't wait for my grandson to utter to his Dad: "geez, dad...it's easy...just reprogram it THIS way!"
Grinch on the bus window? Maybe it was comedy's way of wishing you a great birthday, since your talent is to amuse us with laughs. Karma, baby, karma!!!!!

Under the Influence said...

Happy b-day!

I often have to ask my kids (11, 9 and 5) how to use something. My 5 year old has mastered our digital camera WAY better than I have!

darsden said...

Happy Birthday Pearl! I always enjoy the ride on the bus with you Pearl, even if it is the short bus sometimes...LOL xoxo Com'on over and we will celebrate!

Jess said...

Happy Birthday! I LOVE birthdays!! YAY!

rachael said...

LOL, Happy Birthday~!

I sing for a living, and while I am up on stage, I watch groups of yourng kids all taking self portraits together. I love to watche as they all turn to look at the pic, and either delete and take another, or go for another shot.

When I see this I always muse about how when I went to clubs when I was younger, we used to have to wait to develop our film to see our photos.

What a different world.

:)

Cameron said...

Happy Birthday!!! Too bad you left your present on the bus. Doh!! Did you get the present I sent you? Don't worry about the hissing sound coming from the box...just open it!

Amy@Bitchin'WivesClub said...

Happy Birthday, Pearl!!

I have to love and admire a woman who uses the phrase -as is my wont- and the word Dagnabit. Two of my most favorite things to say!

Don't freeze yourself on the pub crawl tonight!

Douglas said...

Cell phone? Prisoners get phones in their cells now?

Happy Birthday. I gave up on them some time ago when the neighbors called the fire dept after seeing the flames from the birthday cake through the window.

I know, nosy neighbors are a pain. And they don't like me. I know this for a fact because I bugged their house. You should hear what those people say about me. No, never mind, you shouldn't.

Irish Gumbo said...

Freeze before what hits the ground? Are you sure these are little boys? ;)

Hey, just wait until you get one of them fancy machines what let you talk and type and send picture through, get this: PHONE LINES! Oh, man they are so cool, once you learn how to turn them on...

Comedy Goddess said...

Yes I once did resemble the Grinch, thanks for remembering Ann. I am better now.
Happy Birthday Pearl!! Go on and get yourself some new techy gadget to celebrate.

Susan said...

The Grinch and I both wish you a very very happy birthday. See? You're loved by everyone - including the grumpy people!

sticky said...

Happy Birthday!

Very funny!!

Dr Zibbs said...

Happy B! Mine was the 8th.

Braja said...

I think it was the vodka...

EskimoBob said...

Happy Birthday -

Sounds like you're an Alaskan stuck in Minnesota. But then you wouldn't have recognized the Grinch - and you wouldn't have been on a bus. . .

naperville mom said...

Happy happy birthday, from a techno- handicapped reader:)

Tami said...

Happy Birthday Pearl - from one January birthday girl to another (god, did birthdays suck as a kid or what? My brother was in August and he always got the cool i.e. POOL parties).

Anyway...I'm a techie dork. I'm that annoying person on her Blackberry. I'm emailng all day (yet can't seem to blog much). And yes...my mother and father are technologically retarded. It drives me nuts and I'm now sure how they spawned me.

Vic said...

Happy Birthday!
Don't worry about it - chances are the picture would have been blurry anyway, and then you'd have been all "See! Right there! It's the Grinch!", and the other person would be all "I don't see it", and you'd point again, and they'd say "O- kaay...", and look at you in THAT way. (Not that I've ever seen that look...)

Bee said...

Happy Birthday! It just so happens that I was in London today, celebrating my own birthday -- which was actually the 11th. I am also old enough to drink.

I refuse to trade in my HORRIBLE cell phone because it took me two years to figure out how to work it properly. Also, I got precisely two pictures of my day out . . . before the battery went dead. Sometimes the challenges are extremely low-tech, and yet still insurmountable.

darsden said...

Pearl didn't you just get an Iphone? wha'd you say?

Steve said...

Happy birthday! What's a bus? Is it pulled by horses?

Not The Rockefellers said...

Holy frosted Grinch!!

And Happpy Birthday to you Who-Pearl

Peace - Rene

Pearl said...

Skywalker, I know someone who has collected HUNDREDS of videotapes. I think he thinks they're going to be valuable some day. :-)

Toivoa, that's what worries me! Why the grinch? What's it all mean?!

IB, I had a feeling you'd understand.

Maryx8815, thank you! :-)

Grandpa, this bluetooth of which you speak -- is that the one that makes you look like you're talking to yourself?! Since people started using that thing, I can't tell if the guy passing me on the street is mentally ill or just making a phone call!

Ann, that is a very good possibility!

Thank you, Retired One. And yes -- the next generation will get theirs! ha ha ha haaaaa!

Under the Influence! Kids. Little buggers and their firing synapses! They'll get theirs! :-)

Darsden, that sounds like a wonderful idea, actually.

Jess, Hey, at least I'll get a dinner out of it!

Cameron! A hissing noise, you say?! I can hardly wait. :-)

Rachael, my friends and I have discussed the very same thing. Seems funny to us, that during the midst of some sort of celebration everybody pauses to look at pictures of themselves celebrating...

Amy, who told you about the pub crawl?! Actually, it's about time, isn't it? Too cold for that silliness right now, but you just wait until spring...

Douglas, that actually made me laugh. :-)

IG, I'm sure I don't know WHAT you're talking about. ;-)
I'm trying to embrace technology. With any luck, I'll get an abacus at dinner tonight!

Comedy Goddess, which brings me to Darsden's comment about my iPhone...

Susan, sometimes I think the grumpy people like me best. :-)

Thanks, Sticky!

Dr. Z, Happy birthday to you! Was there cake? I'm hoping for cake... Well, a cherry pie would be better, but who gets birthday pie?

Braja, I have taken a solemn oath not to drink before the morning bus.
The MORNING bus. :-)

EskimoBob, my brutha, it is well and truly chilly here! STOP SENDING THAT WIND! (And for you people who don't know, the Alaskans and Canadians have sent us what is knowns as an "Alberta Clipper" -- a fast, arctic wind that sweeps down and usually east and tries to kill us. Honestly, I'm surprised I haven't heard yet of anyone who has fallen asleep in the snow drunk and died yet...)

Naperville Mom, I'll see your technologically handicapped and raise you a "what IS that?!"

Hey, Tami! The winter birthdays are tough! Wait a minute -- pool party?! You guys had a pool?! Or is that just a fancy way of saying you pointed the garden hose at each other?! :-)

Vic, that's a good point and I'm going to use it. :-)

Ah, Darsden, ya caught me. :-) It costs too much to get out of my current cell phone account and I have to wait until April to set it up!!!! DRAG!

Steve, the bus is where a bunch of people you don't know sit closer to you than your own family with the intent of all going in the same direction. Believe it or not, they charge you for the experience!

Rene! Who-Pearl. :-) You're so funny!

Pearl said...

Whoops -- miss your comment, Bee!
London. You were in London.
*sigh*
Perhaps for you that is like saying "I was in Chicago", but to me, that is so out there I'm just jealous all over the place.
You should take some pictures or no one will believe how cool it is.
:-)

Judy said...

Happy Birthday to you. I have a problem with technology. Guess I am behind the times. I get my daughters to do the settings on my phone. I do pretty good with the computer but that phone is something else!

Pearl said...

Judy, all I really want my phone to do is make phone calls. :-)

Sweet Cheeks said...

Happy Birthday Pearly Q!

On a side note, about your cold weather...I heard on the news this morning that a bunch of women in Minnesota got arrested for standing out in the street and spraying hundreds of cans of hairspray at the sky. They were trying to open another ozone layer hole to warm things up a bit....
:)

KMcJoseph said...

Wow, just like the exorcist!

Michelle said...

Happy freaking birthday Pearl!!!

Bah humbug!!!! UGH!!!

See i am very grinch like today!!!

For you!!

For your birthday!!!

Jeanne said...

Happy Birthday to you!

Smart Mouth Broad said...

I carry my camera with me all the time (and my cell phone has a camera too)but I usually forget to take a picture anyway. *sigh*

The Wife O Riley said...

Happy Birthday Pearl!!

My father still has reel to reel, he didn't even make the jump to 8 tracks!

And what a coincidence, my Ma's name is Ma too!

Kavi said...

Wonderful Birthday and may more to follow ! May you stare as wide eyed and as neatly as you do now
!

But the VCR was too much. A Model T is fine. A Black & White TV is ok. A telepone with a dial is so neat...But a VCR, thats as latest as it can get...!!

wonnderful ! have a fantasic birthday !


(No wonder you were born in Jan as well )!!

R~ said...

Happy Birthday Pearl. I'm sure you got my gift already. Its the same thing I got you last year only bigger!!!

And by the way I am the one that gets the calls from her grandparents asking how to do everything. They thought I was a techno-genius because I could delete their cookies and run a virus scan, we won't even go to cameras on cell phones... terribly sad.

Anyway, Have a great day! (and a few drinks)

Sujatha said...

Confessing to being a dummy - we just replaced our 1993 television (the kind that will stop working come Feb)! And only because we got our son a Wii for Christmas and it would not work on the old TV anymore.