OPINION COLUMNS

The Internet and the coffee shop

By Gerre Joiner | Published Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Many interesting topics have been discussed recently at the coffee shop. They include the following:

Machine Gun Kelly: We discovered where he died, how he died and where he’s buried.

We discussed the location of the farm place on which Machine Gun Kelly and his gang holed up with the prisoner who (in their minds) was to net them $200,000? (Hint: It was in Wise County!)

Gerre Joiner

Gerre Joiner

We discussed the raising (if you can say they were “raised”) of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde and the location of their raising. (Everyone should know this. Young people, if you don’t know who Bonnie and Clyde were, you need to do some research.)

We’ve looked up obituaries for famous people. We’ve actually used the Internet to view tombstones in Grannis, Ark. One of our guys says, “Gerre, show these guys that tombstone in Arkansas.” After the “viewing,” another man exclaims, “How’d they get that picture on there?” Another adds, “… and why is that picture on there?”

We’ve talked about (and researched on “the internets”) what a bad haircut looks like. A person can look for pictures of bad haircuts on the internets! Amazing! A man says, “Why is that picture on there?”

We’ve told stories about motorcycle “bikers” kissing the wrong person. If you’d like to know more about this funny story, let me know. I’ll send you a link!

We’ve talked about the proper way to remove moles from your place. Did you know that there is a device that actually pumps an explosive gas into the mole’s tunnel? The operator (the disgruntled landowner) clicks a device that ignites the gas in the tunnel. This sure-fire method is not for the faint-hearted. This is not a catch/release business. The moles die. The tunnels collapse. Not one of our guys has ever tried this method. We all have day jobs.

We heard about (and then researched on “the internets”) the term, “Redneck Mouse Trap.” The trap uses a stick, a plastic soft drink bottle, a 5-gallon bucket and some peanut butter. It’s a surefire way to catch an unsuspecting mouse or rat. There is a catch-release option associated with this method of vermin control. None of our guys are in favor of the “release” option.

We have debated funeral details (visitation times and service times) and used “the internets” to break the tie. The online version of the Wise County Messenger is our tie-breaker on issues of this sort.

We’ve seen photographs of grandchildren on the Internet. The scenario is this: I am “friends” on Facebook with a family member of a coffee drinker. He mentions a grandchild. I say, “I’ve seen pictures of that baby.” I see an “Oh, really?” look and go to the Facebook page that includes a picture of the little thing, and the grandfather says, “How did that picture get on there?”

To the casual observer, the topics we’ve discussed/researched may not seem to be of much significance. But consider coffee shop conversations before the Internet. Before the Internet, a man had to carry pictures of his grandchildren in his wallet. Residents of Wise County might live and die without knowing how close they are to real-world gangster history. They’d be late for funerals. We’d be overrun with moles and voles.

We all need to thank Al Gore for inventing the Internet!

Gerre Joiner is a semi-retired church musician and has lived in Decatur since 1999.

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