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09082014

Headless Frank...

advisor to the lovelorn, weary, confused, and the overly self-involved

headless frank

Dear Headless Frank:

I recently got a new TV and was very excited until I tried to turn it on. Three consternating hours later (including a long walk-through over the phone with tech support) and I was able to watch television. I had thought I was at least tech savvy-ish but apparently not. Is there any way I can start using new electronic devices faster and without the constant bewilderment?
—Notso Quickstart

Dear Notso—
Maybe turn back the clock—and I don’t mean the one on your cable box showing hours and minutes. I mean the only way you can quickly and efficiently configure and program your new devices is to be younger.

In fact, I can gauge your age to within a couple of years just by knowing how long it takes you to get a new TV, laptop, electronic tablet or phone operating smoothly.

Three hours says you are age 63-70; two hours means you are 60+. It just takes an hour if you are in your 50s. In your 40s you can have everything running smoothly in 30 minutes and at 30 and younger there’s never a question of how to set it up—you probably already threw out the instructions with the box.

How can you get faster if you’re in one of those upper age groups? I doubt you can—it really would be easier to figure out how to get younger (ointments, maybe).

But listen, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Either you die, or you get to age 70 and simply call tech support first thing!

Why waste time (which by now has become quite valuable) trying to do something you’ve never (EVER) been able to do without help before?!

This is known as the wisdom of age.

As a statue of a 13th century mendicant preacher, with a separated head and no moving parts of my own, that’s all I’ve got. Thanks for asking.

Signing off: Medulla oblongata.

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