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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hard and Soft (04/23/09)

TITLE: The Big White Calculator Box Thingy That My Son Gave To Me And Go-Go Boots
By Joshua Janoski
04/29/09


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Meet Tim.

Tim works as a technician for Geeks 4 Hire, a local computer business that fixes client’s computers at their homes. The business just started a new “computer training” service where they go to customer’s homes and train them on how to use their computers.

Meet Dorothy.

Dorothy is Tim’s first student. The 85-year-old woman refers to her computer as “The big white calculator box thingy that my son gave to me.” Um, I think you can see where this is going. Tim is sitting at the computer with Dorothy right now. Let’s take a look…

“This big button here is the power button. It turns the computer on, Mrs. Swigg.”

“Please, call me Dorothy. Did I ever tell you how much you remind me of my late husband Harry? Harry was a good man. He was a conductor on the railroad. Spent many long hours hauling coal and was never home much. He didn’t care for any of this newfangled technology. He did all the math stuff in his head.”

“That’s nice, Mrs. Swigg…I mean Dorothy. Now here is the other power button that turns on your monitor. Once both of these are on, you will see your computer boot up.”

“Boots? Who has boots? It’s been a long time since I wore my go-go boots and went out dancing. Harry loved to dance, and so did I. I used to shake and bake all over the dance floor. Hehehe! Those were good times!”

“Um, that’s cool. Now that the computer has started up, you will see the desktop. ”

“You mean what the TV screen is sitting on?”

“Actually, this is a computer monitor and not a television, and I didn’t mean a literal desktop. I meant your computer’s desktop. See all these little pictures here? These are called icons. If you click on them with the mouse, then they open programs.”

“MOUSE! WHERE? I hate mice! Kill it!”

“No! Not a rodent. This little device that my hand is on is called a mouse. It’s a piece of hardware that allows you to tell the computer what to do by moving it around and clicking on the buttons. There are two parts to a computer. There is the hardware and there is the software.”

“Are those like Tupperware? I used to have Tupperware parties all the time with my lady friends, God rest their souls. I’m not really sure if the plastic containers were hard or soft. I guess the lids were soft and the containers themselves were hard, so I think I get what you are trying to say here, Tom.”

“It’s Tim, ma’am. And computer hardware and software is nothing like Tupperware dishes. Let’s move on to something else. Let me teach you about the different types of disks a computer uses. There is your hard disk and your floppy disk…”

“Harry had a hard disk once. He had to get surgery done on his back to fix it. He tried the chiropractor, but that only temporarily reduced the pain. Never heard of a floppy disk before, but I’m guessing that it is soft, unlike a hard disk. I wonder if the chiropractor does better at fixing those?”

“Huh? I mean, let me try to explain something else to you. You may have heard the term “RAM” being brought up when people talk about the different parts of a computer.”

“Rams? First there is a mouse running around and now a ram? What happened? Did the zoo walls fall down and every type of living creature bust out? If there is a ram in my yard, then I want him to skedaddle. Papa had a sheep farm, but sheep are much less temperamental than rams.”

“Ok, I give up! I will refund your money for the lessons and only charge you the transportation fee. It’s obvious that you aren’t interested in what I have to teach.”

“You’re right, Todd. Learning about the big white calculator box thingy that my son gave to me doesn’t interest me all that much. YOU on the other hand interest me very much. Did I mention that you remind me of my late husband Harry? Whaddya say I go find those go-go boots and we hit the dance floor over at the Elks Lodge, handsome?”

“Um, I gotta go. Nice meeting you Mrs. Swigg. Bye!”

“I always seem to scare them off. Oh well. A girl’s gotta keep trying. Operator? Can you give me the number for Computer Doctors?”


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This article has been read 581 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sara Harricharan 04/30/09
ROFL!!! Someone sure had a bit of creative genius here. LOL! This is simply hilarious and has it's own unique twist to a common "joke" of trying to explain new tech to someone who doesn't really care about it. I like Dorothy's strategy though...cute guys coming to teach her how to use the PC. Good job with this, you had me all the way through.
Leah Nichols 04/30/09
She's CLEARLY not interested in learning how to use it....lol.....nice one!
Seema Bagai 04/30/09
I'm laughing out loud after reading this piece. Excellent work.
Shirley McClay 04/30/09
I still remember being confused about the whole desktop thing... and I STILL don't get the hardware/software thing. And WHY can't it work just like a TV? I have questions too!

And no my name isn't Dorothy! And I am "only" 36... so don't even go there.

Humph.

Seriously.. this was very funny (except for those certain parts I mentioned above.)

;-P
Dorothy Adamek05/02/09
Never underestimate a Dorothy! (wink)

Thanks for making me smile! I enjoyed the laugh.
Connie Dixon05/02/09
I think this entry may be all too true for some of us "not-so-geeky" computer users. I hope I'm this "with-it" when I'm 85. (or 55 for that matter) Good job, lots of laughs.
Shelley Ledfors 05/04/09
Charming and enjoyable all the way through. --And a wonderfully creative take on hard and soft to boot. (Would that be go-go boot? LOL) Very well done!
Sonya Leigh05/04/09
Jester Janoski strikes again! Glory be, talk about a communication breakdown!

I laughed and laughed and then slowed down towards the end, afraid he was going to accept her proposal...after a "whew!" I returned to laughing.

Keep keepin' us in stitches, Sonny!
Jae Blakney05/04/09
Wow! This makes even my mom look tech-savvy. Very funny. I have to admit, though, the long title scared me away at first.
Lollie Hofer 05/04/09
Well, young man, you did it again. I'd love for them scientifically medical folks to put a probe on your brain while you're thinking up these things. I'm sure their findings would be amazing. Hilarious! Entertaining! Imaginative! Well done, sir!
Karlene Jacobsen 05/04/09
Let's face it, this is your gifting...to make people laugh and see themselves in the picture. I can sooooo see me as Dorothy!
Edmond Ng 05/04/09
Great story with lots of laugh! It's like a hardware and software thing with a soft floppy and a overly hard disc! Josh, you're doing great with your humorous writing! A joyful heart certainly makes good medicine. Keep up the good work and God bless you!
Eliza Evans 05/06/09
Hilarious!! I love the creativity here.
Fun, Fun, Fun! :)
Great job all around, Josh.
Betty Castleberry05/06/09
Oh Josh, what fun! I've got a computer illiterate elderly lady in a story that yours needs to meet. This made me smile. I loved it!
Mona Purvis05/06/09
These Geek Guys are intimidating to most of us. I know every time I talk to one or have them come out, it seems like they speak an entirely different language. Loved the refreshing story.
Mona
Loren T. Lowery05/06/09
Poor Tim to have Dorothy as his very first pupil. After this, he'll be ready for anything. I think I agree with others, too, that this Dot chick is not so go go as she may seem. I only say that because some of her questions to Tim seemed most reasonable to me. Very witty, very!
Chely Roach05/06/09
This was so much fun, I read it to my husband. As a techie like yourself, he could SO relate! His comment was that you could probably write 750 words about teaching left click vs right click, lol. Very funny, well done!
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/06/09
Woo Hoo! Run for the hills, Tom...I mean Tim. That's just a delightful story!
Diana Dart 05/06/09
Yee haw - my computer's working (don't get me started... this thing has been driving me crazy all night...) Anyhow, back to your story. FANTASTIC. Funny, funny, funny - and then it had me thinking (about computers, and being 85, and exactly how cute WAS this guy???) and then it was seriously funny again! Beautiful. And nearly the whole thing was dialogue... how do you do it? Wonderful.
Kristen Hester05/06/09
Josh, this is so much fun. I love these two characters. Fantastic job!
Beckie Stewart05/06/09
This was hilarious. Loved it! Very engaging and kept me reading from beginning to end. You gotta love that old lady indeed!
Noel Mitaxa 08/30/09
Well done Josh, you kept the characters intact while maintaining a sense of farce in the scenario.