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Message No. 117 was left on 02-24-92 23:58:00

To....... : All Users

From..... : John Parker

Subject.. : Marriage & Computers

Message Conference #35 "PC Addict - RIME"

A discussion on how home computers destroy marriages.



by Art Buchwald

For every home computer sold in America, there is a computer widow somewhere. I dropped over to see the Bengals the other night. Mrs. Bengal offered me a drink.

"Where's Walter?" I asked Adele.

"Where he always is these nights. He's in the library talking to his home computer."

"He talks to a computer?"

"All the time. It's taken the place of television, conversation and foreplay," she said bitterly.

"I didn't know Walter was into computers."

"That's all he's into. As soon as he finishes dinner, he leaves the table and says, 'Well, I've got to go in and

program a new household fiscal budget for 1992.'"

"At least he's working to save you money."

"He says he's working on a new budget, but I walked in last night and he was playing 'Star Wars.' He told me he was just checking out his floppy disk drive. I've never felt so alone in my life. At least when he watched football I could sit next to him. But now that he has a home computer he says he has to be alone with his software."

"You poor kid. Maybe he'll tire of it."

"No way. He reads computer magazines the way he used to read 'Playboy'. His idea of a centerfold now is a 640K Ram Micro-Computer that will expand to 128K bytes and produce a six-color high graphic screen resolution."

"Has he told you this?"

"No, but he talks in his sleep."

"Well, at least he's not dreaming about another woman," I said.

"I could compete with another woman," Adele said, "But I can't compete with a computer. We have no communication any more. The only language he uses is BASIC, COBOL and FORTRAN. I'm at my wits' end."

"You're not thinking of leaving him?"

"I threatened to last week and he said to hold off until he could program all the variables, and come up with a modified alternative."

"Have you ever thought about getting your own home computer and plugging into his? Perhaps you could talk that way."

"I'm not interested in interfacing with him through a terminal. After all, we're in the same house."

"Maybe I should talk with him," I suggested.

"You can try, but I doubt if it will do any good."

I went into the library and found Walter hunched over his keyboard. "Hi, Walter. Am I disturbing you?"

"No," he said, squinting at me. "I was only justifying my margins."

"How's life?" I asked.

"Fine. I was having a problem with my cursor for a while, but I straightened it out by adding a protocol."

"You have to be careful of cursors," I said. "What news of Adele?"

"Wait a minute," he said, "I'll find out."

He put in a disk, pushed a code key, and typed on the screen ADELE. Then he hit his RETURN button.

"Here it is," he said. "She's either in the kitchen, the bath, her bedroom, or went to a baseball game."

"A baseball game?"

Walter looked worried. "That doesn't sound right. But it's no problem. All I have to do is hit this DELETE button."

"Adele thinks she's losing you to a floppy disk retrieval system," I told him.

"That's ridiculous," Walter said. "All I'm trying to do is store and index data that will be able to forecast how we can enjoy the September years of our life."

"We've been friends for years, so I'm going to ask you a very personal question, Walter. How much do you love Adele?"

Walter, without saying a word, inserted a disk, and started hitting the keyboard.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"I'm counting the ways. It's much faster to do it on a computer."