In a Sow’s Ear 6-14-10 |

In a Sow’s Ear 6-14-10

Dear Mr. Gates,

I want to thank you from my current abode on the second floor of the maximum security hospital for the mentally unhinged. We are all here in varying stages of discombobulation – a condition caused from exposure to Microsoft VISTA – your gift to the world. Were you having a bad day? I don’t exactly blame you for my incarceration; I’m sure you had high-IQ minions constructing the unbelievably tangled muddle. I do, however, hold you responsible for VISTA. What were you thinking?

What used to take mere moments to formulate a piece of writing now requires hours hunched over a keyboard, squinting at a “ribbon” of choices across the top of the screen. I’m trying to write a 600-word column. So far, it’s been two days of frustration as I attempt to navigate VISTA’s convoluted commands.

While you and the high-IQ youngsters (and they’re all youngsters, else they’d make the words big enough to see without resorting to magnifying glasses) are in orbit flying from planet to planet, while most of the rest of us are bound to earth by gravitational forces. Is confusing the hoi polloi a game with you?

Calving season here in Hicksville is over but due to VISTA, we’ve lost one of our best night calvers. He’s not only a good ranch hand, he’s a computer geek, so he decided to apply VISTA methods to calving the heifers. He punched up VISTA for heifer number 134.

VISTA: Have you chosen heifer number 134? Check yes or no.

Calver: Yes.

VISTA: The brown heifer with the brockle face? Check yes or no.

Calver: Yes

VISTA: Is this heifer ready to give birth? Check yes or no.

Calver: Yes!

VISTA: Are you sure this is the cow? Check yes or no.

Calver: Yes! Yes!

VISTA: Would you prefer calving a different bovine? Check yes or no.

Calver: NO!

VISTA: Is this birthing to take place in a secured or unsecured barn? Check Secured or Unsecured.

Calver : UNSECURED!!!!

VISTA: Are you sure you wish to go ahead with this birthing? Check yes or no.

Calver: YES!!!!!!!!

VISTA: Is this birth a default birth or breech? Check default or breech.


VISTA: Will you wish to use obstetrical calf pullers on the animal? Check yes or no.

Calver: !@#$%^&*()_+!!! YES!!

VISTA: Obstetrical straps come in a variety of colors. Do you wish to change from the default color? Check yes or no. If yes, see color wheel for theme colors.

Calver: (tearing out wads of his hair) I DON’T CARE!

VISTA: Do you wish to change style of calving? Check yes or no.

At this point the calver began talking in tongues while sobbing and race-walking backwards around the calving shed.

Mr. Gates, I’m sorry to report that the poor fellow is in a room across the hall from mine. He’s drooling, whimpering and has lost control of his bowels. The doctors have prescribed strong medication along with complete withdrawal from any computer harboring a VISTA program.

We’ve both been assigned to at least six months membership in a VISTA-users’ support group.

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