By T. Daniel Lancaster
It doesn’t matter how unrelated things are, there always seems to be just a little common ground somewhere.
I recently encountered several situations that left me absolutely shaking my head, wondering if I’m the smartest man on the planet — or the dumbest. These incidents seem to have nothing in common, except that they were all near Bloomington.
On a timeline, these encounters range from the dawn of man to the dawn of the digital age, yet I felt like I got no solace, regardless of which direction I headed on those matrixes.
Recently I had to spend some time in Bloomington, Ind. Between stops at the granola-mart, a Free O.J. rally and a tailor shop where I found a pair of candy stripe trousers made of hemp, I still needed to go to the mall to pick up a pair of new shoes for my teenage son.
The shoes were only sold in a “skateboard life-style shop” which apparently means, that since I am gainfully employed, terminally unhip and only wear ball caps to ballgames, I was looked upon with great suspicion. However, once it was determined that I was not interested in any “720- half-pipe-shredding-You-Tube-video-making” or neck tattoos of Bob Marley, but only paying for the shoes and leaving before I needed a rabies shot — we parted company amicably -- me with my size 14 skateboard shoes and them with my Visa number, which probably being used to fund the overthrow of several Third World governments as we speak.
Upon leaving the store, I passed a vendor who was sure that she could help me reach my full potential as a person, simply by upgrading my phone. How could I not stop and listen to the path to a better way, a way without dieting, fitness, financial planning or listening to Tony Robbins? I had to hear more.
She said that there was a new tablet that was also a phone on the market, that would allow me to organize all, my contacts, music and social networks, making my current phone and tablet only fit for a cave-dwelling troglodyte.
Not wanting to be considered a troglodyte, especially after being looked upon so unfavorably at the skateboard shop, I said “lay it on me sister.”
I walked into the small store and was asked to please give them my name, mobile number and e-mail, and someone would talk with me shortly after my name appeared on the screen in the corner.
I looked confused — couldn’t I just wait and speak to someone when they were done talking to the prior customer?
“No, sir you have to wait for your name to be on the screen,” she said.
“Couldn’t I just watch the hip tech guy show someone else?” I asked.
“No sir, your digital footprint is completely different, so what works for him, might not work for you — now please wait for you name to appear on the screen,” she added. I said, “I’ll just come back later” and she reminded me that as soon as I left — my name would come off the waiting screen. So I walked away, leaving only traces of my digital footprint.I needed some fresh air so I headed to the one place where was clear near Bloomington, the Monroe-Morgan State Forest. I just want to take a quick drive to place where the size of my digital footprint wouldn’t matter and I could be alone with my thoughts.
Well, lo and behold, less than 24 hours later, I turned on my TV and there were those wacky Bigfoot hunters from Finding Bigfoot right in the very same woods — hunting for the elusive Southern Indiana Sasquatch.
They were Squatch calling, tree-knocking and talking to each other on the very same cool mobile devices that I so desperately wanted a look at 48 hours before.
I couldn’t stop watching. I learned that Southern Indiana is the perfect place for Bigfoots, because they like rolling hills, forests, water, food and I would assume basketball (especially at their size). They also like doughnuts, which is obvious, because who doesn’t like doughnuts.
I also learned by watching the show, that in spite of no remains of deceased Yeti, no videotape of big feet frolicking, no DNA evidence, no bigfoot bones, no Squatch droppings — the woods outside of Bloomington are FILLED with squatches.
So I had to wonder what has driven these creatures so deep into the woods that even highly-train professionals like these were unable to find any sign of them.
And the only logical conclusion I could come up with was since Bigfoots don’t have cell phones, they leave a tiny digital footprint.
And after spending time at the mall, I may want to join them in those same woods — without my new cell phone, but with my really big skateboard shoes.
Email Todd Lancaster at firstname.lastname@example.org