This here’s Stretch Coyote talkin’ at ya.

There’s been a wagonload of palaver lately about connectin’ just about everything up to the Internet including my refrigerator and even, for gall darn sakes, my toaster. Can you believe it? And the kind of folks who walk around holdin’ their smart phones screen-up and on the ready—should there be some interesting sandwich somebody they know took a bite of—seem to be all for it.

No kiddin’!

Some of ‘em are already hookin’ up their vital signs to the World Wide Web, just in case they feel a calcium deficiency or some such thing comin’ on. Now if you got a serious ailment that needs round-the-clock inspection, then OK, I get it. But somehow all this techno-hunger reminds me of my cousin Alpern who once weighed about 347 pounds until he gave up cheeseburgers. He was eatin’ cheeseburgers round the clock for nearly 20 years until he finally saw the light. In fact, it was the light in the bathroom which he could not get into anymore as he’d grown too big to get past the doorway. That’s when he decided enough was enough—cheeseburgerwise.

Now there’s a new concept: Enough is enough.

When it comes to technology, I don’t see any sign of the general public sayin’ enough is enough. It seems like the main idea of how to sell a new product is to put a computer chip or two inside and connect it to the Internet. And sure enough, folks will line up to buy it.

Now my grandfather, who grew up on a small Texas farm, used to tell me about the grandeur of sittin’ around a campfire sippin’ hot coffee from a tin cup, lookin’ up at a million stars and listenin’ to the coyotes' sweet songs echo through the chilly night air. He said there’s somethin’ kinda magic about puttin’ everything down after a busy workin’ day and just lettin’ the natural world speak to your soul.

I don’t want my life to be boiled down to a bunch of data on a computer screen. And I don’t want the Internet warnin’ me about eatin’ too much chili or tellin’ my toaster how to toast my toast!

Now I know there’s a lot of helpful stuff made possible by this technological stampede. But I also know there’s a lot more that takes up too much of the little bit of free time we’ve got here on Planet Earth. I’d like to think folks can learn how to tell the difference. Maybe they will, or maybe their grandchildren will.

Meanwhile, on my way to work, I almost ran over this college girl who stepped right out in front of my truck. She was busy checkin’ somethin’ out on her dang dumb smart phone. Lucky thing I was just listenin’ to Willie Nelson on my 8-track and not checkin’ my blood pressure or sendin’ a text message to my refrigerator.

Now if only the guy behind me in the yuppified midnight-black BMV had not been sendin’ a text to his stockbroker, then I wouldn’t have this big dent in my rear bumper. But I guess I can live with it. After all, it’s a pretty old truck. Doesn’t even have a computer screen.

~ Stretch Illustration by John Sherffius
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