In case you don't know what that means: it's fear of computers, that's what it is!
At long last I've got one, and judging from the comments I hear, I'm the last to knuckle under the dot.com age.
My son-in-law, daughter, grandson and wife finally pressured me into sending my Smith-Corona to the junk heap. It was hard, but they said I wouldn't regret it.
That's when the technophobia set in.
The cursor won't do what I want it to. The mouse doesn't eat cheese, so I don't know how to make it behave; and to boot up the picture screen is something I need a NASA engineer for.
I could tear down a linotype machine and an M-1 rifle without trouble, but this thing frustrates me to no end.
Maybe the computer is just getting even for all the negative things I've written about it. After all, it's almost human, they tell me, so a little spite is to be expected.
Son-in-law Pat Garrity says, "Relax. Be patient. It'll come."
Ha, so will molasses in January, I contend. I've heard how a computer will save me endless hours of work, but they don't say how much time it'll take learning how to use it.
One of the things I've got going for me is that I'm a pinch-penny. I've spent a thousand bucks for it, so I'm going to use it no matter what.
I dream of going back to the old ways, but dreams be danged. That expensive thing before me is not going to get me down, technophobia or not.
I'll master it if it's the last thing I do. I'm going to junk my typewriter and ball-point pen, so the computer doesn't have competition. That way I'll have to use it.
Come to think of it, if I get rid of that other stuff, I won't be tempted to write on anything else. I'll have to use the danged computer whether I want to or not.
If nothing else, I'll make Phyllis happy, and that's a plus I hadn't counted on. See? The darned machine has a good use after all.
But I started out this column moaning about how hard it is for a Neandrathal-type to learn something new. I was happy with my fuddy-duddy style of doing things, but now I'll have to think differently.
Who sez you can't teach an old dog new tricks? I'll show 'em when I get the cursor to do my bidding and the mouse to quit scampering all over the place.
But first I'll have to conquer the technophobia for which there are no pills. Now that I've got Medicare Part D, however, the formularly with all those drugs will probably have something. At least I hope so.
Frankly, I admire folks of my vintage who deal with computers with a smile on their faces � and without pre-kindergarten youngsters to help them. They rank as heroes and are deserving of all kinds of medals.
Confidentially, I'm on my way to whipping the disease which is holding me back. All I have to do now is follow the advice of my guru: to relax, be patient and it will come!
� 2006 Robert F. Karolevitz