Pet Rocks in a Paperless World

At the dawn of the Computer Age, we were told there would be no need for paper. Paper would become a relic, like Edsels or Pet Rocks. A passing fad that stuck around for millenia, paper was going the way of the dodo and quickly becoming extinct.
Miss Crankypants would like to point out that although entire books are now available with not one iota of paper, we don’t seem to be realizing this Brave New Paperless World. She’s seen these commercials on TV for some sort of magic scanner thingie. You’re supposed to be able to get organized AND throw out shoe boxes full of receipts, invoices and even recipes-torn-from-dental-office-magazines. The ad croons, “With the (neat) scanner, you’ll be so organized, you won’t recognize your home office!
To which Miss CP says, “Yeah. Right.”
 If you fall for this ad, you are dumber than Miss CP thought. That’s because EVERYbody knows you can’t trust machines. These computers, labelers, scanners and so on have one goal in mind: to malfunction at the very moment you desperately need them.
Just think: You go to look up your recipe for Chicken Marsala and bam! The scanner throws up and refuses to work. Or you desperately search for your passport in front of the very impatient polizei, when you remember–you scanned it into your phone. But your phone has been taking bribes for months now, and it cannot deny a foreign country the chance to incarcerate a wealthy American, so it freezes up. You say you’re not wealthy? Trust Miss CP, to the rest of the world we’re ALL rich as tiramisu in truffle sauce. Your phone withholds its data until you agree to get it a new skin, preferably one encrusted with rubies and emeralds.
Now that you’re learning the Mnbongo language from your prison guards, it occurs to you that none of this would have happened if not for gadgets that promise to reduce or eliminate paper.
That’s why–if you have any brains at all–you keep all your docs safe with triplicate copies in a lead-lined safe. That way, when the new-fangled gadget goes on the fritz (and it will!) you’ll still be able to prove your innocence. And if not, well you can finally use that Pet Rock for a paperweight.

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About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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