I don’t think of myself as a cranky person; but I do know I can get that way when provoked, so approach with caution. My computer’s “Microsoft Entourage 2008 for Mac, Version 12.2.8” is provoking me. Not because it’s misbehaving but because it’s sending and receiving emails as it was intended to do ... and before you ask, yes, I know I’m being unreasonable.
I’m fond of emails. I like to send them and I generally like to receive them, but I’d swear that my far-flung, over-the-hill email buddies (my 1950 high school co-grads to be specific) are emptying their in-boxes into my in-box willy-nilly — and probably into the in-boxes of every other 1950 grad on their Send All list — without reading them first. In fact I’d feel better if I knew they hadn’t read them.
Some of those unwelcome emails show up in duplicate, and most of them reference what’s intended to be the humorous side of old age (an oxymoron if there ever was one). The sender’s heart might be in the right place, but aching joints and iffy digestive systems aren’t one whit less concerning when you’re laughing. Try it. It’s not possible to keep a stiff upper lip while whistling in the dark, not even for those among us who have teeth.
Almost as unwelcome are the smarmy “butterflies and roses” emails (you know which ones I mean) that bring bile to the throat when a tear to the eye had been intended ... and no, I don’t share them as requested. I prefer risking the dire consequences I’m led to believe will befall me if I don’t forward every email ending with, “Good things will happen to you if you forward this to 10 people in the next seven minutes.” Call me paranoid, but isn’t there at the very least a veiled threat cloaked in that deceptively cheery conclusion?
And another thing! No matter how much I believe in and support the cause expounded in a forwarded email, I’m not going to sign the attached petition, and that’s that! Who knows but what those petitions go directly to the NSA Central Security Service where the Feds have access to programmable drones and know where I live?
Finally, if I were tempted to pass along one of my co-grad friend’s emails that happens to express my own political or social belief, it wouldn’t be an email that ends with: “If you love your country (your Lord, your puppy, your Ford or whatever), pass this on. If not, just delete it.” That’s double indemnity compounded by an ultimatum, and this is one over-the-hiller who doesn’t feel compelled to do either.
In fact I might be just cranky enough to punch my own Send All button and share this column with every surviving member of my 1950 high school graduating class. Better yet, I might “just delete it.”
MARJORIE ANDERSON is an Edmond resident.