Lori Clinch

Lori Clinch is from North Platte. She is the mother of four sons. Her email address is loriclinch2010@gmail.com.

Ever since our son, Vernon, was a little guy, he’s had a knack for fixing things.

He’s always been able to repair items that needed tweaking, secure loose ends, and reattach limbs to broken action figures. This really came in handy when he was a youngster because that kid broke just about everything he got his grubby little hands on.

At an early age, Vernon took his crib apart, removed his own training wheels, and thanks to a screwdriver that wasn’t under lock and key, he removed the cupboard doors.

There was no stopping him.

Vernon’s talents weren’t limited to the world of mechanics. No sir, it’s electronics that truly intrigued him early on. He learned how to run the TV remote long before he was two, was fascinated by the buttons on the VCR and, much to my dismay, that little guy knew how to make a phone call to Grandma to report that his mommy said a bad word.

You can imagine how mesmerized he was when we purchased our first computer. Oh, the world that opened up for him! Vernon researched this, downloaded that and installed software like it was his job.

Although I was impressed with his techno-wisdom, I didn’t like Vernon toying with my computer so much. He was always manipulating my icons, messing with my desktop and I’ll be danged if he wouldn’t change my screensaver into a banner that said, “Vernon is cool.”

Worse yet, sometimes Vernon fixes things that don’t really need fixing and while he likes to stand back and present his revamp with a heartfelt, “Tada!” I sometimes like things just how they are.

Therefore, as Vernon approached our computer on his most recent visit to our humble abode, I shook like an iPhone set on vibrate.

“What are you doing?” I asked with great trepidation as he waltzed into the home office.

“I think it’s time we bring this dinosaur up to snuff,” he replied as he cracked his knuckles, rolled up his sleeves and adjusted my office chair to his liking.

“First of all,” he began as he went into a full-blown inquisition, “what are you using to access the Internet? Why is this your home page? Whoa, how many emails do you have? Okay, this is no good. What’s this program for? Are you really using that program? If you don’t know what it is, then you’re probably not using it. Let’s get rid of this, clean up that. Oh c’mon, you didn’t download this. Tell me you didn’t. You downloaded it, didn’t you?”

Then he started teaching and instructing and I have to tell you that he lost me somewhere between “bugs in a beta version” and “auto-updates that Apple patched in.”

“Why do you need this cord running from the printer to the computer?” he asked as he looked at the eight foot apparatus that ran the length of the wall.

“Oh? I don’t know,” I answered with a touch of sarcasm. “I suppose so that it will print?”

“Ok,” Vernon responded as he attempted to dumb things down for me, “but your printer is wireless.”

Before I could explain that the computer and the printer are like a little old couple who like things just how they are, Vernon was pulling cords, pushing buttons and making everything better — in his world.

Then he packed up his button pushing ways and returned with his beautiful wife to their Iowa home.

I adapted quite nicely to the changes Vernon made. I didn’t mind the Tom Brady theme that now dominated my desktop and came to terms with the new-fangled default search engine and, although I initially freaked out about him deleting 1,200 emails, I must say the purge was quite liberating.

But yesterday the printer wouldn’t print. Although it ran fine in the week prior to Vernon’s “repair” job, I’m still blaming this late-breaking development on him. I tried an uninstall and put the printer through a technological cleaning. Then, thinking it missed physical contact with the computer, I reattached the eight foot cord.

When nothing worked, I called Vernon to inform hin that there was no printing going on in the Clinch home office.

“Oh, c’mon,” he exclaimed with frustration, “can’t you fix anything yourself?” Then he made it apparent that I’m going to have to rectify the situation without his technical support.

At least Vernon isn’t around to call my mother and report to her that I said a bad word.