By RAHN ADAMS
Way back in the 1970s, my favorite TV commercial was one featuring the jingle that began, “Simple pleasures are the best….”
Do you remember the product being sold? Nah, me neither.
That was ages ago when everything was so much different from now. Back then, we had Nixon, Watergate and the war in Vietnam. The Soviet Union was our enemy. And we lived under the threat of nuclear war. Sounds like the Dark Ages, huh?
So in the spirit of modern times, I’m typing this column with my thumbs, one eye on my phone’s battery level. Why so careful? Because I intend to type more than 280 characters, and I don’t want my phone to launch or flush my thoughts unilaterally. It has an evil mind of its own sometimes.
I’m on both Twitter and Facebook, and I considered posting this as a series of tweets and as a longer-than-usual status update for my nine followers and 293 friends to scroll past. But that would be disingenuous since I also intend to limit my use of both social media platforms for the foreseeable future.
As I did a few years ago, I’ve decided to go “old school” again by dusting off the trusty Smith-Corona to correspond with friends who want to relive the tactile joys of using our oldest text-based social medium, the U.S. Postal Service. It ain’t free like Facebook, but it’s dirt cheap, less habit forming, and harder for Russians to hack. And I’ll include a stamped, self-addressed postcard for you to write me back. What a deal!
At my age, few simple pleasures surpass opening my mailbox — the metal one mounted outside our front door, not all the flashy “You’ve got mail!” ones online — and finding there an envelope bearing a card or letter from a flesh-and-blood friend, not from a soulless bot or troll. Even a postcard is better than an email or text message.
I prefer letters, though, writing them and receiving them. Most of the time, a letter — especially one composed on a typewriter — is more deliberate than any other written communication. I have to think about what I want to say and how best to say it when I’m seated at my typewriter. Having to use Wite-Out is messy.
If you’ll allow me this one political comment, that’s the main problem with our president’s unsupervised use of Twitter: he’s able to shoot off his unadvised thoughts to millions of followers without really thinking, as if his off-the-cuff spoken words and never-ending campaign speeches aren’t bad enough.
Meanwhile, his correspondence office still hasn’t answered the letter I mailed him a full year ago on Inauguration Day (attached below). That pretty much sums up this administration’s arrogance toward the least, the last and the lost in America and the world at large.
So while I’m waiting, I’ll check back here at Half Fast Living every week or two to share friendly updates on Timberley and me. As usual, you’re welcome to comment or ask questions below — even about ongoing medical issues — and we’ll try to respond without too much delay.
Or, if you’d like to receive a real letter, send your address to email@example.com or post it below with your comment.
As the old advertising jingle went, life’s simple pleasures are the best. And the simpler, the better.