I have been watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show on Me-TV, and I must confess: I envy Mary Richards. Not her hair. Nor her cozy little part-of-a-house apartment. Nor her architectural-salvage M.
I envy Mary Richards the simplicity of her technology. The sum total: A table-top telephone. A Sony portable television, reception adjusted by built-in antenna. A Sony stereo system: a receiver/radio/turntable unit and two small speakers. A portable manual typewriter.
Mary never had to figure out how to get an old-phone ringtone into a cell phone. Her ring came with the phone, loud and clear. Mary never had to reprogram her television after getting a new cable box. She watched what was already “on” and reprogrammed by changing the channel. Mary did not have to buy a ground loop isolator to fix a problem with a humming turntable, only to find that the device failed to fix the problem. Her turntable was grounded. Mary did not to have to uninstall the software package that came with her HP printer and download a simpler and better package from Apple. She used Wite-Out.
Of course, Mary never made it past 1977.
Jokes for Murray Slaughter to insert in the above paragraphs:
“Cell phone? Sounds like something you’d use in prison.”[I had just about the same stereo as a teenager. The simplest way to remove a turntable hum might be to get an extension cord and run all components to the same outlet. And Elaine got it out of me: I do kinda envy Mary her apartment.]
“Cable box? Sounds like what Marie uses for storing sweaters.”
“A humming turntable? Doesn’t it know the words?”
“Download? Sounds like what Lou’s gonna do to Ted in about five minutes.”