The Dotty Thing

On the way to the store to do Thanksgiving dinner shopping. She’s thumbing through the newspaper inserts and reviewing her list.

“So what do you need at the store?” she says.

“I’m all set. I have my coupons on the phone, on the store app. You should look through the coupons on my phone.”

He hands her his phone.

“Where are they?” She says.

“You see the dotty thing? With all the dots?”

“….Mmmm. The dotty thing…”

“Yeah. The little thing with dots.”

“I click that?”

“Yes.”

She clicks it. “Okay, now what?”

“Do you see the little thing with the name of the store?”

“…Yes.”

“Click that.”

She does. She waits. “Okay, now what?”

“Click the hamburger.”

“I don’t see a hamburger.”

“It’s not a hamburger. It’s called a hamburger. It’s way up on the left. It’s some lines.”

“…You mean the liney thing?”

“Yes, the liney thing.”

She clicks it. “Okay.”

“Now click where it says coupons.”

She does. She scrolls.

“Hold on,” he says. “Don’t scroll yet. There should be two tabs. One is for all the coupons and the other is for the coupons I’ve already loaded to the card. You want the tab with the ones I haven’t loaded so you can go through the ones you want to load.”

She keeps scrolling, but slower. “I think the list I’m on has both the coupons on the card and the ones not on the card.” She holds up the screen to show him. “See? On some of them it says load to card, and on others it says already loaded.”

“…Hmmm. I didn’t know that.”

“You don’t know everything.”

She keeps scrolling. He keeps driving.

“So have you loaded any onto the card?” He says.

“Yes. Although it’s hard. There are no pictures. Only text. This thing pops up all the time saying technical difficulties. I think we’re going in and out of wi-fies.

“… I bet I forgot to turn on the mobile data. Give me the phone.”

“No! I’m busy. And you’re not allowed to turn on the mobile data while you’re driving. It’s against the law.”

Five minutes later he parks the car.

“We can’t get out yet,” she says. “I’m not finished.”

He sits there. “Give me the phone so I can check if the mobile data is on.”

“No. I’m busy. And I know you. You’ll mess everything up and I’ll lose my place.”

“But there are about three hundred coupons to scroll through.”

“Good.”

They sit for ten minutes. He wonders about the wonders of technology and how it makes everything easier, simpler, faster.

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Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on November 24, 2017.

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