How Did This Old Fuck Learn How to Use a Computer?

In The Office

There’s a tinge of fear in this man’s eyes. Can you see it? Sure it’s possible he’s just been surprised by the photographer, or is having a traumatic moment of World War 2 PTSD. But we know better. He’s scared of this new technology he’s using. Take a close look here friends: he’s unable to look straight at the computer monitor; his right hand is barely gripping the mouse. Is he wearing a fucking helmet? What’s he so afraid of?

“Virus,” seem like an inevitable inconvenience to people like you and I. Anytime someone says “I got a virus” we assume it’s on their computer and we can just, you know, fix it. At the worst – when it’s not on your computer – it’s the result of some nasty unprotected horizontal mambo, good for a story and a high-five with your bros.

But to this man, “virus” can mean something altogether very different. At his age, he thinks to himself, he can’t live through another virus. His immune system is holding on by a strand, a single crotchety white blood cell that’s one day from retirement, like cliche-ridden unlucky cops in an action movie.

He barely got out of that SARS scare alive and he’s been told by his grand kids to surf the web carefully or else he’ll get a virus. He remembers polio. FDR was his best fucking buddy. But he knows he has to get on the Internet to comment on Facebook, if only to remind his extended family that he still exists. So he works up the courage to click on that colorful icon on his desktop, thinking that any moment now he himself a virus will lay waste to what little remains of his life. It’s also why he’s wearing high grade protective gear while he “computes.”

It’s a scary thought, but in reality, look at this shriveled up old man. Just how did he get this far with modern technology. Did he read a “for dummies” book? Do they have something like that for geriatrics? Is printed in giant fonts and have dedicated nap and pill times inscribed on the inside cover?

How did he get so determined to learn how to use a computer? Was it an experiment out of boredom, like someone teaching their cat to use to toilet? Surely those first lessons were cripplingly frustrating, as he’d probably hold down each key on the keyboard, as if it was a typewriter, while the computer just repeated the same letters over and over:

“Hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllllllllllllllooooooooooo                   wwwwwwwwwwwwwwooooooooooooooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrllllllllllllllddddddddddddddd”

…is the body of his first email, more characters than would be allowed in a Tweet, and yet for whatever reason he didn’t give up on his goals like you did with that “I’m going to jog everyday” resolution you had conveniently forgotten by January 9.

Who knows if he actually has any idea what he’s doing on that thing other than using it for email. He probably mixes up Google Search and Facebook posts all the time, inadvertently asking his Facebook connections “what’s a dank meme?”, “Where did I put my glasses?” and “How can I pass my elderly driver’s assessment?” Or maybe he’s been sharing all of his life details to the Google search bar, inexplicably telling the big G that his recent surgery went well, and that he’s really proud of his grandson graduating college even after his misdemeanor conviction for refusing to leave a public place.

Somehow, using the old-school mentality of grit and determination, this forgotten oldster has made it to the modern era. If he can learn how to use a computer, that he thinks might endanger his health, why can’t you ask out that cute barista? Or at the very least follow through on that jogging resolution? Nah, actually. Fuck it.

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