The Buck Stops Here

Remember back before there were computers? I don’t, not technically, but that’s only because my personal father is a computer programmer, among other things, so we always had at least one about the place. In the very earliest days it was a portable computer called the Roadrunner that was basically a big plastic box with a handle on one side and a screen on one end, which could be covered and protected during transport by the removable keyboard. My interactions with it were limited to the occasional game of a Dig Dug knockoff and everyone having to tiptoe around the house when it was in use lest our footsteps cause vibrations that would crash the hard drive.

Okay, so the point is that once upon a time, not very many people had personal computers, and then they did, and then everyone got email and slowly became more familiar with things like Nigerian scams and chain letters regarding how Bill Gates was dying to give away free Xboxes or whatever if only you would forward this email to your entire address book. But back in 1989, when I was 7 or so, I didn’t know about the Internet or Nigeria or that there were doctors out there who would deny life-saving surgery to innocent children just because they weren’t liked enough.

All I knew was that when my cousin Kimberly sent me a chain letter (through the mail! with a stamp!), it specifically told me to send her some stickers and to copy and send the letter on to 5 new people. And I didn’t. It’s clear that my overzealous respect for authority was already at play at this young age because I knew that my Aunt Carolynn had helped her with the letter and I knew that my Aunt Carolynn would know that I hadn’t followed the instructions, so the next time we saw them, I actively avoided her so I wouldn’t get in trouble.

Why didn’t you send the letters, Katie? She would say.

Why didn’t you follow the instructions?

I’m not mad, just disappointed.

(Of course, none of this actually happened: not a word was ever mentioned about it from then till now. Now that the silence has been broken.)

Well guess what, Internets—I’m about to do it again. My friend and former coworker Marie tagged me for a Liebster Award, which instructs me to answer 11 questions, give 11 random facts about myself, and write 11 new questions for 11 other lucky recipients to answer. Only I’m not gonna.

I thought about it. But then I realized that while I really like blathering on about myself (obvs), I read almost zero blogs to pass the love on to (blog community? I’m just writing into a vacuum, right?). Plus there was all the thinking involved (11 x 11 x 11 x 11! That’s a lot of 11s!). So instead I’ll use Marie’s excellent questions for individual blog post inspiration sometime. You know, because I blog all the time. What with the new(ish) baby and all. You know.


  1. I recently got that award…and didn’t pass it on. Because I actually DID try a chain letter one time with real stamps and letters, and it didn’t work. So I’m politely done with it too. :)

  2. Well, now I know what really happened. Although – I have no recollection of the event and it has long been forgotten.

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