I've been spending some valuable time lately surfing the net for those recording studio "On Air" signs to hang on my home, as I curse the new-fangled, voice-calling, cyber innovation called Skype.
No doubt someone out there is tracking my steps as I bounce from Web site to Web site, checking out the 1940s RCA replica model and the TSC Studio Warning Light that's available for $199 with the words "RECORDING," "ON AIR" or "your own custom text legend."
I'm thinking that "SHUT UP ALREADY!!!" hung in place of the front door entrance light might work, which is kind of ironic because we're not allowed to say "shut up" in our house. That's a rule I laid down years ago when I also banished "I hate you."
But life rolls out in shades of gray and in this case "be quiet" and "pipe down," prefaced by a nicely spoken "please," simply won't do. I need something bright and loud and flashy that will grab my attention before I step over the threshold and utter something not meant for an outsider's ears.
It is the middle child's fault. She is the one who wrought this technology upon us, downloading Skype on her Macbook Pro computer so she could talk with the friends who live 5, 50 or 500 miles away while playing an online game called Vampire Wars.
Problem is, while chatting with my daughter, those friends can also hear the rest of us as we go about our business in what used to be the privacy of our own home.
So now it turns out, the same kind of technology that helps me do research and keeps me up to date with friends and loved ones through e-mail and Facebook has become a mixed blessing.
Thanks Al Gore.
Really, who needs to worry about illegal wire tapping when you have Skype in the house?
Not that these are my habits, but there are occasions when an obscenity or two gets dropped in formidable fashion, like, for instance, when someone is tripping over a big old pair of cowboy boots that are sitting in the foyer even though the middle child was told to pick them up three days ago. On occasion, someone might have to make a mad dash for the bathroom and maybe they don't get around to shutting the door all the way. Or perhaps someone mistakenly divulges some rather sensitive info by making the unfortunate announcement that they are going on a feminine product run and is anyone else in?
Needless to say, a little self editing is in order. Some of us need help with that.
Up until now, it's typically been the middle child's wide-eyed expression and a giggle emitting from her computer that stops said announcer in their tracks, after half of what would never be said in front of anyone else aside from the immediate family has already rolled off their tongue.
So, yeah, I'm thinking "SHUT UP ALREADY!!!" just might work.
I hate you, Skype.
Michele Miller can be reached at email@example.com or at (727) 869-6251.