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The Technophobophile

by Michael D. Brooks

“You know, you’re a technophobe, Pop.”

‘What the heck is a technophobe?”

“It’s someone who’s afraid of technology.”

“I’m not afraid of technology. What in the world gave you that impression?”

“Gee, let me see. Aren’t you the man who said computers are the anti-Christ?”

“I never said no such thing. You’re getting me confused with your uncle.”

“Uncle Matt works in IT, Pop.”

“Not that uncle.”

“Oh, yeah. I forgot.”

“And for the record, I embrace technology.”

“Oh, yeah? Since when?”

“Since I was in the service. I was around technology and worked with it all the time.”

“Okay, I’ll give you that because you didn’t have a choice, Pop. You had to work with technology because it’s part of military life. I’m not talking about your service time. I’m talking about after. You’re afraid of it.”

“Who says?”


“Oh, yeah? What’s she know?”

“Apparently, more than you do.”

“Smart-ass. I’ll have you know that I was using technology before you were born, and I still am.”

“Like what, Pop?”

“Like record players and tape players.”

“You mean like reel-to-reel and eight track?”

“Yep. I even had one of them laser disc players, a Walkman, and a boom box.”

“I’ve heard of those before. Somehow, I can’t picture you with a boom box.”

“Ask your mother. She’ll tell you how I used to bring my boom box over to her parents’ house, pop in a cassette, and we’d boogie in the backyard.”

“That’s an image I’m trying to get out of my head.”

“Smart-ass. I even bought a computer once.”

“I know about that, Pop. I’ve seen the old dinosaur in the garage. What about those old records you have?”

“What about them?”

“Why don’t you sell them on eBay or something? No one plays those things anymore. You can get a turntable and convert them to digital.”

“First, you’re lucky I know what you’re talking about. Second, I don’t need to be converting nothing to digital. My grandparents had records, my parents had records, I had records, and you had them too before you went all modern on me.”

“But Pop, don’t you see what I’m trying to get at?”


“You can take all of those old songs of yours and transfer them to MP3s.”

“But you don’t get what I’m trying to say. Records were a tried and true technology. They lasted for generations.”

“Stagnated is more like it.”

“That’s what you know. As a technology, vinyl records have outlasted what? Video and audio cassettes, eight-track, floppies, and probably them CDs. Look at the battle going on between them DVD and Blue-Ray people. Before you know it, something else will just come along and replace them.”

“That’s progress, Pop.”

“It’s just another way for these companies to take your money. Why should I buy something today that’s going to be obsolete tomorrow? I ain’t never forgot how I bought myself a TV and then they switched the broadcasting signal to digital. Then I had to go out and buy a converter box.”

“But you can get cable, Pop.”

“I can, but I won’t.”

“Why not?”

“That means spending more money for a cable box. Why should I spend money for a box when I got a TV that’s cable-ready?”

“You got a point there, Pop, but it’s the nature of the beast.”

“You’re damned right it’s a beast. And it’s growing way too fast for my taste. It’s a money monster. And I got better things to do with mine.”

“Like what, Pop?”

“Like saving it for my retirement. That’s probably Billy knocking on the door. Let him in, will you?”

“Here you go, Pop-pop.”

“Thanks, Billy.”

“Grandma said the next time you forget your password, the tablet’s hers.”

“Uh, okay. Thanks. Now run along. I think I hear your grandmom calling you.”

“A tablet, Pop?”

“Oh, shut up. It’s not what it looks like.”

“It looks like a tablet that you paid money for, Pop.”

“I didn’t buy it.”

“Then how’d you get it, hmm?”

“Your, uh, sister bought it for me. Hey! Who am I to tell someone else what to do with their money?”

“Okay, Pop, I’ll... What the heck is that sound?”

“What sound?”

“You have a cell phone! Your butt is ringing.”

“You mean this old thing?”

“Pop, that’s a smartphone. Where’d you get that?”

“Your, uh, mother bought it for me. She said she was tired of not being able to get in touch with me when I go out. Hey! I’m not going to stop her from giving gifts to the man of her dreams.”

“You are full of surprises, Pop.”

“I know. And your old man’s not the technophobe you thought he was. Now, if you don’t mind, I need to take this call.”

Copyright © 2012 by Michael D. Brooks

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