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Whittling Away: Techno-rage is a thing

October 8, 2019 11:32 am Updated: October 8, 2019 11:48 am


Techno-rage, a now common term first coined in the early 21st century by an old Hudson Valley woodcarver named Dick Brooks. When asked why he had tied his computer to the back of his truck and driven it through a car wash, then had beaten it into bite sized chunks with a wood splitting maul before flushing what remained, the usually mild mannered Brooks shrugged his shoulders and replied,”Techno-rage!”

I am a patient, understanding person. Forty years in an elementary classroom either makes you a patient, understanding person or you wind up sitting in a corner, drooling and chewing on the leather straps of your straight jacket. My chin is dry, hence I must be patient and understanding.

Having said this, I must admit to one main failing in an otherwise perfect personality profile: I do not understand my computer. I have no patience with or affection for it. I admit that it is smarter than I am but then so is the cabinet it lives in and it doesn’t aggravate or tease me. It starts when I turn the thing on and this little smiley face appears (mine always looks like it’s smurking at me). Lately it disconnects me from the internet when I’m in the middle of something, then taunts me with little signs saying things like, “Such and such an application has unexpectedly quit” — like it was my fault! Today’s little sign told me that there is a modem fault — it’s played this trick before — twice. This means a trip to the repair shop for a new modem.

I would rather have a tooth removed through my left ear than go to the computer store. First I have to unplug all the wires and junk attached to the devil machine then lug it out to my truck and drive for an hour to get to my computer experts at “InComps R US.” I drag its wounded carcass into the store and then have to deal with its staff of 12 year old computer geeks.

I put the wounded beast on the counter and then wait for the two youngsters working there to complete their conversation and notice my presence. Their conversation contains nothing that I understand, being full of mega and kilo things being rammed and remmed, finally one notices me and asks what my problem is. I gather up all the technical verbage at my command and in my most knowledgeable voice state, “It’s broken.”

The kid now knows what he is dealing with. I go on to explain that I can no longer connect to the internet and get or send email. He tells me it needs a new modem (the computer had already told me this before I made the trip to the store). He quoted me a price close to the national debt and told me it would be ready in a week or so. I asked if he would call when it was done. He said he’d send me an email when it was done and asked my email address. The other nice young man stopped me as I was tying the first young man and the computer to my truck bumper in the parking lot and freed both of them.

Techno-rage — it could happen to you.

Thought for the week — Definition of stress — The confusion created when one’s mind overrides the body’s desire to beat or choke the living daylights out of someone or something that desperately needs it.

Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.

Reach Dick Brooks at (but not until next week).