Jim Hillibish: Beware: That new computer tablet changes everything

Jim Hillibish

I got my wife a computer tablet for her birthday. “Nice gift,” say my friends. Right.

On Thursday night, I heard this tap, tap, tippy tap. Lily, our mini doxie, sprang up in bed. It was Kathleen, playing solitaire beside us, on the you know what.

“Just one more time.”

What goes around flows around. When I got my first computer in the 1980s, I went bleary-eyed over games.  When I ran out of them (there were only a few), I wrote my own. Games became the underground currency of my PC generation.

Leen would sneak up on me at the next to last Tetris level, bend over and whisper, “You’re dead.” I’d jump and have to start all over again, not a bad thing with Tetris.

“Why are you playing all of the time?”

“It’s not playing, it’s hand-eye coordination training,” I explained. “Just one more time.”

I was right. My hands still are fast on a system, although they ache a bit from Chronic Mousing Disease. That’s the diagnosis found on her tablet.

I let her do all the worrying about health stuff. I did carp about the smallest, most inconsequential pain in my leg.

Ah, WebMD. Nobody ever leaves WebMD without total paranoia. Just type a symptom. It could be this. Or, in Australia, they found it could be this. Look at this YouTube. You need traction. They might have to amputate.

Apparently, this is the way sophisticated people thrive.

The weekend was crappy. I was rewarding myself with  a Saturday in the kitchen.

 I’m half-way through Julia Child’s epic, 12-page French bread recipe when I feel breath on my neck.

“Here, watch this Epicurious video.”

Leen discovered our new DVD player could play the Internet on our TV. She showed up a few days later with a dual-band Cisco router suitable for a medium-size company.

“We need more bandwidth. Happy birthday,” she said.

We stream Netflix on the TV, and she runs the Internet Movie Database on her tab. That gives her a FAQ to recite to me during the slow parts.

She and Lily were on the couch. She was laughing, and Lil’ was growling and wagging her tail.

“It’s the World’s Cutest Daschunds website,” Leen said, not looking up.

So we’ve traded roles. This time, I’m the one stuck in the data undertow. It’s one thing when a computer tablet steals your wife, but when it sucks in your loyal dog, too...

Post-It Note to self:  Text them about that.

Jim Hillibish writes for the Canton (Ohio) Repository.