Uncle Pumblechook Explains the Internet

I'm sure you have struggled to understand the intricacies of the Internet.I, too, had this problem, but as usual, in times of crisis, I turned to mymentor, Uncle Pumblechook. I interviewed him on the premises of his company,Rent-a-Guru, Inc. Let's see if he can answer some of your questions. My guess ishe can't. Nevertheless, here is his penetrating analysis.

WR: Tell us, Uncle Pumblechook, just what is the Internet?

UP: The answer lies in the etymology of the word "Internet." "Net"means "anything serving to catch or ensnare." "Inter" means "toplace in a grave; bury." Therefore, Internet is a medium that snares andburies you.

WR: That's sounds ominous. Is it really that bad?

UP: Bad? Already, six risk managers have been found stuck to theirchairs in a catatonic state, staring at their monitors. The only thing thatkeeps them alive is intravenous feeding.

WR: Really! What keeps them so absorbed?

UP: Hope. Pure hope. There is so much out there in cyberspace:late-breaking news, home remedies for procrastination, bad lawyer jokes, ladiesin lingerie, chat groups with people who know less than you do, propaganda fromthe radical middle, and lord knows what else. It's infinitely mind-boggling.

WR: Sounds fascinating. But what does the Internet do?

UP: The word on the street is that the Internet will revolutionize theworld, eliminate the use of cash, wipe out insurance agents, bring world peace,slice bread, choose your deductible level, eliminate pollution liability, giveyou access to news before it happens, and allow you to disseminate your hard-wonknowledge of how things really work to millions of people at once.

WR: Astonishing! Can anyone use it?

UP: No. People over age 19 are out of it: too set in their ways. Collegestudents all are on line, learning the system, and will soon take over. Ifyou're over 19, you might as well take early retirement.

WR: But here we are in your company's office and I see lots of adultsworking away on computers in little cubicles.

UP: It appears that way, but let's go peek inside one of the cubicles.Here we are. What do you see?

WR: Why, that's amazing! I can't believe it. It's — it's slicing bread.

Copyright © 1996 by David Warren
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