08 June, 2009

The end of a civilization

During my travels I stopped at a couple of places to try to call my wife. I tried to use two pay phones. Both of them were dead. One of these was at Mississippi's Welcome Center on the border with Alabama on I-59. When I mentioned it to the security guard, he expressed his regrets and asked if I wanted to use his cell phone. No, not really.

Likewise, I stopped at a Wendy's and asked for a small Coke, no ice. I worked for Wendy's twenty years ago, and when the manager took my order I expressed my surprise at having received a "large". She laughed—she's been working for Wendy's a while, too—and we talked about how the sizes of cups and fry containers have changed over the years.

And, of course, I used my credit card to buy gas all along the journey. I carried only $5 cash, and felt no qualms whatsoever.

I can't imagine any of this twenty years ago—back when the release of a new personal computer was still "Wow!" rather than "Yawn..."

One civilization has ended, and a new one has begun. Not sure how I feel about that.

No comments: