404 Page Not Found—Elaine Bonow

404 Page Not Found
“Yes, I’m thankful to be alive. That’s for sure. I’d always thought the cell phone and all that computer crap was evil but if some genius hadn’t invented this bullshit, my whole evening would have gone very differently. I’d be dead right now.”
“What the hell happened anyway? I thought you didn’t even drive anymore.”
“Oh, I told my kids I didn’t drive that I just used my car for storage. It sure looked nice sitting there in the driveway.”
“Yeah, Larry, such a fond memory of yours and mine, of our glorious youth. That was one damn beautiful car. I couldn’t sell it either if I owned it.”
“I liked all my old devices. I couldn’t embrace this new fangled technology anyway. I think it has made a mess out of life.”
“Oh, I don’t think it’s so bad.”
“Well, Linda you’ve always been the smart one. You’re such an over achiever.”
“It’s not just that Larry, It’s just instead of bitching about new stuff I like learning new things. I like to try out the new while you’ve always thrived on being a Luddite.”
“I could do everything just fine before Google. I have books. I have an EN-CYC-LO-PEDIA and my ham radio set is working just fine.”
“What a nut you are Larry. Remember when I first told you about the Internet and the Wide World Web. You told me point blank that this crap was the stupidest invention of the century. Maybe the stupidest invention of all time.”
“I think it’s still really stupid, all this nonsense about Twitter, and Facebook, and Hashtag this and Google that.”
“I’m surprised at you Larry. I didn’t know you knew so much about the evil empire.”
“Well, I had to modify my self a little in the light of what happened last week.”
“I sure am glad something changed you a bit. You can be so ornery and hard to get along with.”
“I could resent your remarks but have to admit you are right. I was such an old cuss. Don’t get me wrong I still hate all this new world technology but now that I’ve sold my soul to the evil genius I will still hold on to the right not to twerk or download any of the porn that seems to drive the internets engine, or to take a selfie with my phone. Hey Linda, don’t you think it’s stupid to keep calling this new fangled crap telephones and televisions. How come these young hot shots haven’t re-invented the English language yet, huh?”
“Just give then time Larry. If we live long enough we probably will have to learn a new language.”
“Oh God no! I hope I won’t be around for that mess.”
“Well, here’s a cup of coffee for you. I want to know what the hell happened to you. It must have been a real dozy if you have gone out and spent a hell of a lot of money buying all of this equipment. My god, I’ve known you for damn near fifty years and I don’t think you’ve ever spent that kind of money, ever. I mean this house only cost you ten thousand and that 1964 GTO was probably not more than, what five thousand bucks with all the options, right?”
“Now, don’t be so harsh Linda. Something heavy happened and I vowed to catch up and so I bought everything: Big Mac, little Mac, mini Mac, iPods and iPads and my beautiful iPhone which will never leave my side.”
“Here, drink your coffee Larry and tell me what happened.”
“Ok, Ok. See it was like this. It was exactly one month ago when my girl Lynn came by the house.”
“Here Daddy, I bought you this cell phone. It’s on my family plan. You won’t have to pay a thing. You’ll just have to keep it charged. I’ve already programmed my phone number into it. All you have do when you want to call me is to press this button Ok.”
“I don’t know Lynnie, I’ve tried to work these darn cell phones before and I can’t see the numbers and I hate that. I have a perfectly good phone right here in the house.”
“I know dad but when you go out of the house and sneak a ride in the GTO something could happen to you.”
“Nothing is going to happen to me. I just drive the car to the store and to get gas. I hate this crap. This is why I don’t have the stupid Internet and all that ridiculous email stuff. I have plenty of mail to answer right here on my desk.”
“You are so stubborn. The Internet is not evil and a lot of your friends are on line. Who’s that friend of yours, Linda, she’s always on line and you guys are the same age. You guys could Skype if you were on line and see each other on the computer. You’re going to end up isolated and lonely if you don’t catch up join the modern world.”
“Oh don’t worry about me. I promise though that I’ll carry the phone with me just to please you. Just because you’re daddy’s little girl.”
“Larry, your daughter is really good to you. Then what happened?”
“Well I hardly drive at night. You know my eyes are not very good. Well, actually it all started with my last check-up at Doctor Hanson. He warned me about my heart and told me I would be in serious trouble unless he did this procedure and even then my chances for a much longer life were non-existent.”
“Oh, I didn’t know that Larry. So sorry to hear that.”
“Thanks Linda. I guess I was feeling sorry for myself. I decided to go fill up the GTO with gas, check the tires and oil. But after that I thought why the hell not. I took her for a ride out down Highway 101.”
“You went all the way to the peninsula “
“I know, I know. I thought I could get some speed up and drive out to the old cabin. Well, it started getting dark and my eyes couldn’t see real good. I guess I made a wrong turn somewhere.”
“Man, Larry that was real stupid.”
“Damn Linda I know it was but I was feeling depressed and I don’t drink anymore or smoke weed. I only had my car to make me feel better. But anyhow, I guess I ran out of gas. The gauge must have been wrong. I thought I’d better start walking and try to find some lights and maybe a house.”
“In the dark, oh no. I’d be so afraid. My eyes aren’t so good either and with my fake hips I’d be sunk.”
“I realize now I was a stupid old man, but that’s not the worst of it. I tripped over a rock, a small rock at that and tumbled into a ditch on the side of the road, sprained my ankle and smacked my head. Well, in all that excitement I sent my heart into a fast arrhythmia.”
“Oh my God or should I say OMG, Larry.”
“ I thought I was going to die right there in a ditch by the side of the road and the most embarrassing part, I can tell you, was that I pissed my pants when I fell.”
“Wow, how miserable. That’s terrible. I can see it now. What a mess.”
“ I felt like giving up right there my heart beating like crazy, pain all on the right side of my body, the taste of dust between my teeth. It was only then that I remembered the little cell phone in my shirt pocket. Didn’t even think of it before.”
“Thank god you had it.”
“No shit, Linda. I thought I was a goner and then to press a button and hear the sweet voice of my beautiful daughter brought tears to my eyes.”
“You were so lucky, Larry. You could have easily died out there or worse. How did she find you?”
“I guess the EMT’s followed my GPS and got me in less that an hour. That’s when I decided to stop the bullshit and join the modern world. It was the genius of technology that saved my butt. Oh, and by the way, or as we say, BTW I’ve sold the GTO to pay for all of this. I put it on Ebay and got an offer of fifty thousand dollars. No evil in that at all.”

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About bbcstudiowrites

This blog is me archiving the BBC Studio Writers Workshop.

Posted on March 25, 2014, in Fiction, Seattle, Short Stories and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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