What did we do before Google

I am currently reading the book “Monuments Men.”  It’s about a group of military men in WWII who were tasked with recovering and protecting precious artwork from the NAZI’s and even the allies during battle.  It’s currently out as a movie as well, but I want to read it before seeing it!  It’s always more fun that way.

This book lends itself to being read on an iPAD Kindle app.  Through out the book they discuss different pieces of art, from paintings to sculptures to churches.  I on the other hand stopped recognizing art after “Dogs Playing Poker.”  Hell the only reason I passed Fine Arts 101 in college was because the girl next to me kept saying the names of the art out loud when the prof showed he picture!

On the iPAD though, I can simply plug-in the artwork to Google and BAM! there it is.  Today, I said aloud, “What did we do before Google?”

And then I remembered!

Back in the college days at Washington State University, LONG before the interwebs we had the campus operators.  Yep, we could dial ‘O’ and ask the person who answered damn near anything.  They had movie schedules, menus, even calendars as well as dictionaries, almanacs and other reference books.  I can remember many times someone would ask something and we’d give them a call!  They never failed us!  (Damn I shoulda asked them the meaning of life!)

Well, years later this way of thinking got me in a bit of trouble.  It was the mid 90s, and I was a supervisor of 7 adjusters at the Mighty P.  One day we were all chatting, and somehow got on the subject of being a vegetarian.  One of the ladies who worked for me had become one and the rest of us carnivores couldn’t understand why.  She finally looked at us and said, “Well you know, Noah lived MUCH longer than Adam because he was a vegetarian!”

OK, instantly questions popped into my head:

  •  How long did each of them live?
  • Who lived longer?
  • Did the bible say one or the other was a vegetarian?
  • If it did specify one was, and he lived longer, did it say it was because of being a vegetarian

I wanted to know! So I asked her, “Do you have a Bible handy?”  Cuz it should, in my mind, have these answers readily available. (I was hoping there’d be an index)  She just shook her head no and went to work.

What she didn’t realize is you can’t tell me stuff like this and leave me in a lurch! If I had been in Pullman, I woulda tried the campus operators, but I couldn’t do that from Seattle.

Then it hit me! Have a bible question, don’t have one?  Call a church! So I broke out the phonebook (pre interwebs remember) went to the yellow pages and under C found churches.  So I called the first one.

When the lady answered I simple asked.  “I have a strange question.  Who lived longer, Adam or Noah and was one of them a vegetarian?”  She did NOT seem happy I called.  “Why are you asking me this?!?” (I started wondering if all church phone answering ladies were cranky) So I explained the story and told her I was checking on the answer.

She was even LESS amused then.  “So why did you call me?” “Well'” says I, “We don’t have a bible, but I figured you HAD to have one or two pretty handy, so I thought I’d see if I could get you look it up.”

(By this time my employee was at my desk looking like she was going to pop a gasket.)

“Why did you choose this church?” the lady asked me.  “Well, I  broke out the phonebook and looked under C…  Do y’all not have a bible handy?”

“I am too busy for this!!”  <click!>

I hung up my phone and the employee went off…  “I can’t believe you did that!”  I explained that I was curious and simply wanted to know for sure, and then she told me something that I will never forget and to this day makes me smile.

“You are going to burn in the low rent district of hell!  You will have to take an uptown bus just to get a view of heaven!”

She then stomped off.  Leaving me with new questions:

  • Hell has districts?
  • You pay rent in Hell?
  • There are buses?
  • You can see Heaven from Hell????

I considered calling another church, but for once I chose to drop it. (but I am still curious)

So you see, we survived without Google just fine!  Though I will drag you into Thunderdome (Google it) if you try to take it away from me!

By the way, I read the parts with Adam and Noah, and they NEVER mentioned vegetarian!!!

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