On occasion, I receive a blue screen of death on my computer. Sometimes, it infuriates me, but then I remember, I’m still alive, and it’s just a machine that was created to break down so that hundreds of thousands of repair people can remain gainfully employed.

If this machine didn’t break down, someone’s family would probably be in a lot of trouble or out on the streets. One person’s huge problem is another person’s bread and butter.

On many occasions, I am put on hold for an important phone call, causing my blood pressure to shoot sky high. That’s until I remember that I don’t really need to talk to this person, I can do this myself. Then I hang up, causing a chain reaction to eventual breakdown sometime in the future, forever altering our anticipated outcomes.

Sometimes, being put on hold forces you to rethink and that becomes a good thing, as Martha might say.

On nearly every occasion, at any rate, a machine will answer my call. That validates my need to vent obscenities to a machine with no ears, just tones, until someone answers with their own personal message, which makes my message seem even more insignificant.

Leaving messages is an art, one at which I claim to be a master. “Call me, call me now!” usually suffices, with immediate reprisals of health breaks and water cooler escapade stories on my answering machine.

Ohh, if only these machines could think for themselves, then, I wouldn’t have to deal with people by phone, I could just drop by and say hello and make life more personal, while my electronic drone (not clone) efficiently doles out sound financial advice to my clients, who in turn, would direct deposit oodles of cash into my offshore James Bay island account. I don’t know if this was negotiated in the last talks over these offshore islands, but I’m sure we could make a bundle with this scam.

More and more, talk has been reduced to LOL or chat-speak or whatever it’s called making even simple talk more smpl. U gt it? Who does. U Me? U no? A? Soon, we’ll all be back to simple sign language transmitted via videophone. That, at least, will save on long distance charges.

Meanwhile, iconoclastic techno talk will translate the Bible into real religious icons with halos that miraculously appear on your desktop. That’s if you pray in front of the computer while sipping some sangria, slowly bleeting out artificial psalms and prayers in a voice that resembles Steven Hawking’s talking wheelchair.

Anyway, I still think we are a long way from having a televi-sion/lnternet communications system on your fridge door. Who’s gonna hang around the fridge when you have a water cooler?

Perhaps the next MP5 players will come with a skin graft to the ear and even your own air guitar (generated by your brainwaves) will be transferred to the next amplifier for the brain-aoke parties every Friday night.

This is just a glimpse into a lazy man’s future. But it seems that progress is still infuriatingly slow, too slow for this old man.