Thursday, May 25, 2017

Text & Emoticons


I'm probably not the best person to be doing this... using emoticons to inject 'feeling' into a factual story. I own and operate a discontinued Motorola RAZR V3 flip phone with text messaging disabled. Enough Said.

And while I know little about emoticons, I do know that the sideways smiley face :-) (colon-dash-parenthesis) was first used in an email sent on September 19, 1982 by Scott Fahlman, a research professor at Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science to indicate light-heartedness in a text joke that might be mistaken for being sarcastic or serious.

And so, these quirky little keyboard strokes not only function as cute symbolic shortcuts, but can also suggest intent in text when facial expressions and body language are not present.

Here... I present a series of events... with emoticons and their meanings.

In the words of Stravinsky to his orchestra... "Once more with feeling."

April 9, 2017... Sunday

Bruce died.
Our 20-year-old, metallic champagne-colored Chevy van, with 155,973 miles on its odometer, has died from massive engine failure.
:( (sad)

Michael, my husband, is both capable and confident that he can make the necessary repairs himself and bring Bruce back to life.
:) (happy)

The repairs will take weeks to complete.
:O (shocked)

It's now three weeks. Bruce is still in a coma. And I've been holed up at home with a loop playing in my head of Willie Nelson singing, "On the road again. Just can't wait to get on the road again."
:-[ (pouting)

May 5, 2017... Friday

We decide to rent a car for the weekend. We're told by the dealership that the only car they have left, isn't the compact we reserved, but a brand-new Infinity QX80 SUV (purchase price starting at $63,000 and renting for about $200 a day). They're giving it to us for the originally quoted price of a compact: $9.99 a day, for three days.
:@ (exclamation "What???")

Knowing we'll probably never be in such an elite vehicle again, we run errands, lots of errands: post office, library, three supermarkets (Acme, Fresh Market, and Whole Foods) three craft stores (Michael's, AC Moore, and Jo Ann Fabrics) Bed Bath & Beyond, Bob and Ron's World Wide Stereo, and Target... more errands than we should attempt in one day, but this vehicle, which we've named 'The Behemoth,' demands to be on the road, not sitting idly in a driveway at home.
:D (big grin)

Once home (7:30 PM) we realize we haven't eaten all day. Beyond starved and too tired to cook, or dine in a restaurant, we discuss take out.
>:( (grumpy)

Only we can't decide what to eat. Fifteen minutes pass. We narrow our choices to pizza or pasta. But which? I suggest flipping a coin. Michael tosses a quarter. It lands on tails. We're running on vapors and forget to assign heads or tails to each item.
%-/ (braindead)

We declare pizza, heads and pasta, tails. One flip and it's heads... pizza. Michael reaches for the phone to place an order, but an order where? Salerno's is out, too far away. Whole Foods? Pizza Box? Trios? The clock keeps ticking. We return to the coin. Heads, Whole Foods, tails, Trios. Heads again. Now it's heads, Whole Foods, tails, Pizza Box. And what about toppings???
:l (indecision)

Instantly, Michael and I have the same thought... that this could go on all night into the wee hours of the morning. And by morning, someone might find us: splayed out, laying side by side, on the kitchen floor, with a shiny silver coin between us and the day's headline.. "Couple Found X_X (dead) From Hunger."
:'D (crying with laughter)

Two more weeks pass...

May 18, 2017... Thursday

Truck repairs are complete: the engine has been restored, front shock absorbers, spark plugs. and wires have been replaced. Bruce is resuscitated and lives to run another day... hopefully years, not days.
:)) (very happy)

May 19, 2017... Friday

With today the last of the promotional weekend deals until after Labor Day, we decide to rent one last car, another compact, this time to do more tootling around and less running of errands. We're given a new Fiat 500X... and for just a second, I think I hear the voice of a young boy (from the Mazda television commercial) whisper in my ear... "ZOOM ZOOM."
:<> (surprised) and :) (happy)

Safe and :) (happy) travels to you!

XOX... Dyan

P.S. Watch ZOOM ZOOM here. And if you're still wondering... we eventually ordered that pizza... a pie topped with: mushrooms, olives, roasted garlic and sausage... from Whole Foods.

More tales next month
"Here and Next"