One night, not too long ago, the ghost of a computer rose up from the garbage dump. When he was a real live computer, he’d had so many adventures. Perhaps, he thought, there was time for a few more.
Over the garbage, over the trees, he flew. Soon he came to a little town. He saw a restaurant, and a fire hydrant, and a – what was this? An old man? Shouting? The computer decided to investigate.
“What’s the trouble?” the ghost asked the old man.
“This,” said the man. “This is the trouble.” He held up a flat, shiny object the size of a playing card. “It’s my new computer,” he explained.
“That’s a computer?” gasped the ghost. He’d never seen one so small. “I really have gotten old,” he said to himself.
The old man continued.
“I’ve been trying to type, ‘How are you doin’, Jeremy?’ on this thing for over an hour, but the buttons are just so tiny that it looks more like ‘Jpe str upi fpom, Krtruu?’ Now how the heck is my grandson supposed to understand that, may I ask?”
“Hmmm,” said the ghost. “You have a point.” He thought for bit, then said, “I may have a solution.”
“What is it?” asked the old man, excitedly.
“Just a second,” said the ghost. “I’m processing.” He was a very old computer, so it took him a while to finish. Finally, he said, “Processing complete. My solution is this: why not send the message on me?”
“You?” The old man almost fell over.
“Of course,” said the ghost. “I may be old, true, but I have a large keyboard on which you could easily type your message.”
It was the old man’s turn to process. Finally, he said, “Well, Mr. Ghost, I guess it’s worth a try.”
So he typed out his message, and pressed SEND. A minute later, an answer popped up on the screen.
“What does it say?” asked the ghost.
“Well, let’s see,” said the old man, adjusting his glasses. “It says, ‘I’m doin’ … just … fine … Gramparoo!’” The old man chuckled. “Gramparoo! He called me Gramparoo!” And he walked away, laughing and laughing.
The ghost moved on. He flew over a church, and a baseball diamond. He flew over a parking lot. There was a woman in the parking lot. She was crying.
“Why are you crying?” he said to the lady.
“It’s my cellphone,” she sobbed. “I can’t find my cellphone.”
“There, there,” he said. “I’ll help you find it.”
“I have a very large monitor,” said the ghost. “If I turn it on, the light it gives off will allow us to see better in this dark parking lot.”
The woman agreed it was worth a try. She and the computer looked everywhere in the parking lot. At last they found the cellphone, in a shopping cart. The woman was so happy that she kissed the computer. His monitor glowed even brighter, after that.
The ghost moved on. It was getting very late. Perhaps, he thought, there would be time for one final adventure.
He flew over a park. A young boy was sitting on one end of a teeter totter. No one was on the other end. The boy looked very bored.
“May I be of assistance?” said the computer.
“Naa,” said the boy. “I’m grounded from my video games. There’s nothing in the universe to do besides video games.”
“I’m not so sure about that,” said the ghost. He sat down on the other end of the teeter totter. And the boy, who was on the low end … rose up into the air!
“Hey, how’d you do that!” he cried. “My computer can’t do that!”
“New computers,” the ghost explained, “are far too light. However, because I’m much bigger and heavier than new computers, I can teeter totter quite adequately.”
“Awesome!” said the boy. He was actually smiling. The two teeter-tottered and laughed for a long time. But then the boy said, “Well, I’ve gotta go home now. But promise me one thing, okay?”
“Anything,” said the computer.
“Promise me … you’ll never get too old to go on adventures with me.”
“I never will,” said the computer. He didn’t even need time to process.
“You’re the best!” cried the boy. Then he ran home.
The ghost moved on. It had been a long night, full of adventures. He flew back over the park, over the parking lot, the trees. He flew back to the garbage dump, and settled down in the big pile of electronic waste.
He may have been old. But he would never be too old to go on adventures. Never.