|FICTION||by Marguerite Hurrey Wolf|
There's a Dragon in My Den
Essay in Isn't Pushing Ninety Exercise Enough?, pp. 17
I’m not intimidated by elephants, dinosaurs or earthmovers. I’m afraid of a mouse, not the kind who nibbles cheese or presides over Disneyland. My mouse has a very long tail that is attached to my computer. It can’t do anything without me. But that’s the trouble. As soon as I clutch it in my sweaty little palm, it goes out of control, dancing around the screen like a butterfly.
My daughter and my grandson brought me a mouse pad to try to tame my wild rodent. But I am still cowed by this inanimate creature who, at the click of my finger, brings up a display of choices beyond by wildest imagination.
My family has been trying to drag me, kicking and screaming, into the
new century. I insisted that I didn’t need or want a computer.
I like the status quo. I still had a dial phone for heaven’s sake!
But I made the mistake of saying the only use I had for a computer would
be a word processor. Their eyes lit up like light bulbs in a cartoon
and my doom was sealed. On Christmas day in they staggered under three
enormous boxes. My twenty-year-old grandson set it up as casually as
I would peel a banana. They handed me the mouse and shoved me down in
front of the screen. The mouse danced around like a figure skater. The
new pad helps, I will admit, but the first day I tried to type a short
article it took me an hour to type two pages compared to four minutes
on my typewriter.