Thursday, October 4, 2012


As Published in the Newport (TN) Plain Talk
Jul 19, 2012


My typing leaves a little to be desired – well, a lot actually. Mrs. Gregg was never able to lasso me into her typing class during my seven years up on “The Hill”; and Mavis Beacon just never appealed to me somehow. So I just hang in there with the three fingers going at a keyboard sub novice speed.

What I can’t figure out is why nobody ever told me that someday we would have computers and I would need to be able to key the boards on the keyboards for computers and smart phones and televisions and dvd players and I-pods and tablets and stuff ‘n things.

Why didn’t Mr. Bray hogtie me and march me lockstep with all the other red necks into that third floor class and line us up like sheep to the slaughter and tell us to “git er done”?

There has to be a reason; I just don’t know what it is yet!

It could be because that was then and this is now. I don’t want to bore you with a walk down yet another memory lane; but Howdy Doody was still running strong, Boston Blackie and Charlie Chan were solving crimes and Superman was jumping over tall buildings with a single bound; and it was all in beautiful black and white (remember those “screen savers” that were put up there on the 12 inch – the one with the big “full regaliaed” Indian in the middle) – (oh, I forgot; they didn’t call them “screen savers” until a little later) – and whowouldathoughtit about all the things that run with keyboards and microchips today? Mercy me, even eight-tracks were an amazing marvel of technology still light years in the future.

Uncle Sam’s Air Force introduced me to the wild and wonderful world of computers; and I was able to crank up the old Underwood (mom had graduated to something called an “electric”) and whip out weekly progress reports with blinding speed of two fingers and five carbons (notice I have graduated to three fingers now. There is hope for the old dinosaur yet).

I didn’t get the hang of an “electric” for a long time. I mean, I sneezed one time and typed a whole line across the page – almost sawed the paper in two.

Now, look at me! I even know a few speed tricks to hasten things up a bit; you know J4F.

Ok, you guys, chill and QL; or is this just 2G4U?

Seminary would be a breeze now; I could take those notes with blazing speed; and then ask my instructor AWHFY? I might even throw a few AYPI’s in there just for good measure. Of course, since GMTA, he might tell me to GAL, especially after I asked him to KISS.

Later on, he could ask me RUOK; and I could assure him that I am not SITD.

I could sign my epistles with 0:), or even a 8-X. I would never be :-
or :-(.

One thing for sure; my columns would never again be ZZZZ; and everyone would know that I am writing TIC; YYSSW! And I might even work in a AWG2HTGTTA?

And my final excursion into literary illegitimacy and journalistic jocularity is WYSIWYG.

I pronounce this little gem wysiwyg; which is almost like it is spelled, isn’t it? For the uninitiated members of our Frogpond Fiveminuteville Flock, this means “What you see is what you get”; and it really ought to be a byline of every one of us.

I hope and trust that “He was real” could be written on all our grave markers; because that is what the people of the world need and want to see in people of the Faith.

After all, what good is telling what we know until we prove that we know what we tell? What good is talking the talk until we prove that we walk the walk?

Yes, I write these TIC columns to get your attention; and if I can hold it until you reach this point; maybe the message can get through, maybe the point can come across.

Be a wysiwyg! The children need a wysiwyg in the classroom, the pulpit and the home to show them the way. The young people need a wysiwyg in the peer group to show them the way. The young adults need a wysiwyg in the work force to show them the way. The adults need a wysiwyg in their unique circles to show them the way.

I guess, we could just about agree that everybody needs at least one wysiwyg to be real and really show them the way; and if you are fortunate enough to have more than one wysiwyg in your life, you are of all people, most fortunate!

Tom Mooty is pastor of the West End Baptist Church of Newport and writes the Five Minute Column for the Thursday and the Weekend Editions of the Newport Plain Talk. Your comments are appreciated (especially the good ones) which can be sent to P.O. Box 851, Newport; or to

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