Thursday, August 11, 2016

Rooftop ramblings

"Thoughts from a nighttime roofsit"

    ROOFTOP – Jerry, I didn’t force you to trade places with me. What I said was, “Jerry, trade places with me.” I wasn’t going to fight you for the far side of the roof. It’s just that I never sit over there, and I wanted to see if there’s a breeze. – There’s not.

    Okay, get hold of yourselves, Rooftoppers. We’re on in three, two and… action-- Glad you could join us. I want you all to know that I waited till nightfall to get us all up here. Any earlier and the fire department would have to scrape us off this metal roof. At the moment, the roof’s not hot, but the air sure is.

    No mosquitoes, though. Mosquitoes are a bit less active during the dry spells. I think it’s because the flies chase ‘em away. There are always pests in life, are there not?

    This is another summer where the grass turns crispy and the flowers take on a look of wilt. Kay has been trying to save the yard and all the plants. The girl has no idea about the intricacies of our water bill. I pay all the bills, so am well aware that the price of water usage goes up exponentially. Once you reach a given number of gallons, the water bill spikes. We can afford the increase in payment; don’t think we can’t. It’s just that it would take a big bite out of our food budget. I’m sure I have my priorities all askew, but between food and the lawn, I prefer meat with my broccoli.

    Each summer, huge areas of our lawn die. Yet, come spring, it springs back. Thus the name “Spring.” It’s much like fire ants. You can kill ‘em off, but they’ll be back. Back with a vengeance. I’d explain how all of this works, but I’m on the rooftop and away from the Internet. The Internet has given me an image of near smartness.

    A few of us remember the days before computers, word processor programs, and the Internet. It was a horrible time, my friend. And, get this, at the birth of the internet I saw no hope for it. 

    My friend Bob Ezell selected me to be one of several teachers to look for the potential behind a system that could link libraries and governmental institutions. It wasn’t called the Internet, but that’s what it was. Bob chose me because he figured if I could catch on, anyone could. He didn’t tell me that, but, hey, I’m no idiot. Beg pardon?

Anyway, the system had no graphics or sound. All you could do is pull up documents that were printed in a font that was a faded-green and was called “dull data-like depressing” It took minutes to download documents. I thought, “No way!” Well, now it’s a “way.” Big way.

    Back in the 80’s and the first part of the 90’s, I used an electric typewriter and carbon paper to get my articles in the proper form. I had to white-out the same mistake on  four copies that were typed on carbon paper. I’d finish the article around 2:00 a.m. on a school night. I’d run ‘em to the newspaper drop off on my way to school. Once received, someone had to typeset the thing so it could be so it could fit the newspaper format -- I’d research how they did all of that, but I’m on the roof. Remember?

    Back in the day, I spent too much time trying to find out the names of books, authors, actors or brand names of chewing gum. Kay was usually little help with stuff like that. I’d have to call Virginia or Dennis late at night and ask ‘em, “Hey, who sang that song about ‘My little runaway, a run, run, run, run, runaway?’ ” If they didn’t know, I’d have to come up with a song by a singer whose name I did know. It could change the whole article. I was bummed out, I tell you.

    Now, I can find practically anything. Earlier this week, I was trying to figure out who the star was in a particular movie. I asked Kay if she knew the person’s name. She appeared to ignore me; picked up her phone and said, “Okay, Google, I need the cast of ‘Beyond the Poseidon Adventure.’ ” Bingo! There it is.

    One can only imagine how many gammazoid rays zipped through the air and landed on her phone. Pinged off a hundred different towers in a second. Makes no sense to me. None at all. What makes even less sense is the new Pokemon Go game. Can anyone explain that game to me? Anybody?

    I saw a short video clip a few hours ago that showed a car run smack-dab into a parked police car. The driver wasn’t drunk. Claimed he was playing Pokemon Go while driving. This game is taking the country by storm, and I have not a clue. I read the rules off the Internet and still couldn’t figure ‘em out. I promised that, on the next “Hanging with the Hayters Show” (On every Wednesday at noon on -- Ba dum, dum.) that Kay and I would have someone explain Pokemon Go to listeners. Now all I have to do is crawl out of my rut and find someone.

Look at this! Just look at it! We’re out of time. I didn’t even get to mention the “plumcot” sample that I tasted at HEB this afternoon. Oh well, another day. Till then, Keep ‘em flyin’! – And, we’re clear!

Okay, everybody, time for some scary stories. And, Jerry, aren’t you glad you’re not seated by the edge of the roof, you big whiner. – All right, Sara first. – “Okay, one night this lady heard a noise coming from the backseat of his car…” (It’s just getting’ good, up here.) – Next time.

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