Influenced, no doubt, by the extremely public questioning about relationships we've been privy to this week -- Obama's rift with Rev. Wright, Hillary's handlers trying to figure out what to do about Bill and Mc Cain establishing that his positions differ from those of George Bush -- a friend just asked why I took on a G-mail account after years of being with AOL.
I see G-mail as more intimate, the address used by most friends, while AOL is the address I freely give to doctor's offices, art galleries and when ordering online. "Why keep AOL?" she persisted. I explained it's so the Nigerian inheritances, British lotteries, classmates looking for me and knock-off watches will still get through, all of which are screened by G-mail, which serves as a gatekeeper. Then I admitted, albeit sheepishly, that when I'm avoiding going to the gym, I read AOL's "weird news" and take their tests.
"How did you do on today's armpit sniffer test?" she asked, also a freelance writer so as deft as I am at wasting time. I immediately went onto AOL to see how adept I'd be at picking out which in each category is the bogus job. Out of armpit sniffer, dog sniffer and garbage sniffer, I was right: garbage. And I knew the next one was candle waxer, not candy butcher or citrus fruit colorer. The third question was where I messed up, choosing brain picker, not nose tickler or tonsorial artist.
I stopped. Was this really a way for a grown-up to spend time? Look out, AOL, you may be heading into the dumper with Rev. Wright.