Know What I Hate? Introducing HRU’s new columnist Merv Oswalt

by Merv Oswalt

Pleased to meet you. I’m Merv Oswalt and I’m an old-timer and proud of it.

I’m probably the last person you’d expect to find writing a ‘blog. In fact, before today, I thought a blog was just something that I used to cough up back in the good old days, after a smoky all-nighter at my local teletheatre. But those days are gone now, too, I guess.

I know horses and tracks and I learned how to read a program back when the rest of the kids in my class were tearing up over a pig and a spider web, but, technologically speaking, I basically got left at the hitching post around the time that fax machines and VCRs came into fashion. And I still can’t get my head around email. How is it that I can check messages meant for me on your computer? Are they in my computer or not? How does the computer down at the library have my messages on it? I don’t trust it, but my wife, Bernie, and the kids say that it’s okay.

They also think that it’s okay to put my credit card number in that thing. I may have been born in the 1940s, but the last time I checked that wasn’t yesterday.

Anyway, as you can tell, I’m not much for technology. I’m also not much for, in no particular order: cowboy drivers, horses that don’t try a lick and robot betting machines.

I want a real, live person teller to take my bet and I want them to get it right and placed in time, even if there is a long line and I wait until zero minutes to post to get up from my seat and join the line.

I don’t want to fiddle with all of the buttons and have to take off my bifocals to read the tiny letters on the screen. I want to tell my bet to a teller have them hand me a ticket and give me cash, not a voucher, if my ticket wins.

By the way, I also wish real banks still worked this way too, instead of these ATM things or them telling me it would be easier for me if I had telephone or online banking. Easier for me? I don’t think so. Easier for me was when I went to the bank every Friday and took out all the money that I would need for the following week. That was easy. No card, no code, no ‘what’s my mother’s maiden name?’, just a nice lady in a pretty blouse who handed me my money. What was wrong with that system?

I guess that’s all my time for today, but stick with me because I will always give it to you straight. I don’t have a journalism degree, a facebooker account and, as God is my witness, I will never have online banking, but I do have an opinion.

And I’ll keep sharing it with you, just as soon as Bernie types it up for me.