Thursday, September 16, 2010
Feeling Like Rip Van Winkle
Rip Van Winkle fell asleep under a tree one day and woke up twenty years later to find that his world had changed a bit. I didn't fall asleep under a tree, but the after-effects of knee surgery have rendered me only semi-functional for almost a month. Now that I'm off the heavy-duty pain medication, I'm trying to catch up on things that have been neglected.
Could it be that a month in our fast-paced modern world is equivalent to twenty years in Rip's slower paced 19th century world? Maybe not, but it's amazing what can pile up in a 21st century month. I had hundreds of junk e-mails to be deleted from computer, netbook, and iPhone.
There was a mountain of postal mail - almost all of it destined for the trash can. I'm not a radical tree-hugging environmentalist, but I think all this junk mail is a terrible waste of natural resources. But then I guess the design, printing, and delivery of junk mail provides a lot of jobs.
Why do upscale mail-order companies produce a new catalog every week? The merchandise is always the same and the prices seldom vary. But every week there's a newly designed catalog. No wonder their prices are outrageous - they've got to pay for those slick publications.
Why do charitable organizations send you a letter, asking for a donation, with a dime or nickel attached to the letter? Is this the unspoken message: "You're going to feel guilty if you keep our coin, so assuage your guilt by sending us $20.00 - or better still, $200.00." I put these coins, along with my pocket change, in a charity piggy bank to be donated to someone or some organization at Christmas.
Do politicians know that all those flyers they have printed up go straight to the trash can as soon as their backs are turned?
Maybe my out-of-commission month can't really be compared to Rip Van Winkle's twenty years, but I doubt if it's an exaggeration to say that I get more mail in a month than Rip got in twenty years.