Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Weird New World

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we can recall a time when making a telephone call required standing close to a wall ... and asking Aunt Belle nicely if she could stop gossiping on the party line. Do you remember phone booths? Other than in scary movies? Remember how they had phone books with hard plastic covers dangling underneath? Remember dialing "0" to get an operator to help you place a collect call?

Now you can talk on the phone while driving a car 70 miles per hour on the Jersey Turnpike. That's what I call progress! Maybe.

At the risk of sounding like an old fogey, I never thought I'd see some of the technological advances that I now live with every day. I thought cordless telephones were a miracle when they first came out. Needless to say, cell phones baffle me completely.

That's what a half century of lively living will do for you. All hail being baffled! It keeps one young.

All this is prelude to my suggestion that you poetry lovers out there might want to watch the little video below. (I finally figured out how to put YouTube stuff on my blog ... Progress!)

Almost ten years ago my daughter The Heir came home from school one day and said a weird man with a monkey puppet and a jester hat had ridden by her on a bike. He waved the monkey at her and said, "Hi kids, ooo ooo ooo AAAH AAAH AAAAH!"

Thus began for my family the Mighty Saga of the Monkey Man. First he was an elusive creature who we searched for, then a strange person that we stalked, then a subject of wild urban legends, then ... suddenly ... a real person. Who grew up in the house behind ours. Who knew all the neighbors. Who graduated from the Heir's high school. Who hosts a poetry get-together every month in Camden. From mysterious stranger to best friend in a decade! And the only technology used in the process was a little email and a bike.

Those of you who've been following TGAB for awhile have heard of this person. Here he is in the 'tubes! Now that's a technological advancement worth its weight in bytes!

Even if you're new here, you might want to take a look. Rocky is a great poet, and this is one of his best poems, done in his signature radiant style.

Mystery no more. World, please welcome the Monkey Man!


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I wish I could figure out how to post YouTube videos on my blog. That bit of computer wizardry eludes me still. Plus I don't have a cellphone either.

THE Michael said...

I knew that Popular Science Magazine had lied to me and things were going horribly wrong when George "Dubya" Bush was elected not once, but TWO times, and none of us had a jet pack, a flying car, or could take a vacation on the moon.

But at least poetry never dies.


hell I remember party lines. I don't have a cell phone, never have texted anything and never used the word bling in a sentence

Shehuntstoo said...

weird new world? Monkey was just what was needed. that was the coolest and he signed!!!! says Jesse(Dino boy)'s mom :)

Anonymous said...

Oh yes the party line, we had 5 families on ours, as a teen it was hell because someone was always listening in on our conversations. You know you are old if you had a party line!!! When we finally got our own line, I knew I had died and went to heaven, then when we got touch tone,instead rotary dial, wow that was tecnology!!!And I loved it best when we got remote control for the tv, I lost my job as the channel turner, that was a great day in history!!

David said...

"party lines"?? heh heh. I remember them - now we have blogs, facebook, and twitter - but still believe nothing surpasses a pair of feet and two eyes .. must be getting old(ish).

(oops, am on the wrong gurgle a/c)

Nettle said...

We had a party line and a dinky little black and white tv that got two stations and a rotary phone...

Wow, it's finally happened. I'm... old. *sigh*.

good job on the youtube mastery!

kimc said...

I had a party line as late as 1978, I think it was. Took over seven months after I ordered it to get the phone at all. And then, it was just 'cause I threatened them with making them bring in another phone company.