I’ll Catch Up

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

For reasons I cannot fathom I have become a master at missing out on hot societal trends. If something is going to be a phenomenal success on TV, for instance, I will not discover it until it is off the air and even the tapes in the network vaults have started disintegrating.

Let me explain. One night during our self-isolation experience, we had nothing to watch since for the first time in several years Independence Day wasn’t on, Mary clicked on a Jerry Seinfeld rerun. I don’t know why but I never watched his show before. I suspect stupidity may have something to do with it. It was clever and very, very funny. From now on, I will go looking for it, but I can’t talk to anyone about the episode because to the rest of the world it’s old news.

If it was just Seinfeld I could blame it on some small kink in one of my brain cells which for me is serious since I only have two, but that kink may very well turn out to be a snarl of monumental proportions since it isn’t just his show I missed, there are several. I don’t watch Law and Order, Hawaii Five-0, or the new Jason Bourne although I have watched the originals so many times I can turn the sound off and fill in the dialogue all by myself.

When Jimmy Kirk first set out across the universe on the starship Enterprise I never got into the series until it was in reruns and the Klingons didn’t have bumps on their heads. I can’t watch the new Star Trek movies because the noise from all the explosions and laser cannons give me headaches and what’s more I worry some irate Romulan may materialize in our bathroom.

I can’t follow the plot of today’s Batman movies because they don’t have BAM, OOF, or SPLAT in the fight scenes. I can’t watch Spiderman without a can of Raid Home Insect Killer spray beside me. We don’t have flies, mosquitoes or wasps in the living room but the place smelled so bad the neighbours began to complain and when we had friends over for dinner they sat on the front porch and we had to pass the food out the front door.

I have always been late picking up new things. I finally bought a pencil sharpener, but then I noticed everyone else was using a fountain pen. I bought an Esterbrooke to keep up, but my friends had moved on to ball-points. They discovered computers just as I was learning the wonders of Etch–a-Sketch technology. They bought cell phones with internet, Googlies, and they could see if it was raining or not while I had to look out the window. I was still using two empty soup cans and twelve feet of string, so I went to Rogers and bought a flip top phone. It cost me a king’s ransom every month and all I could do was call somebody and they were never home.

And then the tech wizards came out with the curse of my life, emails. I had to buy a computer and learn to type. Then I got the muse and started serious writing which I suppose was a good thing but it too had its drawbacks.    

True story, I once worked all day typing 60 pages of a book on Word Perfect and when it asked me if I wanted to save it (Y or N) I hit N by mistake. Two days later I did it again. I was bemoaning the fact to Randy Richmond, my editor, and he said it was God’s way of saying it wasn’t good enough and I needed to rewrite it, but when I told him I did it again, he said it was God’s way of telling me I’m stupid.

I am a long way from the Jerry Seinfeld Show, but what I am trying to tell you is I miss everything the first time round. If I had been in Galilee so many centuries ago when everyone was on a hill listening to the Sermon on the Mount I would have been back at the Wedding in Canaan seeing if there was any more wine.

I turned on Casablanca one night and ran to tell Mary that Hollywood has come up with something new, black and white movies. She just shook her head and called her kids to say they were right, she should have waited for the results of my psychiatric assessment before she went through with the I do business.

I have to go, golf is on TV. Ben Hogan is ahead by two strokes.

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