If I only had a brain, sings the Scarecrow so famously in the 1939 film classic, The Wizard of Oz.
I'm beyond wanting a brain. Just give me The Google. Or The Googles. (If singular is good, is plural better?) My midlife filing system may be getting a bit corrupt, but it turns out that there's still more than enough room in the interstices for me to keep chucking in the data.
Although I realized long ago that my mother had lied when she told me, "You can do anything you set your mind to" (my shaky hands, for instance, could never have managed a scalpel), my mind is still as eager a trapper as it ever was, those bits and bytes in my head sparkling like fireflies in a jar. And while I know that all that brain junk rattling around certainly doesn't make me any smarter, it does make me feel more secure. Which is something, I'll admit, that counts for a lot.
I was an inquisitive kid, always poking into things. My mother would drop me off at the library (a mother could do things like that, then) and leave me there for hours while I explored the day away. The trouble was, my curiosity was squelched by insecurity. I was easily embarrassed and equally afraid to admit what I didn't know. Ever worried about doing the wrong thing, I often did nothing at all. The answers to all my questions were limited to what I discovered by chance on my own.
So went my education, spiraling like a barber's pole in its contained little circle. I stuck with resources I knew I could access without risk of failure or humiliation. The dictionary was a faithful friend. The encyclopedia as well. The World Book filled the bookshelves at home. The library carried the intimidating Encyclopædia Britannica (with its funny spelling, so few pictures, and all that tiny print!) and something called Compton's, which even to a young girl seemed a resource only "babies" would use. I would never have dared to approach the librarian and ask for help. When I finally figured out how to use the card catalog, I felt as if I'd discovered the universe.
So I wonder what access to The Googles in 1968 would have meant to a girl like me, a girl who faked her way through everything so she wouldn't have to admit to not knowing anything. Not that it really matters now—aren't we all our worst enemies, in one way or other? But I'll tell you this: Last night when I happened on a bit of computer shorthand I didn't recognize, I didn't have to ask anyone but my trusty, faithful Internet friend.
Which means I can turn to you now in all my cool hipness and say with confidence that
I <3 The Googs!
Nancy Carol Moody
I'm a poet and a letter-writer. Yup, that kind. The kind who uses pens and paper and actual stamps. The kind who will leave the house with nothing on the agenda but to get to the mailbox before the scheduled pick-up time. The kind who understands that technology is a wondrous thing, but nothing quite beats finding a real letter with a real stamp on it amid the credit card solicitations, pizza coupons and seminar catalogs.