Jack Simpson - Maturity

I guess it is time to admit that I'm an old codger. I don't concede to being senile or an old fossil, but I've seen my day! Perhaps what I am confessing to is that I'm time honored, old-fashioned, and old-fangled.

No, I do not use a computer when I write my column. I grab a legal pad and a pen, and sit in my easy chair to practice my penmanship. Thank goodness Miss Dinesmore is not around to wrap my knuckles if she considered what I wrote to be a scribble or too illegible for her to read. Grade school teachers are like that still, aren't they?

Anyway, I compose on paper and then my devoted wife transcribes onto her computer. I confess I have never even turned the thing on, although I do try to use the computer at work for my reports that are required there.

I'm a neophyte when it comes to some of these modern gadgets. For instance, the phone bill arrived the other day with added charges for text messaging. I've heard of this service, but I did not know my phone was equipped for it, and I have never used this means of communication.

When I asked Dottie "What is this all about?" she responded in her business voice with, "I've taken care of it."

The reason I've heard about text messaging is because kids seem to use the service extensively. I also have a friend who was on a date recently when he encountered an old flame. She sent him a text message saying, "I bet I make better love than she does."

Sooo, I guess there is a place for text messaging; however, not on the cell phone of this old relic of the past. It seems that my charges were caused by third parties - hucksters, trying to sell me something and passing the charges on to me!

A venerable senior could be sitting at home in his La-Z-Boy writing his weekly column, and his cell phone bill could be adding up to look like the national debt and he wouldn't even know third parties were calling trying to hustle him. Who wants a service like this that they cannot control? Not this elder citizen. Text messaging is gone from my cell phone, thanks to my alert spouse.

I'm happy the service is available for those who use and can afford it. One student of the past, somewhat behind the times, finds no need for text messaging capabilities on a cell phone used primarily for emergencies. I guess Miss Dinesmore could more clearly read a text message I might prepare, but she is no longer available. Still, I owe her a debt for teaching me good penmanship!

Jack Simpson is a former educator, veteran, author, and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each Sunday.