Tuesday, December 26, 2006


I am now writing this post through Google, due to some kind of an arrangement. I have always admired the people who created Google, simply because I like that name. How did they do it? Did a couple of them sit around in a brainstorming circle, tossing out suggestions, until one of them came up with the word?

Did one of them say, "Well, what about Boggle?"

Then, of course, another one may have said, "Nah! Too silly!"

"Well, what about Gaggle?"

"Nah, I don't like Gaggle!"

"I know! Google! People can Google what they want to know!"

"Hmmm! Sounds good! Perfect! That's it, then. Google!"

It is because of sessions like this that great creative ideas are born, the products of genius that affect all of our lives. And now that I have become a Googler, or a member of The Google, as President Bush calls it, I will join an impressive number of others benefitting from this idea.

This is the way we find ourselves with cars that have exotic and imaginative names, and some not so exotic and imaginative. For years, my husband and I drove a "Jimmy." I always thought they could have improved on that one. Auto manufacturers like to name cars after animals....not just household pets, like Doggie or Kitty, but swift, feline creatures of the night...Jaquar, Cougar, etc. No one is going to buy a car named Doggie, no matter how sleek and svelte it is. At the moment, I am driving an Aztec, which brings the famed Indian tribe to mind, with its warrior bravery and tribal statuary. Actually, the name had nothing to do with the fact that I drive an Aztec. I bought it because it was on sale.

I like it, although some have said it is the ugliest car in the history of the automotive industry. In fact, I hear that it has been discontinued, and that no more Aztecs will come off those assembly lines. But I like its cute rump, its spacious storage area, and the fact that it comes with a tent.

I didn't buy the tent from General Motors, sorry to say. I bought it from a man in a park who approached me and said he had ten tents to sell. I bought one, so if it is a bit lopsided and is very obviously an Oriental copy of the real thing, it is my own fault. It was a stupid thing to do.

I like the idea of having a car I can live in. My sons jeer at this idea, describing me as a dreamer, pointing out that few old ladies live like vagabonds, living out of their trunks. But I have this dream of wandering the country in my Aztec, lopsided tent ready, halting at parks here and there, hobnobbing with the people around.

Just think. Just a tank of gas and a reliable vehicle and you are on the road. No electricity bills, fuel bills, water bills, taxes, or anything else. You can stick around if you like a location, or continue on your way if you don't. And, in today's world, there's a telephone that can connect you to anyone you want to contact, as well as an apparatus to tell you where you are going. No wrong turns.

Those of us who are gypsies at heart dream of living in this way. It's not a love of camping. Campers like the smell of woodsmoke and mosquito spray. They like getting grubby and are usually covered in a layer of soot. This is not at all what I mean. A true traveler does not pause just to cook hot dogs over an open fire. His home is the highway and the next destination. He travels because the Open Road beckons.

Many people retire into motor homes. Some of them are so big, it must be like driving a freight train along the highway. They are equipped with all of the luxuries of the finest homes, from televisions to dish displays capable of bringing in 100 stations. One woman camper I know even took along her bread machine and turned out loaves of honey wheat and pumpernickel in each campsite.

But my dream does not include that motorhome, because I never have learned how to back one up into a campsite. I would rather be unencumbered and breeze along without worries. No hitches, no halts at those smelly tanks to empty the waste. Just soaring along on the highway, with nothing but a country western tune on the radio and a song in the heart.

Am I ever going to live this way? Probably not! First, I would have to leave my grandchildren behind and Heaven knows that would never do, even though the truth is, they could leave me behind with a cheery wave and a "G'Bye, Gramma, I love you!"

Secondly, I can't figure out what to do with the mail. One time, on a vacation for two months, I forwarded my mail to my son's house. It took two years for the Postmaster to learn that I had come home, and for some reason, I frequently receive my son's mail even now. I have learned that it best not to confuse the Postmaster.

Every one of us has a dream that seldom comes true. My husband was an avid fisherman and he dreamed of doing nothing but retiring beside a stream filled with trout! Instead, he ended up in a wheelchair and never made it into those waders. I know people who want to retire to the mountains or the seashore, but never do, simply because they have large families living nearby.
We are prisoners of our chains and dream of flinging them away and living our dreams, but seldom do. Perhaps this is what it means to google. Perhaps the true Googler is simply daydreaming of what he could do, but never will. Perhaps we are just googling away our lives and should pitch all obligations and responsibilities to the wind and do exactly what we want. Somehow I don't think this would work at all. On one hand, we resent the chains. On the other, we pull them closer.

So, as I said, I don't know how anyone came up with the name, Google, but he has my respect. I have googled my entire life and continue to do so. It should probably be written on my tombstone, Here Lies a Googler, Gone to that Great Google in the Sky.