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By Katie Bourg
Senior Daze 

A clearinghouse of curiosity


Some days my curiosity overrides my smart cells. Many days, in fact. Usually a good night’s sleep will settle me down. Or my memory will fail before I act. Or cowardice might intercept my ability to do something foolish. Or some other element out there in the universe makes the decision to save me from myself. Maybe it’s all of the above. But they weren’t around this fall, when I needed them.

I don’t go for gambling in any form. I always figured I wasn’t meant to be rich, pretty, or very smart. So I shouldn’t mess with fate or fast talkers. (My husband was my one serious misstep, which turned out to be a 57-year delight.)

I have always assumed my one small bit of wisdom came to me early, when dealing with my father. It made no difference what I might have wanted to take a chance of ‘doing,’ he would have figured it out before I did. He would also have let me know that it wouldn’t work, and I’d better not try it. I was more successful with my mother, but that’s another story.

Both my favorite men are now gone, and I have been on my own for many years. One would think I might have overcome earlier errors in judgment. Not so. It is the computer’s fault, not mine. It keeps throwing things at me that I would never seek out on my own. As I said in the beginning, my curiosity has been known to give me problems.

It started a couple of months ago. I don’t even remember when. I forgot to delete the first message on my e-mail screen. Maybe I didn’t really read it. It was still there the next day. I was busy and didn’t delete it. It was still there a week later. And another one or two had followed. I won’t win a million. I’m not the type.

A week later a few more showed up. I wondered where they got my e-mail address. If I opened one I might find out. Ten more appeared. I turned the ‘puter off for the night. I’d deal with it in the morning. How far could this game continue? I took a better look at some of the offers being made. One or two looked rather interesting. Of course they weren’t anything I needed. Still they might be worth a look. Then, too, I got to wondering just how far this little game would be carried on. Might as well give it a try. Just once.

More messages followed. I opened a few. I don’t remember feeling any need for caution. I may not have been feeling anything. I was too busy looking at all the offers and promises. Soon I was spending way too much time at the ‘puter. My eyes were getting bloodshot, and my legs were cramping. I was supposed to go singing, and my friends were waiting for a ride. I forgot to put my wet clothes in the dryer. I even forgot to go to bed on time, and overslept the next morning. I rushed out of bed and into the arms of my ‘puter. Another 15 messages were waiting with offers. I, who struggle mightily with my weight, began shrinking for lack of nourishment. Well, coffee, anyway.

I looked at my outstanding number of e-mails. I was hoarding 156 letters. One hundred and nine were from the same source, and I didn’t even know their first names. Some were pleasantly teasing. Others were warnings that I must not miss deadlines or I would not get my million dollars. I answered many. Others I hid in a separate file. I thought the contest would come to an end. It didn’t seem to.

My fingers are tired, and considerably shorter than when all this started. I forgot to feed Charlie the Cat. NOW THAT’S UNFORGIVABLE! He told me so and clawed my leg.

Better give up the whole thing, and go get a band-aid.

Still--a million?


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