Let’s Face it…

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - Harold Wal­ters lives Hap­pily Ever Af­ter in Dunville, in the only Canadian prov­ince with its own time zone. How cool is that? Reach him at gh­wal­ters663@gmail.com.

Yes, I’ve prob­a­bly said it be­fore — in the pre­vi­ous cen­tury I com­menced my ed­u­ca­tion in one of Joey Small­wood’s brand­new schools. My bay-boy nog­gin was empty, await­ing — as they say nowa­days — in­put.

On the first line of the first page of my first scrib­bler my hes­i­tant school­boy hand pen­ciled an un­cer­tain A.

I’ve been scrib­bling one thing or an­other ever since. But that’s not the point. The point is that I formed my first A on pa­per…

…not on one of the slates dumped in a box at the back of the class­room, slates sal­vaged from the “old school” that had been torn down to make room for Joey’s mag­nif­i­cent sin­glecham­ber hall of learn­ing.

To­day, as a sex­a­ge­nar­ian cur­mud­geon, I live in the Age of the iPad, a tablet un­can­nily sim­i­lar in ap­pear­ance to the slates that Joey shat­tered, so to speak.

“Harry, my arthrit­i­cally ham­pered Honey,” says Dear­est Duck who, as a dar­ling duck­ling, be­gan school in The Capi­tol City and knew naught of slates, “some peo­ple newly ex­posed to your slanted views have never seen an old-fash­ioned slate.” “Your point, my Duck?” “Don’t bother them with your old fool­ish­ness.”

“My Duck?” say I, one hand lodged above my hurt­ing heart.


Here’s me, gone from a dick­ystrad­dle past the Slate Age to the Age of iPad, to the Time of Face­book. Ah, Face­book. And Twit­ter. And In­sta­gram. And Tum­blr. And a ver­i­ta­ble glut of Face­book-spawned so­cial me­dia.

Although my nog­gin is no longer new and is presently crammed from ear-bone to ear­bone with a hodge­podge of… what?... data? ...I have man­aged to learn to op­er­ate an iPad and play Face­book.

Dear­est Duck won’t say it out loud, but she is proud of me. I know be­cause some evenings as we sit el­bow to el­bow in our comfy chairs, she lifts her eyes from Candy Crush and beams at me as I search for Face­book friends.

As most Face­book novices, I s’pose, I tap and swipe my way on the trail of for­mer friends I haven’t seen since high school. Oc­ca­sion­ally I find one… …and then I weep. “Harry!” OK, maybe I don’t sob and bawl but I do get a tight­ness in my chest — hope­fully not a sign of acute my­ocar­dial in­frac­tion — and a chok­ing feel­ing sti­fles my kin-corn be­cause…

…be­cause all those old friends have grown some frig­gin’ old, eh b’ys?

I too have aged and time has shorn my once golden locks but surely I’m younger at my core than old friends’ flesh sug­gests.

“Harry, take a good look next time you scrape your whiskers,” says Dear­est Duck while cas­cad­ing candy icons stream down her iPad’s screen.

“May you not clear a sin­gle level to­day,” say I, con­sid­er­ing her un­kind re­mark.

Face­book ad­vo­cates tout it as a mod­ern means of keep­ing up with what’s hap­pen­ing, con­nect­ing with cur­rent af­fairs, I s’pose.

It’s true that Face­book and its off-spring pro­vide, al­most in­stan­ta­neously, de­tails about sto­ries in The News. For in­stance, to­day as I scrib­ble, it’s en­ter­tain­ing — and at the same time fright­en­ing — to oc­ca­sion­ally open Face­book and peep into the Ball­room, the abode of D’ Wight-man who speaks with forked tongue.

If you’re feel­ing sucked into the whirl­wind, Face­book friends will have posted plenty of wise quo­ta­tions de­signed to buck you up: Not my cir­cus; not my mon­key!

If you need to spread your love, there’s a post for fling­ing wide your arms — Share if you love your Granny!

Of course, there’s an in­her­ent dan­ger in those Share Your Love posts. It’s pos­si­ble that Granny is mon­i­tor­ing your Face­book pages, so if she dis­cov­ers that you have failed to share your love you can for­get ever swal­low­ing an­other fork­ful of her renown figgy-duff.

“Harry,” says Dear­est Duck as she waits for a Candy Crush friend to give her a life, “don’t you have a good book to read?”

“Of course I do, my Duck. But at the mo­ment it’s dif­fi­cult for a book — as op­posed to Face­book — to trump the shenani­gans go­ing on up in the States.” Bing! “Oh goody, a life,” says Dear­est Duck re­turn­ing to her iPad.

Let’s face it; Face­book is here to stay in one form or an­other. For in­stance, at the mo­ment it’s a dandy ve­hi­cle for de­liv­er­ing food porn — kinda.

Look. A close-up of Jim’s Jigg’s din­ner, posted to in­duce envy and drools.

Look. A dis­play of jams and jel­lies and juicy desserts de­signed to trig­ger gus­ta­tory fan­tasies.

Look. Fresh-from-the-oven loaves with but­tered tops, slick images ca­pa­ble of caus­ing grown men to be­have un­seemly. “Harry, you’re dis­gust­ing!” My Duck? Thank you for read­ing.

Look. A close-up of Jim’s Jigg’s din­ner, posted to in­duce envy and drools.

Harold Wal­ters

My Im­per­fect Slant

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