Thursday, March 22, 2007

Writing Letters by Hand is A Waste of Time

I'm on the road right now in Washington, D.C., doing my annual reacharound and pat on the back with the Nebraska Congressional delegation. In the Omaha airport this morning, I heard something that annoyed me. Now, I will in turn annoy you as well. That's how it works. Didn't you see that Pay It Forward movie? I thought since they killed Haley Joe Bob Osment at the end of that movie, it was pretty good.

ANYWAY, ff you ever need to find an elderly person, the Omaha airport is like Geriatri-Mart. This morning, there were flocks of them. While I was standing in the security line behind people who could have been George Burns's great grandparents, I overheard the following old-person cliche, which made me long for assisted suicide:

Old man that smells like he lives in the sewer "There's nothing like getting a hand-written letter. Getting an email isn't the same thing. If someone writes you a letter by hand, it shows that they really care. Kids don't understand that."

Elder McStinky then turns to look at me, shakes his head and says -
"I bet you've never even written a letter by hand."

It was early in the morning, but I immediately started compiling a list of thing this guy has never done, such as wiping his own ass or passing a test on multiplication. I just smiled, and didn't say anything, which I know those of you who know me are thinking "Yeah right, that'd be a first." But, really I did.

I wanted to say "So, if someone uses available technology to drive to visit you, instead of say riding a horse, does that make their visit less meaningful?" The irony that he was standing in line for an airplane and how that might affect the sincerity of the visit was completely lost on him.

Sentiments like this piss me off because writing makes my hand hurt. And because I'm left-handed, my hand gets all kinds of messy as I drag the fat part of my hand over everything I write. The idea that somehow writing by hand is superior to other available technology is absurd. The fact that someone takes the time to contact you, I think is the important feature. Not how they do it. Taken to its logical extreme, expressing yourself on stone tablets or by writing crude symbols on someone's wall is the ultimate act of consideration. If you're going to do it any other way, why bother?


Lord Bling said...

I guess this explains the lack of St. Paddy's Day pics. :)

You should've asked him if he rode a horse to the airport. That would've been great, even if the irony would've been lost on him.

Oh, and since you wrote this on a public forum, instead of e-mailing it to me or writing it by hand, you really must not care at all.

warm_machine said...

Thanks for the laugh. I just spent a week maneuvering through airports and the slow, stupid, stanky masses that dwell within them. I had a similar encounter with someone younger than myself, regarding technology and their lack of understanding as to how it could be used to benefit their life and stop irritating mine. I'd elaborate more, but my hand hurts from typing and since graphite wasn't used, it wouldn't really mean anything anyway.