Monday, March 23, 2009


In the middle of an impossibly hectic schedule, my computer died. I didn’t want to wait on the computer shop to fix it, so I called the tech guy and was connected to a number where they were playing some ancient Tommy Dorsey tunes. I swayed with the melody for what seemed like an eternity before the song segued into what sounded like a Turkish song, with a short-necked unfretted lute and a kudum drum in the background. I didn’t realize for a moment that the chanting was someone addressing me in a language that sounded suspiciously like English.

“How may I help you?” he sang.

I described my problem in as few words as possible and waited through a long, pregnant silence while he processed the input.

“You talk kind of funny,” he said at last. “We get Law and Order over here on the telly. You sound like that actor Fred Thompson who plays the district attorney.”

“Well, we are from the same neck of the woods,” I explained.

“You live in the woods?” he said.

Sigh . . . .

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