Friday, October 07, 2016


“Johnny, Billy has three apples. He gives Ted two. How many apples does he have left?”

“One, Mrs. Jones.”

“Right, Johnny. Very good. Sally, Jane has three apples. She gives Milly two. How many apples does she have left?”

“One, Mrs. Jones.”

“Right! Excellent, Sally. Roger, Dorien has three apples. He gives Peter two. How many apples does he have left?”

“One, Mrs. Jones.”

One? Roger, how many times must I tell you? If the cohesive tangent of two is divided equally by the square root of 16, the answer is always…always five, except when it is 7.8 or 11! Please pay attention! Now, moving on…Gloria, if Albert has three apples and gives Richard two, how many apples does he have left?”

“One, Mrs. Jones.”


And thus is paranoia born.

I have had my Mac laptop for two weeks or more, now, and I still haven’t the foggiest idea why, if I do something the same way sixteen times, fourteen of those sixteen will be wrong. I have tested myself over and over again. I do something and it works. I go back and do it again, exactly the same way, and I end up watching a YouTube video! I cannot make bigger those things which should be bigger, or smaller those things which should be smaller.

I constantly am merrily working on one thing and suddenly finding myself in a totally different window, necessitating my opening “Documents” then opening “My Writings” then opening “Blogs and Websites” then opening “Dorien Grey and Me” then opening…provided I can find it…the blog I’m working on at the moment. I will suddenly find an entire sentence underlined when I did not underline it and did not want it underlined. And when I try to eliminate the underlining, I go to a YouTube video, necessitating my opening “Documents” then opening “My Writings” then opening…well, you get the picture.

Driven to raging paroxysms of frustration, I call Gary, who stops what he is doing, comes up to my apartment, sits down at my computer, casually extends an index finger, and presses seemingly any key at random, and the problem is solved. What key he pressed, or how pressing it solved the problem, or whether I could press the same key and get the same response is an utter mystery.

I take a perverse pride in having mastered the art of self-loathing. My incompetence is boundless, and I say this in all modesty. But fear not. I am not about to pour myself a tall, cool glass of hemlock. I too strongly agree with Dorothy Parker’s lovely poem, “Resume”:

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.
This blog is from Dorien's ebook of blogs, Short Circuits, available from UntreedReads and Amazon; it's also available as an audio book from Amazon/

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