In the parking lot nine days ago Murray turned to me.

”Funny you should mention Koufax,” he said. “ Just finished his biography—you’d love it.”

(Demurring, I drove away. If recollection served well, years back Wieder had to write a book report and not (of course) having read a thing, he’d scribbled notes on the pitcher from a Sport Magazine article. I’d had to read that).

A week passed and again it was Friday. “Here, I brought it!”

Waving something shaped like a book, Murray approached. “Let me show you how it works.” With that he brandished a Kindle and touched on a page called “Koufax”, but still wasn’t done.

“This is how you go forward…here’s how you go back…this changes the font…”

“But I don’t want to read the book!” I was thinking, (let alone by machine).
I’m not good at this stuff—and besides you can’t take it in the pool—and you have to worry about it heating up! And what if I lose it?

It took him ten minutes to explain the whole thing. God, I thought—my friend Alan plagiarized a whole life in less time than that!

I’m just not fit for the world and the so-called “progress” we’ve made. Life was simpler—it was easier—when books were on paper and TV was not only black-and-white, but limited to three channels. At least then I could watch it.

There are two sets in my house: one up, one down. ‘ Was there ten months when the cable went out—upstairs only. No one, but no one knew why.

Thinking perchance, that one of the boys kicked out some cord, I phoned buddy Jon. “Everything’s hooked up,” he smiled. “Call the cable company.” I did.

“The problem’s there,” they told me, once they knew it played downstairs.
“Call your property manager.” I did.

Jeff smiled, but like me—Jewish. What do we know of these things? “Call the cable company,” said he.

Time, however, is precious. Aunt Helen may live life on 800 numbers, but I have things to do. The easier, softer way is to compromise—and I have. When watching network, I lay comfortably in bed. For cable it’s downstairs: the couch. Life, you should note, has gone on.

It doesn’t, though, seem fair. Nor is it right, frankly, that I need a degree in engineering to hear music! Thank God for Harold.

It must have been his year in Carolina, but my brother, for some reason, knows how to exorcize songs and add others to an Ipod. As such, periodically, like last Thursday, I seek his aid.

H summoned me that night—to bring my LAPTOP, bring my Ipod, and be patient.

“I want you to learn how to do this,” Hal cautioned.
“I don’t want to!”
“You will,” he confirmed.

(It was like when your mother tells you to try vegetables. OK, I’d eat them…but I wouldn’t like them).

We sat at his dining room table: two brothers, side-by-side behind two laptops, side-by-side.

“Where’s your flash drive?” he asked to dead silence. Better he should have asked me to split the atom.
“Don’t worry,” he said, (clearly having anticipated that vacuum), “I have one.”

And the process began: the tedious regimen of finding the link, sliding the mouse, pushing the button…time and time again—song and song again.
A few times I hit the wrong thing and he cringed.

“Why did you do that?” H cried in frustration, (not unlike his father in the Highlights days when Randy’d insist on changing the proven sales pitch).

More silence. It takes a lot for me to feel uncomfortable, but I was. A stranger in a strange land, I had to move on.

“Let me do this at home,” I insisted. “We can finish later.”

I did it, by the way! Yesterday. (At least stage One). The old songs are filtered out…but the new tunes: the one’s I need to add? They’ll require more Harold–perhaps today.

Am I narrow-minded missing times gone by? Revering days when books were paper, when Channels 3, 5 and 8 would do, and when you just put the damn record on the player and listened?

Today I need a battery to read, a brother to sing, and an act of Congress for cable. It doesn’t seem right.

In olden days there was a fix for all things mechanic, a one-shop stop to right all wrongs.

We called it Lomaz.

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