The old guy just does not trust calculators. He didn’t trust them back when they were simply called adding machines, and he don’t trust them today. He actually enjoys sitting down and mentally totaling a column of figures. Keeps the old mind sharp. Besides, how do you know when you hit a wrong key on a calculator, maybe a 5 instead of a 3. The stupid box just totals up what you feed it and the total could be right or wrong, it don’t care. At least in the old days an adding machine would supply you with a tape so you could spot your error and do the whole process over.
He’s the same way about watches, never wears one. All they do is tell you a time, not necessarily the right time, just a time indicated by itself. They don’t care either.
The same goes for the cash register at the local grocer, which is basically just a glorified calculator featuring a fancy scanning device. Insider always takes home his receipt and manually adds it up to see if there’s any mistake. The old guy has yet to find any arithmetic mistakes, but the problem is that’s assuming all the prices on the receipt are accurate. As Insider’s old high school journalism professor used to say, assumptions are for the fools. To assume is to folly. Never assume anything, even if it seems like it’s the only option.
The Maryland State Police are constantly stopping Insider as he drives his old DeSoto around the county’s roads. The fuzz keeps trying to apply new laws, such as three brake lights and seatbelts, to an old car. It just don’t work and the fuzz are frustrated to say the least. Monday afternoon the cops pulled him over for not using his turn signal. When he explained that he in fact did have his arm out the window in the proper position, the officer didn’t know what he was talking about. He wanted to see a light blinking at the back of the car, an electronic turn signal. The old guy pointed out that his old DeSoto was not equipped with turn signals, thus the arm out the window. At this point, Insider had to explain to the trooper what arm signals were and actually show him the arm positions for a left turn, a right turn, even one for slowing down. Surprisingly, the cop thought arm signals were a neat idea and wondered why he didn’t use them all the time. The trooper became quite fascinated with the old DeSoto and asked Insider if he could drive it around the block for a minute or two. Insider said no.