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February 15, 1985 - Image 80

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-02-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


Friday, February 15, 1985





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Love At First Byte


Special to The Jewish News

It finally happened. After
thirteen years of marriage I
was propositioned again. It's
an impossible situation, though,
so I couldn't get too excited.
You see, my bank computer is
in love with me.
Okay, so it's not Tom Selleck
and I'm not even sure it has a
gender, but this thing must
read the Playboy Advisor.
It was so subtle at first, I
didn't realize what wac happen-
ing. A friendly Hi There. you
look especially nice Louay." It
could hive meant anyone, but
it became more personal.
"Hi, Norma Zager. Want to
enter your personal ID num-
It doesn't know me well
enough to call me by my first
name, I thought, and I shouldn't
have let it continue because it
got more familiar.
Pretty soon it was, "Hi Nor-
ma, love your ID number. Love
to know more about you. Are
you into bytes?"
The nerve, I thought. What's
it his business how I chew my
I got the picture. I may have

been brought up in a vacuum
known as Northwest Detroit,
but I know the real world. I
read Judith Krantz.
It began flashing personal
things about me on the screen.
My age would flash by and my
social security number. I pre-
tended I wasn't impressed.
"Regulation •stuff," I said.
"Any computer has access to
those facts."
It got offended and started
to show off. My old report card
came up with a twenty dollar
Next time the formula for
my haircolor came flying out
with a fifty.
I realized I had to stop going
to the bank. My husband insis-
ted I was exaggerating and
mumbled something about
computer foul-up. He even sug-
gested I consult a professional
about these delusions and ad-
mitted he'd been pushing me
too hard to clean the oven.
I suggested he go see for
himself. He returned from the
bank shaken and pale. "It
wants to see you," he said.
"Refuses to talk to me or issue

a nickel until you come back."
I knew I had to face this once
and for all. A showdown was
inevitable and there was no
time like the present.
I walked to the computer and
pushed my card into the slot.
"Hi, Norma Zager. You've
come back to me. •
"I'm here to end this ridicu-
lous crush. I'm a married wom-
en with two children. We have
no future, you'll have to find
someone else."
"But I can give you every-
thing. Untold wealth. I checked
your husband's bank account
and I can do better. I'll transfer
a million into your checking ac-
count, only please don't leave."
"I can't be bought," I said in
my best Bette Davis voice.
As I turned to leave, it flashed
Sara Lee's cheesecake recipe on
the screen. "Damn," I thought.
"It knows me.
"Can we be friends?" I said.
"I'll take you any way 'I can
get you. Why don't you come
to my place tonight and I'll
show you my floppy discs?"
Oh, human weakness. What-
ever happened to etchings?

Art by Wangdon Lee


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