A Curmudgeon’s Christmas

December 24, 2010 Comments Off

Originally published as a comment to a post at My Law License.

Christmas arrived once more, and the old curmudgeon at Simple Justice sat hunched over his keyboard. It was an old keyboard, once white, now stained a light, tannish brown. Some keys were missing, but he didn’t care. He’d never need to use “PrintScr” again. Not with his latest version of DOS. The large, yellowed computer box sat under his desk, streaked with shoe polish from being kicked on particularly trying days. The words, UNIVAC displayed faintly on its face next to the 5 1/4 inch floppy drive.

The faint light from the green, monochrome screen made his face look ruddy, but he didn’t care. He was alone. Just he and his blawg.

Tonight, he wouldn’t be disturbed. His phone, with its crystalish, rotary dial never rang at this time of night, and the cell phone, mandated by his wife, sat silent, turned off. The words JITTERBUG glowed lightly in bold cursive. AARP said it was the best phone. By god, if AARP says it’s good, then it must be damn good.

He tried to play nicely with others. He really did. He even opened a contest for the best blawg post, but that brought him nothing but despair. Some guy named Jamison shat upon the page with dozens of submissions, tearing a hole in the bandwidth. One of the posts, he suspected, was from ESPN, and not a blawg at all.

Tonight was the night when everyone across the blawgosphere would get their new toys. There were touch things.  There were internet things. There were books in computers. There was legal research that looked like Google. There were Judges who, starting tonight, would start accepting motions filed over email. There were gadgets and gizmos. Some with apples, and some with other, glowing displays. To him, they were all fruity. The bile welled-up in his throat.

“Merry F-ing Christmas” he thought to himself as he prodded the yellowed keys. He’d be done in a few minutes with this post. Free again, for awhile.

Then, he’d do what he always did at this festive time of year while everyone else dreamed of gifts with lithium-ion batteries. He’d replace the pocket parts on all of his federal reporters. In these days of electronic unhappiness, it was the one thing that gave him sheer glee, if only for a while.

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