A bum deal

When it comes to bridging the digital divide, I’ll admit to a few, tentative steps from the rocky abyss of the analog age.

Yes, I joined Facebook and have successfully reconnected with most of my graduating class as well as a sixth-grade sweetheart. I pay $54 a month for a cell phone with all the bells and whistles, none of which I have the foggiest idea how to operate, and even have bragging rights to a new flatscreen TV. Truth be told, though, I still don’t know the difference between a tweet and a twit. And all this technology, for the most part, is kept safely at an arm’s distance.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, there’s just something creepy about putting oneself out there on the worldwide screen for all to see, for eternity. As in, forever, or at least until the day you die and no longer have to endure the shame.

Things were so much simpler in the old days, before all this real-time, live-streaming, scype-ing, podcasting nonsense. Back when “Candid Camera” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos” were all that was needed for a good, hardy laugh at someone else’s expense. Nowadays, you’ve got people shooting full-length feature films on their i-Phones for god’s sake. All I can say is, god forbid the Internet was only a figment of Al Gore’s imagination during my formative years. I’d probably still be locked up in reform school. I will say, however, that I do have an inkling of pity for the youth of today, despite the fact that I hold them mostly responsible for all this new-fangled techno crap. Gone are the days of trying to explain away the dent in the car or the black Sharpie facial tattoos. Now, not only can parents see the obligatory pass-out eyebrow-shaving taking place, courtesy of Youtube, but the number of Natty Lights that went into the beer bong to get to that point.

Nevertheless, judging from the fact that my last beer bong was confiscated by hotel security in 1988, I figured I was safe. So imagine my surprise when my husband – using cell phone technology no less – made the announcement that he had seen a video of me, on Youtube of all places. “Yeah, you’re riding your bike … somewhere,” he said.

Sure, my memory may be a little more selective these days, but as far as I knew, I had not starred in any biking videos (well, maybe in my dreams.)

“What?” I asked perplexed. “Are you sure it’s me?”

“It’s you,” he confirmed, “you’re talking … to some guy.”

The plot – however limited it probably was – thickened. Of course, if I was technologically savvy, I could have pulled said incriminating evidence up on some impossibly small, handheld device to confirm my identity and/or trigger my graying matter into recall mode. Alas, I was miles from the nearest internet connection and forced to rely on good, old-fashioned neurological impulses.

Suddenly, it dawned on me. A few weeks back, I encountered two kindly (or so I thought) gents on the trail. They and their $10,000 worth of metal had made the pilgrimage to Durango from L.A. in search of fat tire nirvana – and had found it by way of every inch of singletrack in Horse Gulch (or so they thought.) Feeling generous, I offered to take them to one last, super-secret stash – to which they half-heartedly agreed. OK, so I did think it was a little strange that one of them was sporting a helmet cam. But I had encountered many of those over the years, and had yet to show up on someone’s random vacation video.

Till now. I cringed as my husband later cued up the spot on our home computer. I know everyone’s supposed to have their 15 minutes of fame, I was just hoping that when I my big debut came, there would be a lot less “butt.”

“The camera adds 10 pounds,” my husband said, partly trying to console me, but mostly trying to head off several weeks of the dreaded “do I look fat in these pants?” dilemma. (Hint: Men, this is a trick question. There is no right answer. When asked, feign deafness or quickly leave the room.)

Let’s just say, the helmet-cam didn’t exactly capture my best side. See, when god was handing out booty, I got a second heaping helping. Sure, it was great during that 30-second span in 1992 when J. Lo and the Flygirls were all the rage. And there are times it comes in handy, like skiing bumps or playing musical chairs, but there’s a reason god didn’t give me eyes in the back of my head.

“Dear god!” I gasped in horror not experienced since I was forced to watch my wedding video several years ago. “How did you ever find that? By Googling ‘Colorado Butt Disease?’”

Unfortunately, unlike the fateful wedding video, I could not simply yank the offending tape from the machine and send it to an early demise in the Bondad dump. No, this vile piece of anatomical documentation – all nine excrutiatingly long minutes of it – was completely beyond my control. And the worst part was, I wasn’t even drunk (although my green and orange ensemble will do nothing to remove Durango from any worst-dressed lists).

On the bright side, as of my first – and last – viewing, it only had 85 hits, probably most from my husband who seemed to find it morbidly fascinating. By the same token, I only had 85 hits. I mean, there are Rotor Rooter men who’ve seen more traffic. Talk about a bum deal .

I secretly thanked god for the misspelling in the title and hoped my 15 minutes of shame would soon pass into internet oblivion, along with all the other pointless, boring, injurious videos on which people have wasted countless hours of precious time. Sure, I may never get those nine minutes of my life back – but hey, at least I’ve got back. And next time I see some dude sporting a helmet cam, it’ll be my cue to hightail it out of there.

– Missy Votel



In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
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January 26, 2024
Paper chase

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January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows