Saturday, October 4, 2014

It's weird, but I called me.

Oh, they're gonna get you.

    If age is in any way related to intelligence, I am obviously smarter than a lot of you. Unfortunately, my lack of understanding of practically everything is evidence that the “Age = Intelligence” formula is a load of horse sweat.

    My IQ used to be way up there. I took the test in the back of a guy’s pickup truck parked outside a Dandy Dog in ’84. The truck had the name “Wally” printed on the door and a decal of a ball peen hammer on the back window. Weird, the stuff I remember. Did I mention I scored way up there?

Everyone with lower IQ’s than mine agree that your Intelligence Quotient is a terrible way to measure smarts. It means next to nothing. The only significance of my score is the fact that I registered one point higher than Kay. God smiled on me that day, my friend.

Of course, that’s all behind me now. Today I’m dumb as dirt. I understand nothing. In fact, just this week someone asked if I knew the origin of the word “understand.” I thought it was a joke lead-in, so I didn’t make up anything.

From what I was told, if you stand under something it means you grasp it. Thus “understand.” Had I told that to anyone, the person would’ve said, “No, then you would call it “standunder” not “understand.” But I accepted it without comment, ‘cause I don’t like it when someone finds fault when I’m trying to impress.

After a bit of research, I found that few agree on the way the word originated. Some say the Old English word meaning “among” or “amidst” used to sound like “under.” I believe it was spelled “hostergotten.” So technically, if you “understand something, you’re supposed to say “Yes, I stand-hostergotten.”

I say that to say this: I was sitting in this very spot three hours ago when I got a call from myself. Up until that point, I had never been able to do that, yet, there it was. My caller I.D. had posted my phone number as the caller. Since I was the only one home, the call had to come from me… or the gnome that keeps stealing my left house shoe.

It’s a frightful thing when you’re alone and you get a call from your downstairs phone to your upstairs home phone. I was scared to answer it. I was thinking Twilight Zone and William Shatner. Had Twilight Zone aired such an episode I’m pretty sure William Shatner would’ve been it. Or, maybe Jack Klugman.

I eventually decided to answer ‘cause I didn’t want have to play back the message I would’ve left when calling myself. – “Hello?” – I thought that better than saying, “I thought you’d never call.” I wasn’t in the mood to joke around.

There was about a three-second pause before a recorded message came on suggesting that I act now in order to take advantage of a low interest rate on my credit card. That was it. I wasn’t relieved. Not in the least. In fact, I was more scared than I would’ve been had I been on the other end of the line.

I don’t understand how telemarketer companies managed to infiltrate my caller I.D. Made it look like I was calling myself. Anyone who can do that has the capability of establishing an alibi for any crime committed. “Officer, if you’ll check my phone records you’ll see that I was at home Friday night talking to myself on the phone for eight minutes.”

That’s a bit upsetting. Or, settingup, depending on the origin of the word. As disconcerting as that is, it’s less frightening than the fact that Home Depot accidentally let someone get my credit card info. I am now one of about 60 million customers whose credit info was stolen right under the nose of Home Depot’s computer security team of, uh… currently unemployed computer programmers.

The thing is, Home Depot didn’t learn about the breach for five months after it happened. A blogger, not even associated with the store had to inform them. – “Excuse me, but, uh, how are you guys handling the credit card info stolen from 60 million of your customers? Has that been a problem? Want me to see if I can buy the info back for you?”

If the hackers sell the data to just one person, there’s a chance my number won’t come up. It’d be like my name getting picked out of 60 big city phone books. However, it the hacker blankets the world with the credit info, I may have already purchased a portable hot tub for a Cossack named Igon Tuskovovich. And, quite possibly a John Deere rice reaper for East Asian agriculturist Chin Dom Phu..

No, I don’t understand stuff. I am so out of step with… uh, all the people who are stepping. I don’t want to even think what my IQ would register if I took another test. Doesn’t mean you can’t take one, though. You can find Wally’s pickup outside the Family Dollar store most Thursday afternoons. I’m still confused about that hammer. Ask him what that’s all about, would you? Ball peen? Where’d that “peen” come from?


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