Tuesday, May 31, 2005

"You Don't Post Often Enough"

It's true. I don't post enough. Blogdaddy cajoles me, but to no avail.
I WANT to post more. *


My excuse? I'm severely typing challenged. It takes me forever to two finger these things into the damn computer. I thought I could just wait out the coming improvements; that soon enough I could simply talk to the machine and little digital fingers would fly over a silicon key pad inside the big ugly whirring suitcase at the other end of all these wires. Like on Star Trek. My standby, epic procrastination, failed to serve me again. Technological advances lagged behind my expectations even as everyone else who was paying attention honed their data entry chops. Here I sit. Clack. Clack. Clack. I really did TRY to learn, once, but somehow it just didn't take.

Computers came late to back water Rhode Island, only the kids in accelerated math and science classes had use of them. I was on the iconoclast/slacker track, so only saw them through the computer lab's glass doors. All that most of us were offered was typing. I took two semesters of it, with Miss Lupenacci. "Loop", as we all called her, was fresh out of teacher's college at U.R.I., then renowned for it's agricultural studies department. She wore tight sweater dresses with plunging necklines, cinched with wide buttery leather belts, or draped at the hips with brassy gold chains. She tip-toed on high pointy heels, exaggerating the kinetic cantilevers of large breasts and full round buttocks balanced on the fulcrum of a tiny waist. The Future Secretaries of America who normally made up the ranks found themselves fighting for slots with increasing numbers of Industrial Arts boys and the entire football team (who's Captain, only three years her junior, Loop favored with blow jobs in the back seat of his dad's LTD). I took the class because there'd be no homework.

Miss Lupenacci often stood in front of the class by an opaque projector, her demonstrations of the home row and proper striking techniques mimicked overhead by huge red manicured fingers (one wore a gold ring dispaying her initials in curvacious script) on the pull down screen covering the blackboard. She'd admonish the class not to look at the keys and to instead concentrate on the letters as they appeared on the white sheets covering the rollers. The generally undisciplined class, with their eyes following their fingers, paid her little attention. This instruction was doubly ignored by (most of) the boys, who focused instead on her jiggling cleavage or the glittering links caressing her thighs.

Loop's demonstrations were accompanied by a manic stream-of-consciousness patter, reflecting on various topical concerns, mostly originating in T.V. sitcoms and last night's Action News. My assigned seat was in the front row by the corner of her desk, at her right hand. She'd offer opinions and commentaries, and wander off on tangents, often using me as a foil. I felt like I was on the Tonight Show. I had already built a world for myself on a foundation of cynicism and irony; she demonstrated neither. It was completely fascinating.

Sometimes she'd read passages for us to type, varied in form and content in order to encourage the flexing of our developing typing muscles. She particularly loved lists in columns, which gave us additional experience setting tabs and margins. One exercise featured "famous people" (though mainly unknown to most of the class) and the jobs they held before the onset of notoriety; Sean Connery: brick layer, Golda Meir: school teacher, Elvis Presley: truck driver. She'd stop after each, offering personal evaluations of those she recognized. We didn't actually get in a whole lot of typing. Finally she reached Adolf Hitler, who briefly toiled as a commercial artist before finding his metier as a genocidal despot. He was listed as "greeting card designer". She paused for a long moment, examining the text to be sure she'd read it correctly. She looked up at the class, eyes blinking and mouth open, "HUH!" She turned to me, her brow now furrowed with consternation,"That's a nice job", she puzzled, "I wonder why he wanted to be a dictator?"


Five years later, after his graduation from U.R.I., Miss Lupenacci and the Football Captain were wed.
Whatever typing abilities she'd fostered faded with the years, as did any knowledge of proper spelling I once held, and I still can't get blogspot spell check to work on my MAC.

*...and another thing.

It's not for lack of material. Those unfortunates who know me well must endure a constant litany of factoids, endlessly related tales, observations and anecdotes. "A Font of Useless Information", "Master of Arcana", "Compares Everything to Food" they mock. Yet when they need to know the telephone number of the decades closed Stork Club in N.Y.C. (PLaza 3-1940), the year plastic lawn flamingos were introduced (1947, by Don Featherstone) or how many rivets were used in the construction of the R.M.S. Titanic (slightly more than three million) they come to ME. Say what they will, but EVERYBODY knows the size of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and the color of a bowl of Campbel's Tomato Soup. If you ask for a knob in that size or paint in that shade, both the decorator and the guy at the hardware store know EXACTLY what you're talking about.
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