No Phones, No TV, and No InternetbySuperHeroRalph©
This is a Earth Day contest story. Please vote.
Finally free, my life without the telephone, the television, and the Internet is better.
In my new daily celebration of Earth Day, not wasting water and electricity, and driving an economical car, I conserve energy and preserve natural resources whenever I can. Other than recycling, which I do, I don't wear fur. I don't even own a fur coat. To be honest, don't tell anyone but, if I could afford fur, I'd probably would wear it because fur is so warm and I'm always so cold. Only, other than drug dealers and pimps, not many men wear fur in the ghetto neighborhood, where I live. Fur for men is mostly worn by celebrities, athletes, dapper Dans, and Mafia Dons, which I'm none of those.
Always internally struggling with my career path in thinking of ways to make a living, in a moment of enlightenment, when my dark clouds parted for me to see my chosen path, I had an epiphany today. Even though it was my first steps on a long winding road filled with potholes and detours, not equipped with a GPS, even though I didn't know where I was going, I followed the path that was suddenly put out in front of me.
Because of what happened to me today and because today, prophetically, is Earth Day, I gave the Earth and Earth Day more thought than I usually do, mainly by being inspired to write this story by hand with pencil and paper, instead of with a computer and a word processor. For starters, to me, it seems that Earth Day is a quasi holiday that is all over the place. Everyone has a different reason for celebrating it or observing it or not celebrating or observing Earth Day. I never thought Earth Day a holiday, just a day of observance, a day to ponder the destruction we've caused to the planet, while thinking of ways to conserve and preserve and to help save our planet from further devastation.
It's ludicrous to believe that any one of us can save the planet or even make a miniscule difference. None of us being superhuman, we're all powerless in that regard. Yet, when considering the tiny period of time that humankind has walked the Earth, look at the mess we've made of the planet by all the pollution we've created in just a relatively short amount of time.
Up until the Dark Ages, but for asteroids pot marking the Earth's surface, giant tsunamis erasing vegetation, super volcanoes wiping out the dinosaurs, and with Black Death, the Bubonic Plague, wiping out seventy-five million people, the Earth was relatively unscathed. Then, by the time Charles Dickens penned his masterpiece, A Tale of Two Cities in 1859, all Hell was already breaking loose. A shameful disgrace, blame it first on the Industrial Revolution and later on the modern age of technology, but the planet was never the same.
The thoughts of the devastation we've caused to the skies, the oceans, and the soil is just so overwhelming and impossible to fix. It would take a monumental effort with everyone working together as a group to make a small difference, but that would never happen. So why bother?
In the way my neighborhood is with no one even knowing their next door neighbor, a microcosm of the world as it is today, except for the few friends, acquaintances, and relatives that we all have, we're as isolated as distant stars. By walking with a smaller carbon footprint, maybe with the belief that every little bit helps is why I do what I can to not cause any more destruction on my part than what's already been done to the Earth. Recycling is the least that I can do but, whether it's fossil fuels or water, I make a conscience effort to conserve and preserve, whenever I can.
I really never celebrated Earth Day, that is, until today. Today, of all days, Earth Day, I truly understand now why I must hold my planet in high regard. For me to get off the merry-go-round that is my life and no longer participate in the circus of lunacy of everyday living, it has taken an act of God and/or an accident of man to make me ponder the boring, indoor routine my life has become. The things that I firmly believed that I could never live without, I no longer want.
"Now, I truly get it. Now I understand. I do. I really do."
I'm tired of living my life with my brain plugged in a wall outlet, passively being entertained, as I grow old and fat sitting on the couch, while mindlessly staring at the TV and eating Cheese Doodles. With all the television images that bombard me with useless and repetitive information, the endless computer videos don't allow my eyes to focus and give my brain enough time to change gears, before the next one plays. Between e-mails, YouTube, Facebook, and now Twitter, I've become a puppet to the changing pulse of technology, mass marketing, and advertising campaigns that sell this, while brainwashing me to buy that.
Yet, with nothing ever given for free, who knows what goes on behind the scenes when we open all these free computer links that we're given daily? Yes, I dare say, the computer is evil. The computer was the Devil's invention. God didn't need a computer link to arise from the dead. God never needed computer software to part the Red Sea or a hard drive to make his or her miracles. God didn't need Facebook to get billions of devoted followers.
It's time I started depending on myself to give me all those things that I want and need, and not what someone else tells me that I want and need. It's time I started thinking for myself, in the way that Henry Thoreau did, when he hid himself away by Walden Pond in Walden woods. Okay, maybe I wouldn't go as far as living in the woods or living my life in a one room shack, as the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, did in Lincoln, Montana. Notwithstanding, to continue to live life in the way I've been living it, as one of the herd of humanity, is not living life either.
Having no original thought, with one day bleeding into the next without ever having a vivid memory of what I did and why I did it, just the day before, I live my life as if cattle blindly following the herd to slaughter. While wondering what happened to the last twenty years, I'm just going through the motions in the next twenty years, before I prematurely die of a heart attack from the stress that I allowed others to create for myself. How dare they? How dare I?
My epiphany took shape when, today, Earth Day, I lost my cable and because I have one of those super value package deals, where they tie the phone, the TV, and the Internet together for a discounted price, in one fell swoop, I had no phone, no television and no Internet. Tragically, after losing my job, to save some money, I gave up my cell phone because I wasn't using it. Now that I need it, I don't have it. For the first time, unable to communicate with the outside world, I'm lost. I couldn't help but feel like Captain Kirk alone on an alien planet with a broken communicator.
"Scotty, beam me up! Scotty! Scotty!"
Only, without a phone, without having 3D interactive, digital TV, and without the Internet, there was no one here to help me. Suddenly, my whole world closed in on me. I couldn't breathe. I felt claustrophobic. I could feel my blood pressure climbing and my blood sugar dropping. With no diversion and no entertainment, nothing to do to keep my mind occupied, a fate worse than suffering an hour of infomercials with Suzanne Somers' beauty treatments or Jack and Elaine LaLanne's juicer, I was trapped with my bad self.
"Hello? Is there anyone out there?"
For the first time, since my Dad brought home our first black and white television, a lifetime ago, I was alone. I grew up watching Pinky Lee, Kukla, Fran, and Ollie, Gene Autry, The Cisco Kid, Roy Rogers, I Love Lucy, Ozzie and Harriet, Leave It To Beaver, Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, John Wayne and Audie Murphy singlehandedly win the war, and the Disney World of Wonder making me believe that all crickets could talk. Now, I was suddenly all alone without even so much as a Rosanne rerun. As if trapped on a deserted island that modern day technology had passed over, there was no one here but me, a scary thought, when most times I don't even like myself.
Without the phone ringing wrong numbers, the television blaring car, beer, and food commercials, and my computer no longer impatiently waiting for me to escape and to take me on a pornographic journey through cyberspace, it was eerily quiet. Immediately, I was bored. Almost as bad as losing my power, other than to make myself some coffee and toast, thank God I had electricity and my mighty microwave oven. Even though I still truly believe that microwaves cause my headaches, which is why I wear my tinfoil hat in my house, my microwave oven has become my salvation, eating hot food instead of frozen, tasteless ice. Truth be told, without having a phone, TV, and Internet, I didn't know what the Hell else to do with myself.
If I had lost power, instead of losing just my phone, my TV, and my Internet connection, I'd be writing a whole different story. Wandering around in my dark house, hoping to find a candle and matches, I'd be imagining all sorts of things with every bump heard in the night. Is this a taste of what's to happen, when one of our nuclear power plants melts down in the way that it did in Russia and now Japan? As if he's numerals on my wristwatch, as if being slimed by a Ghostbuster, I imagined seeing my dog glowing eerily green in the dark.
"Ralphie? Here boy. That's a good dog."
Now what? What happened? Why has this happened? Why me? Are we under attack? Have the terrorists dug below ground, rerouted our fiber optics connections, and finally infiltrated our beloved cable communications systems and taken it over? Death to the infidels, will they start posting Arabic messages about the impending doom of the Jihad?
Then, a fate worse than death, 1984 instead of 2011, I couldn't help but wonder if this was the beginning of George Orwell's Big Brother? Will President Obama suddenly appear simultaneously on my television and computer screen dressed in African garb or Moslem attire to tell me that I can no longer watch American Idol without the permission of my government first? Good God! Heaven help me. But I love Jennifer Lopez.
"We interrupt your normal programming on Obama TV to give you a government imposed message from your brave, new world leader."
Should I no longer live in a relatively safe environment and a relatively free society, I pondered where else I could flee to live out the rest of my miserable life in peace. It would certainly be an easier choice if I had money, but I didn't even have a job. Certainly, I'd be struck by lightning several times first, before I had even a modest win with the lottery. Where can an unemployed financially trained man run to and make millions of dollars, other than to the Cayman Islands, Geneva, or Hong Kong?
Without a doubt, I'd have to flee to a country that spoke English and a country where I could afford to live. Immediately, I thought of Roman Polanski, after he raped that 13-year-old girl, fleeing to France to avoid United States prosecution. Yes, I could go there, I mean, Oui, I could flee to France, only as soon as I thought about living in France I discounted it. For sure, the French hate Americans. Unless I met a hot, sexy girl named Marie with breasts as big as her smile, at an outside Cafe, I'd hate living in France. With their bread, wine, and stupid little Citroen cars, the French are weird. The only time they barely tolerated Americans, was when we kicked the Germans out of their country or when we're buying their overpriced clothes, art, and wine.
"Viva Le France!" I don't think so. Living in the French countryside appeals to me even less than living in the forest in a one room cabin ala Thoreau or Kaczynski. For sure, I'd live by Walden Pond, before moving to France.
With all those French classes I took in high school, I can only say sharpen my pencil, erase the blackboard, open the window, close the door, and yes. Having nearly swallowed my tongue numerous times, I could never twist my tongue in the way my French teacher could to correctly pronounce the words. Now that I think about it, in the way she twisted and turned her tongue, I bet she could tie a cherry stem with her tongue. Now that I think about it, I bet, Paulette, her first name, gave one Hell of a blowjob.
"Le Blowjob, Paulette?"
"Oui, oui, Monsieur."
Even to this day, I still don't know what an accent grave or is it grave accent? Answer me this, if we're all suddenly so global with all of our jobs going overseas, why can't we all speak one language, English? Okay, I get it. We already speak one language and that's money. Money, money, money, is a universal language that transcends everything else that impedes communicating between one foreign people and another. Gold is the high standard of my universe. Unfortunately, other than my fillings, I have none.
I could go to Canada, but it's so cold up there and they speak mostly French, too. Plus they are more into hockey than they are into baseball. Every time I watch the Toronto Blue Jays play, their baseball stadium is nearly as empty as the Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians baseball stadiums. I betcha if they froze the baseball field in Toronto and put those baseball players on ice skates and on ice, they'd have a full house watching them play.
"Score! I mean, homerun!"
Besides, I hate hockey. To be honest, sorry, but grown men shouldn't be wearing ice skates. It's just wrong. It's just too gay. Every time I see a hockey player skating around the rink, I think of him wearing a sexy one piece outfit with sequins and feathers. Now that I think about it, I'd definitely be a hockey fan, if they had female hockey teams in the way that they had roller derby. Oh, yeah, I'd watch a good catfight on the ice, I mean, I'd watch a good hockey game with women playing, instead of men.
I'd have dreams of the women that I'd love to be alone with in the penalty box, if you know what I mean. Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, and Gordie Howe never had it so good.
"So, aside from you having no front teeth, Susan, for a hockey player, you're a very pretty woman."
"Ah, shucks, I betcha say that to all the goalies."
Nah, forget about Canada. That would never work. There's still too many draft dodgers up there pretending they were born in Montreal. Maybe I could go to one of the Scandinavian countries. Only, being such a dopey American, while thinking that America is the only country in the world and English is the only language spoken, I had no idea what the differences are between Norway, Finland, Sweden, and the Netherlands. Their people are all tall, blonde, blue eyed, and good looking with nearly every man named Hans or Peter and every woman named, oh, my God, look at her!
Pardon my ignorance but I always thought that the Netherlands was part of Norway, Finland, and Sweden in the way that the United Kingdom is when they refer to England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales? Then, I looked at a map. Duh? Oh, so, that's where Holland and Amsterdam is. I had no idea.
Hey, it's not my fault. Blame it on my public school education. American public schools don't teach much geography. I had one class of geography in the 4th grade. We Americans truly believe that we are the only real country in the world and the rest of the world's countries are just our playgrounds to visit, when on vacation.
Oh, I know, speaking of the United Kingdom, I could go there. They speak English, kind of, a little bit, not really, not at all, but where would I go in the United Kingdom? Even though the Brits are our allies, they aren't very keen on Americans. The Irish don't like anyone but themselves and the Scottish hate everyone including themselves.
No one knows much about the Welch people. Indeed, they are a very secretive bunch. In all the years, they've only had three men, Richard Burton, Tom Jones, and Timothy Dalton and one woman, Katherine Zeta-Jones, escape from their country. Whether they are English, Irish, Scottish, or Welch, they all think Americans are a bunch of horses asses and truth be told, they're right, we are and speaking for myself, I am.
Hmm, maybe I'll go down under to Australia. I watched Oprah take 300 people there last month, 500 people when including her staff, and she said it was beautiful there. Only, I'm thinking that maybe Australia may be a better place to visit than to live. Besides, they don't even have a baseball team. They play stupid sports, such as cricket and rugby that they call football. Speaking of baseball, I'd go to Japan, but after seeing that earthquake and tsunami, I'd rather take my chances with Big Brother Obama here in America.
Then, I realized that even my house alarm is tied to my dead telephone. Now, I had no early warning system and no protection. If only the criminals in my neighborhood knew that my cable was out, I'd be a sitting duck, a target, and a victim waiting to be fleeced. I could be burglarized, vandalized, brutalized, held hostage, and raped by a wild bunch of female gang members.
Okay, it's just a fantasy, but it works for me, especially since I have nothing else to do having no phone, no TV, and no Internet.
Then, I figured, if my cable is out, their cable must be out, too. I doubled checked all my windows and doors and armed myself with a baseball bat, but not just any baseball bat, an autographed Manny Ramirez juiced and corked stuffed baseball bat, just in case. Oh yeah, if I hit anyone in the noggin with this steroid inspired baseball bat, I'd hit a homerun.
My usual routine is to turn on the computer, while the coffee is brewing. Then, I check my e-mails, browse a couple of porn sites, strictly for research purposes only, of course, since I write dirty stories, I mean, erotic literature. Then, I start writing, while having my first cup of coffee, Starbucks, French Roast; I grind my own beans.
Instead of having negative thoughts, I started to think about the positives advantages of not having a phone, a television, and an Internet connection. For the first time in my life, I'd have no distractions. Yet, with nothing to do, what would I be distracted from doing? I could build one of those mountain volcanoes that Richard Dreyfuss built in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. That would be fun, kind of, not really, not at all. I'm already losing my mind and my phone, TV, and Internet has only been out for 15 minutes.
For the first time in years, I'd have no phone calls from my mother asking me why I don't call her. For the first time in years, I wouldn't have to listen to my mother asking me why I don't have a girlfriend, when I'm getting married, and why haven't I given her grandchildren, as my brother and sister have already done. After seeing how miserable my brother and sister are, I don't think I'll ever get married and have children. Then, because her second cousin on her mother's side was gay, she routinely asks me that question all the time.
"You're not gay are you? You can tell me. I'm your mother. Are you gay? Because my second cousin on my mother's side--"
"No, Ma, I'm not gay."
Then, she wonders why I don't call her.
For the first time in years with nothing else on TV, I didn't have to force myself to watch Dancing With Stars, American Idol, Survivor, The Amazing Race, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Big Brother. For sure, I wouldn't miss the constant barrage of car, beer, and food commercials. For the first time in my life, instead of spending my life living vicariously through soap operas, Dynasty, Archie Bunker, MASH, Seinfeld reruns, news, weather, and sports, I'd discover that I have a life beyond network TV and the television screen.
For the first time, since they invented the Internet, I'd discovered that I didn't have to masturbate every day, while watching porn videos. I'd be finally free from reading and writing e-mails, passing jokes, and answering chain letters. I never wrote so many letters to so many people, before the advent of the computer. I never had so many friends, albeit cyber friends, before Microsoft Windows, AOL and Yahoo. To this day, I still have no idea who JayWalker, StreetStripper, and BuzzKill are, but they've e-mailed me every day for four years.