By Val Enders
Those of us who are computer savvy, and by that I mean people who can at least turn on the machine, occasionally need to avail ourselves of a search engine in order to help us answer a question or two. Searching on the internet is really an art form and for the lazy person such as myself, it’s way out of my league. Sure I can type a query into Google, or Ask.com and usually find out relatively quickly at least a general answer. However, sometimes I’m taken on a ride that would rival the roller coaster at Coney Island.
Since I heard on the radio a fire was caused by batteries in a junk drawer, I decided to check it out. Typing in a few words, I was immediately taken to a website that mentioned a myriad of causes for fires and although rare, this could actually happen. Quickly scanning the page, I was intrigued by a small byline that read “It Burns! It Burns!!! Naturally I had to check this out.
The story had nothing to do with my actual question, but seemed very interesting. Turns out, a young man had been doing food prep in the kitchen. He went to the washroom and had inadvertently gotten hot pepper juice on his nether regions. Apparently, he did not wash his hands before doing his business and this was the result of prepping the habaneros. He was in a lot of pain and was begging for help. (Why would he ask this question online; wouldn’t you head as fast as you can for the Dr.’s office or, at the very least, phone Health Link?) He was rewarded with a myriad of suggestions and eventually everything was resolved. I wondered why so many people actually knew how to deal with this problem? Does it happen that often?
Now I was dragged into the world of laser treatments, burn scar remedies, anti-itch creams and anti fungal cures. I was swept along by enticing links that lead from one quirky site to another, going from volcano hotspots to the lyrics of “Hot Spot” by Foxy Brown, whomever that is. The lyrics, by the way, made no sense at all.
It was like a roller coaster and I couldn’t get off. I was pulled along by intriguing titles that led me to outrageous news stories, ads for way too many personal products and sites that made me blush. Two hours passed and I turned into a zombie; one of the undead and staring at my computer. I weakly lifted my aching hand. I hit the last link.
Suddenly I’m on a weird page at “YouTube” watching some guy tie his shoes without using his hands. I lower my eyes down to the comments and there in tiny letters is a cry for help. Some poor surfer, like me, was asking the million dollar question….. “How the heck did I get here?”
We were kindred souls – riding the wave of the internet – who’d been trapped on the YouTube nut page.
At least now I know how to take care of a Hot Pepper burn where hot peppers should not burn. No, I’m not going to tell you, you’ll just have to look it up for yourself. I’ll see you when you get to the weird page and join the rest of us lost souls.
You can surf, but beware of the undertow.
Author Val Enders resides in Spruce Grove, Alberta. She married her high school sweetheart, Richard, and they’ve been together for over 40 years. Val doesn’t consider herself a writer by profession, rather she writes more for her own enjoyment. An accomplished artist, Val’s a member of the Allied Arts Council of Spruce Grove. Visit Val’s “Journey Into Art” website at www.vals.webs.com