My Father’s Computer
My parents have always been early adopters of technology; back when the internet was something that you had to connect through three different phone numbers that would each bounce off each other, pay long distance charges, wait about half an hour for an open slot to connect, and only have a set amount of hours a month to be connected we had it. Back when video games first came out we were one of the first people in our school to have the systems (all of them), and the first of any of my brother’s or I’s friends to have a Super Nintendo. I have even heard rumors that my parents had a color TV pretty early on in their marriage, but I am pretty sure that rumors of only black and white images are just things used to produce fear and respect of blurry standard definition images in the youth. Please don’t take this to mean that they, under any stretch of the imagination, keep up with things once they have come out; I am sure that in my father’s mind an Apple IIe from 1984 surfs the net just as well as any modern machine.
One of the more surprising things that have happened in my life is that my father has become insanely obsessed with Facebook. When I say this I don’t mean that he has a passing interest or that he checks it a handful of times a day; the man is probably the first person to see something when it is posted through the interwebs regardless of where he currently is (as I think he even manage to comment on things in out Mongolia). It is like my father has a sixth sense about other people’s tedium. Mention how cute your dumb dog is, he is the first to tag that image to the almost forgotten Facebook page of said creature, talk about the brain freeze you just had because you did Jell-O shots too fast, he is the first to give it a like, talk about how your ex is a jerk, he probably has a comment that my mom will yell at him about. If this was a comic book I would be the son of a super hero, instead this is the real world and I only got a loving, understanding, and supporting parent. Real life sucks.
As much as I spend time trying to avoid and not interact with people it turns out that my father is the exact opposite. For every time I decided it would be best to hide out in my room and learn more about fictional life my father was out in the real world learning more about other people’s real life, which seems counterproductive. This pretty much plays directly into how badly it affected my father when his computer suddenly stopped working after years of doing the exact opposite of that, basically because it seems that he is pretty allergic to not keeping informed with the mundane lives of everyone in a 9 town radius. There are few things related to computers that you can just tell that you aren’t going to be able to help someone with over the phone, one of them is a computer blue screening on startup. Sure, if the error is there long enough to grab a code you can do something—blue screen on startup pretty much defeats any amount of time that said would probably be there though.
Upon hearing about my parents’ computer problems my wife jumped into action like some kind of problem solving super sleuth. Somewhere around two hours after my dad called me to tell me that the computer was having issues my wife had already ordered them a new one, basically making that the second quickest choice she has ever made in her personal life—right after the more questionable decision of marrying me.
My favorite part is that the next day my father called me around 11 am to ask what kind of computer he should be buying as he was already on the way to the store. Considering that this was supposed to be a surprise it was kind of hard to explain to him why I refused to give him advice and even why I kept demanding that he didn’t need a new computer any time soon. I am pretty sure that he ended up getting the point because at one point he started giggling, a sound that he only makes around grandchildren or when he is about to receive a really cool present. Although, I am must say that the way that we ended the conversation was a little bothersome:
“The river is made of chocolate milk!”
“Dad, whatever you are doing stop. I think you are having a stroke!” Turns out that he was just talking about the color brown of the river after the previous night’s heavily ran. Doesn’t matter, I still stand by my initial fear.