My wife and I went to Panera for a sandwich yesterday. Panera is too sandwiches as Starbucks is too coffee. Panera and Starbucks seem to cater to the same kind of people. This is’t a bad thing, just an observation. Enough said. While waiting in the self serve soda line, I overheard a conversation between two women. The women were in their early twenties, with pasty white ghostly complexions, like they haven’t seen the sun with out sun block since they were born. They quietly sat and read their laptop screens while eating some kind of salad made with vegetables that would look at home on a Klingons dinner table. One of the women looked over her laptop and started to speak. She had a lovely voice, but like many people who have nice voices there wasn’t a bit of intelligence behind her words. The conversation went like this:
“Did you hear about…”
“Oh my god, yes. Can you believe….”
“Not at first but later when he…..”
“Yea, I thought she was going to scream…”
“Then did you see the guy she was…”
“Yea, like she didn’t even have the nerve to…”
“But they still did like anyway….”
“How about Tom….”
“Naaa…I mean well…”
“No, the other one, he would not do that….”
“Oh you don’t even know she said so….”
This went on for the entire time while I waited in line and filled my soda cup. They obviously were relating something inportant. I found myself listening intently, trying to figure out who did what to whom simply by context. It was an impossible exercise. They were relating not communicating. I guess relating doesn’t require coherent sentences.
I sat down and started to tell my wife about this strange conversation, but couldn’t think of any way to describe what I heard. Not only could I not make any sense out of what they were saying but I couldn’t see any purpose to the conversation. My wife believes that this is a common generational thing, and that I am becoming a curmudgeon a bit early in life. She has a point. It was at this moment of self doubt that I had a terrifying thought.
The two young women were reading each others minds.
Just when I was going to go off on a rant about how the younger generation is going down hill, it hit me. Texting, made up words, abbreviations replacing real words, incomplete sentences, it is starting to paint an ugly picture. The younger generation is beginning to develop extra-sensory perception and the ability to read minds. They were finishing each others sentences in their minds and replying accurately to the others thoughts.
What’s worse is that I do not believe that I will ever be able to acquire this ability.
As I become older I fear that I will loose the ability to communicate to the younger generation. (Like this is a new concept) How will I be able to communicate with my doctors and nurses? Will I have to use a translator? Maybe by then there will be a computer that I can use to type in phrases and it will send out meaningful thoughts. Then it will receive thoughts and display a text message for me to understand what they are saying.
I just hope that nothing gets lost in the translation.
It could be embarrassing, especially to the easily distracted….
[I need to go to the bath room] – Typed into the computer.
Thought waves from the computer… “Bathroom needed”
Thought back from punk nurse “Pervert wants another sponge bath”
Computer texts [Wash yourself you sick old man]
Sometimes I am amazed, by exactly how far I can go on such little inspiration.