You have heard me say many times that I am addicted to Facebook.

Consider a comment that turned up on my page this morning and tell me if Facebook is or is not a learning tool: “If West is capitalized it refers to the Western branch of human culture. If not capitalized it refers to a portion or direction in something else, e.g. the American west.”

Comments like this remind you of your own academic friends who never tire of teaching you little mnemonic tricks so you can remember the difference between “complement” and “compliment.” After 15 or 20 tries, you’d think they’d give up on you, but they never do.

Facebook gives me an opportunity to play with words.

Take, for example, the comment that I posted this morning about my old XP computer: “If you are a regular here, you know that I abandoned my beloved XP computer in November.

“Computer guru friend Mark souped up my wife Marsha’s Acer laptop with Windows 10 so I could use that.

“But, alas. I found I couldn’t work comfortably without my old XP computer and it is now once again in front of me here on my desk.

“If you are old, you know that things don’t always work out the way you want or expect them to.

“There is a lesson to be learned here. It is, Don’t throw away anything unless you are willing to bet your life that you will not be using it again.”

I didn’t have to wait long before a friend, who knows more than most of us about computers, posted a 12-paragraph reply outlining the risks of going online with an XP computer.

Tomorrow, after a few more friends have joined the chorus, I’ll post a picture of my desk, showing my old dead XP computer on its side and the laptop on top of it. The 8-inch width of the old computer brings the laptop screen up to eye level, and even closer to my eyes, so I don’t have to slouch over to see it.

A few of my friends with encyclopedic minds might puzzle over this and miss the mark altogether. On the other hand, friends who think like Sherlock Holmes or Miss Marple smile and very quickly put me in my place.

From the number of responses to my posts, it is clear that my Facebook friends like to hear of the problems encountered by a deaf old Maine man when dealing with his beautiful young trophy wife.

When you’re deaf you don’t hear things correctly. If you live next door to a sweet elderly couple who are always screaming at each other, their marriage is not necessarily on the rocks. Outside of writing each other notes, screaming is the only way they can communicate. What you are likely to hear a woman scream at her aged husband more than anything is, “You don’t listen.”

I got up from the supper table to get Marsha a piece of sausage out of the pan on the stove. I was struggling to get it aboard a spatula while she kept repeating something about pork.

I naturally thought there was also a piece of pork in the pan.

At last she shouted, and I realized she was saying, “Get it with the fork.”

My wife, Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, was raised in Connecticut, so the way she says “fork” sounds like “pork.” My “fork” rhymes with “squawk.”

Brother Jim has a phone with a voice called Alexa that is the verbal equivalent of the written give-and-take of Facebook. When he disagreed with something Alexa said the other day, it snapped back at him like he was a spoiled small child, “All right then. I won’t do it. Do it yourself.”

When people don’t really know who you are and they can’t see your face, they are likely to write something on Facebook that they wouldn’t tell their best friend. A recently retired businessman said now that he has nothing to do, he is so strung out that he has to drink a pint of “jet” black coffee at bedtime to calm himself down to the point where he can sleep.

A professor friend, who is about to publish a collection of his witty newspaper columns, sent me a nice note. It ended with, “I have some advanced copies and would like to gift you one if you will send me your address. Sort of a quid pro quo.”

I quickly “unfriended” him on Facebook. Would you have anything to do with a man who talks like a mob boss?

The humble Farmer can be heard Friday nights at 7 on WHPW (97.3 FM) and visited at:

www.thehumblefarmer.com/MainePrivateRadio.html


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