World of zeros and ones

Rick Ryckeley's picture

Okay, I’ll admit it. Other than clicking the mouse when it comes to computers, I’m not only clueless, I’m geekless.

How a bunch of zeros and ones can do all the things computers do is beyond me. Understanding what goes on inside that black box is almost as hard as understanding the not-so-helpful person from technical support. It seems that all the technical help for my computer brand has been outsourced.

First, for the record, I don’t have anything against anyone from another country. I’m truly empathetic with those who do their best to speak English, but still fail to be understood.

My unique Southern phraseology over the years has even made The Wife wonder many times what country I’m really from. I’m so Southern that when I attend Briarwood, home of the mighty Buccaneers, I took English for five years and still almost didn’t graduate.

As a senior, I drew an unlucky card at registration and got Ms. Simpson. Simpson was the hardest English teacher at Briarwood and a stickler for correct diction. She told us that the very first day, and she explained if she ever said anything we didn’t understand that we should be sure to ask.

Immediately my hand went up. “What’s diction?” The classroom erupted in laughter. Ms. Simpson was not amused. Did I mention she had no sense of humor?

I was assigned detention for three days because of my unruly outburst. And she said if it happened again the detention would be extended for a week. Ms. Simpson said this in crisp, clear diction, and I understood completely.

It was a long year in her class. The two term papers I turned in for their first revision came back marked so heavily with a red pen, the pages actually bled.

Since my time at Briarwood, the pen color teachers use to mark corrections on papers has changed. Purple is now the new red. Educational research has shown that students have a negative reaction to the color red. Heck, I could have told them that without a study. When I saw all that red, I was traumatized, possibly scarred for life. Maybe that’s why it took me 30 years to graduate from college.

The Boy came over yesterday, and in less than the time it took for me to be on hold with technical NON-support, he found the problem.

“You just have to de-frag your computer,” he explained. “All the zeros and ones need to be in alignment or the computer will run really slowly and be disorganized on the inside.”

I said that sounded just like me, except I’m also disorganized on the outside. He spent the next 10 minutes explaining what he was doing to fix the problem as my eyes slowly glazed over. The Boy was speaking English, but I couldn’t understand a word of what he was talking about.

I guess all my zeros and ones aren’t aligned correctly either. Wonder where I can go and get de-fragged.

When The Wife got home from work, I asked her. In her best Southern drawl she answered, “Why, honey, that’s what vacations are for. We ought to take one.” She winked and gave me a kiss, “You know what happens on our vacations.”

She not only was speaking English, but Southern. And I understood perfectly what she was saying.

The Wife is so smart — all of her zeros and ones must be in alignment.

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