ENTER DATA, ENAMORATA Back Into The Fray. Thanks To All Who Sent Along Best Wishes At The Outset Of My Vacation.

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Back into the fray.

Thanks to all who sent along best wishes at the outset of my
vacation. Now, as you rejoin the ranks and the column moves out
into another fiscal front, lets get those shoulders back, chests out,
stomachs in and tongues in cheek.

But, first we must police the area....

Kay in Toledo wrote to suggest this weeks topic: How about a
computer program for writing love letters? They have one for
everything else. And, Beth, my freelancing peer in Chicago, agreed
to sound Assembly for this one.

Okay, Kay, Beth...here goes.

First, we ought to merge this with another bit of news on the
wire this week: Windows 98 will be released (prepare yourselves for
a novel concept) in 1998.

In the words of Jim Allchin, a Microsoft senior vice president,
(Hmm...are there JUNIOR vice presidents?) the new operating
system will: provide more reliability than Windows 95, and an
easier-to-use interface that requires less double-clicking.

Can this mean the end of inaccessible search paths,
incompatible applications, lost files, and the dreaded: This
Program Has Performed An Illegal Operation And Will Be Shut
Down messages? I always expect a band of Cybercops in virtual
reality riot gear to storm my home office whenever the latter pops
up on the screen.

The Carpal Tunnelers among us will welcome the single-click
operation, but Ive grown so accustomed to double-clicking that I
now simultaneously either turn off and on, or on and off everything
electrical or remotely push-button in the house.

This results in my constantly re-darkening unlit rooms, starting
my blender with a grinding halt, and forever tuning the TV to
channels 22, 33, 44, 55....after clicking it back on after I clicked it
off after I clicked it on.

Jim also suggests that Microsoft will continue to press for
greater penetration in the small business market. Does anyone
really talk like this? We should give him the benefit of the rout,
and allow him the Freudian underscore. I suppose one doesnt rise
to the demands of senior vice presidency at something called
Microsoft without bandying about some camouflaged virile

Okay, Kay, Beth...time for: THE COMPACT DISK OF LOVE
LETTRES, hereinafter known as: C-DOLL.

Once this new software is downloaded on his/her hard drive,
(Aint computerese a grand innuendo playland?) the lovestruck
cyberhearts seeking tutorials in the art of composing all-season
valentines will have a host of options.

The computer keyboard was tailor-made for this program. It
cries out with the subliminal rows of commands needed to turn the
affaires dcoeur graphics into text. A close inspection reveals a
timeline of requited affection. Fourteen one-word chapters in the
history of a love affair:

Enter. Alternate. Control. Tab. Lock. Insert. Shift. Pause.
Scroll. Home. Escape. Space. End.


All romantic calls to quorum in the lost & found legislature of

Before C-DOLL can generate a personalized term of endearment,
the user would input his/her in-depth preferences of style,
content, and bio-socio yearnings:

Are you a fiftyish, desperate & baldpated Romeo seeking to pen
a Machiavellian entreaty to a thirtyish, Rubenesque &
hirsute-loving Juliet?

Are you an inner city, go-for-your-guns Guinevere making a last
gasp appeal to a suburban, battle-fatigued Lancelot?

Are you a Quixotic, street-smart Gracie Allen? Is your lover an
obsessive, backwoods George Burns?

The mix n match capabilities of C-DOLL will allow for these
and endless other variations. Lets say, e.g., that a North Country
humorist with a penchant for heady metaphors needed a treatise
assuaging his Sweeties body image apprehensions and seductive
self-doubts. C-DOLL, after receiving the data, would crank out the
following skinny on fat, and put handles on their love:

Dear Heart:

I have no answer, when you ask how I can possibly remain
attracted to a body in rebellion, how I can repel the sight of adipose
tissue mountain bandits ambushing your thighs, or why the cellulite
buckaroos shooting it out in the saloons of your hips dont cut me
off at the knees.

I cant tell you why Im not troubled by the onslaught of the
wrinkle vandals leaving crows feet graffiti on the walls of your face.

But, Ill make a deal with you: If I never ask how you could ever
think me handsome when I stumble into the kitchen in the
morning---bleary-eyed, semi-conscious, sporting an uneven stubble,
flat hair, halitosis and wrapped in a terrycloth body bag---then you
must never demand to know why I think your pudgy baby toes are

Lets just consider these things lost diamonds in the rough.


Okay, come and get me cybercoppers.

But, Im still trying to imagine a sultry Ms. Bacall casting a
backward glance to a fumbling Mr. Bogart and purring:

You know how to single-click dont you? You just put your
fingers together and-----

(File deleted).

Copyright 1997 B. Elwin Sherman