Pam Stone | What useful text messages look like

April 20, 2013 

“Don’t text me!” I have, in the past, said with an air of righteous indignation, to my former radio co-hosts and even Paul. “I’m not 12. I’ve never sent one, and I’ll never read one!”

“It’s the only way I can keep up with my kids,” replied Sharon Decker, as we adjusted our microphone volume before going on air.

“Well, I can understand with kids, I guess,” I muttered, “but it’s preventing them from learning how to write and spell properly. And as far as I’m concerned, the rest of the world can send an email or, gasp, pick up a phone to relay a message. I mean, it’s ridiculous that no one bothers to ever speak to each other anymore!”

However, despite my Luddite posturing, I too have fallen victim to the iPhone keyboard, with the cramping thumbs and swearing that results from “auto correct” refusing to let me type “poulticing” to my vet in response to her query regarding my treatment of an abscessed hoof.

Yes, it is the farm life that has changed my attitude dramatically toward texting. But it is still used sparingly and only when it’s impossible to telephone or yell from one side of the property to the other. I will never be one who types in “What do u want for dinner?” to Paul (mainly because I can’t cook), or “Do u want 2 go 2 movies?” to a friend.

No, my texts are the useful sort:

“About 2 ride the young mare in field for 1st time. If u do not hear back from me in 30 min, call EMS”

Or, Paul’s text to me:

“Can u help lift roto tiller in truck?”

“Please?”

“Helloooo!”

Texting, I have learned, can also give one tremendous instant gratification.

Just a couple of weeks ago, while teaching a riding lesson, I looked up to see bits of fluttering plastic and tin cans suddenly strewn from the side of the house into the orchard and, unwilling to leave my student, sent Paul, inside, watching the Final Four:

“THE DOGS ARE IN THE GARBAGE!!!!!” which resulted in the immediate sound of the mudroom door being flung over and Paul’s bellowing, scolding, baritone, “NO! Bad dogs! NO!”

I have texted my farrier to tell him a horse has lost a shoe, followed by further, angrier texts, in subsequent days, asking why he didn’t show up when he promised he would (because all farriers live their lives in farrier years), and I have texted the manure removal guy to tell him where I’ve left his check.

So you see, these, I find, are all very useful messages in regards to country life, and this is where my texting remains limited. And, naturally, falling into that important category, at the end of the day, is the ever necessary:

“Got beer?”

Reach PAM STONE at pammstone@gmail.com.

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