By Keith Roulston
“I did something stupid yesterday,” George Mackenzie said the other morning as the gang gathered at Mabel’s Grill.
Molly Whiteside, who was in the midst of filling his coffee cup, choked in surprise and spilled some of the coffee. “You’re actually admitting you do stupid things? That’s a first.”
“I didn’t say ‘things’, I said I did one stupid thing,” George admitted.
“And that was?” Cliff Murray asked.
“Well, the TV went on the fritz and you can’t get anybody to fix them anymore so I went to the store to buy a new one.”
“Uho!” said Dave Winston.
“They’ve got so many different kinds and different sizes. I asked this clerk to help me and she said this was a smart TV and the other ones weren’t. Well, I mean who wants a dumb TV, so I bought the smart one. I figured maybe it could do something like make Donald Trump sound intelligent.”
“How’d that work out?” Dave said, barely suppressing a smirk.
“Well, I plug the thing in and push the ‘on’ button on the remote and the screen comes on and all it’s showing is on logos for Netflix and Google and a whole lot things I don’t even know about – nothing that even looks like it’s a TV! There aren’t even channel numbers on the remote!”
“So what did you do?” asked Cliff.
“I got desperate enough I even checked the manual. But they might as well have left that in the original Chinese for all the sense it made.”
“So, you’re not watching TV today, I take it,” asked Molly.
“No, after about two hours of pushing this and that I finally got the darn thing working,” said George.
“So you’re all set,” said Dave.
“Then, overnight, the power blinked,” said George.
“And did you remember how to get it working again?” wondered Molly.
“It took me about half as long as the first time but I finally got the blankety-blank thing working again.”
“So now you’re up and running,” said Molly.
“But then my wife wanted me to show her in case the power blinked and I’m not home.”
“How’d that go?” asked Cliff.
“We’re seeing the divorce lawyer on Monday.”
“Really?” asked Molly.
“No, but we need counselling.”
“I guess they should never sell somebody a TV that’s smarter than its owner,” said Cliff.
“What, you have to give the customer an IQ test?” asked Molly.
“No, if the customer’s over 35 they’re too old for a lot of this electronic equipment,” said Dave. “When I get some new electronic gadget I just give it to my kids. I get them to explain how to use it.”
“I’m surprised you’re drinking coffee,” Cliff said as George emptied his cup and motioned Molly to give him a refill. “I think what you’ve been through might have made me turn to drink.”
“Or pot,” said Molly. “They say that can be relaxing.”
“I’m not going to smoke pot!” said George. “It took me long enough to quit smoking when I started cigarettes when I was 15.”
“Now you can get your pot in all sorts of edibles like candies and cake,” said Molly.
“I’ll pass,” said George.
“From the projections they’re putting out for the growth of the cannabis industry you and I must be about the only people in the country who aren’t going to be getting high every day,” said Cliff.
“I can’t see all these predictions coming true,” said George. “Sometimes it sounds like these pot company bosses are sampling too much of their own product,” said Cliff.
“Well, who knows,” said Dave. “After a year or so of living with the constant politics of a minority government even you might be tempted to bliss out.” ◊