Modern Problems

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

If a man loses anything and goes back and looks carefully for it, he will find it – Sitting Bull

That is one of the great truths of life, or it was back in Sitting Bull’s day when the only place he had to search was his teepee – and how big could it be, really? Besides, what did he have to lose? He didn’t have car keys. His pony was the self-starting model and all Sitting had to do was jump on his back and say, “Giddy-up, Scout” or whatever a Lakota warrior said when he wanted to go for a gallop. (I apologize, my Lakota is very weak, almost as weak as my English) Not only that, he didn’t have to go by  the gas station on the corner and blow a mitt-full of wampum  every time he wanted to visit his in-laws or ride over to the Little Big Horn to clean up on General Custer. Scout also had all-season hooves. Sitting didn’t have to buy him a set of winter hooves once the snow settled in over the prairies- no stainless steel rims either and they are expensive.

Car keys are somewhat like the needle in the haystack we hear so much about, and the kind with the little beeper thingy are even worse. Not only can’t you start the car, you have to cough up $400 bucks for a new key. I can assure you that once you have the new one in your sweaty little palms, you will find the old key on a hook by the front door labelled Keys.

Your wife will say, “I knew you were looking for something, but you didn’t say what. You just stomped around the house mumbling something about your Lord and Saviour. They’ve been there all the time. I hung them up weeks ago. They must have fallen out of your pocket when you were sitting on the john. By the way, get your Playboys out of there; the grandkids are coming over on the weekend.”

I’m sure Sitting Bull was as absentminded as the rest of us; he just didn’t have all the useless crap we do a 135 years later. For one thing he didn’t have a TV clicker that hides under the couch whenever we fall asleep watching Dr. Oz run on and on about a cure for Loose Smut of Oats, or whatever dread disease he is curing this week.    

The cell phone is another blight on our society. Walking out to the kitchen to the wired land line to answer a call from a telemarketer may have been a big pain in the butt, but at least we didn’t have to run around like a lunatic wondering where the ringing was coming from, or worse a ring-tone of the Battle Hymn of the Republic and we are not even Americans (thank God for that with a loonie running the country).

Why is it we are always looking for something? Mary met a friend she hadn’t seen for a long time and asked her what she does all day. “Look for things” was the answer. That would be funny if it wasn’t true. My computer desk used to be one giant pile of useless scraps of paper but I could find things. It would take an hour but they would be there. I made the horrible mistake of cleaning it up one morning. Now I can’t find anything. Well that isn’t quite true; I found a set of car keys. Unfortunately, they were the keys to a 1967 Ford Galaxy that bit the dust 45 years ago, but I found them. They were next to an envelope containing my 1974 tax return. I wondered why the Mounties kept dropping by and looking through our front window. I didn’t really mind since their horses were doing an excellent job fertilizing the lawn.

You know what I can never find, ballpoint pens. We have hundreds, but when I have to write down some information for Mary some lady is giving me over the very phone (which I just spent an hour looking for) they are nowhere to be found. If I finally find one, I have to look for a scratch pad or a piece of paper to write it on.

I saw an ad for a Cross gold-plated pen for a hundred bucks. I would have to get it insured; I would lose that sucker fifteen minutes after I threw it on the pile of useless crap on my desk.

I think I will move in with Sitting Bull.

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