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Pins And Needles: The Spider And The Fly

Gloria MacKay is "trapped'' in the world wide web and has no desire to escape.

I am entangled in the world wide web as surely as a fly is entrapped by a spider, but unlike the fly I donít want to get out.

I do want a bigger memory. I want a softer chair. I want a search engine that reads my mind. I want a drink of water. But I donít want to quit, not even one little bit, which was not the case with the fly.

When I was very, very, young and stories read to me I felt angry at the spider and sorry for the fly. What was a child to think when these words passed before her eye:

Will you walk into my parlor? said the Spider to the Fly,
'Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy;

Get out of there I trembled to the little fly. That spiderís going to get you and you will surely die.

But times do change and children grow and no one knows quite whatís inside her. If I knew then what I know now Iíd be rooting for the spider.

The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
And I have many curious things to show you when you are there.

Just another minute I whisper to myself, my nose touching the monitor, my glasses on the shelf. Better not, my conscience warns me, a long night is ahead. Iím not about to disagree, Iíll go upstairs to bed.

Oh no, no," said the Fly, "to ask me is in vain;
For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."

I can so, I tell myself. I have not one thing to fear. I guess Iíll read my email before Iím out of here.

Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, "Dear friend, what can I do
To prove that warm affection I've always felt for you?

Warm affection? What is that? Since I started logging on my family is no more. I havenít go the time to chat and they think Iím a bore.

ďOh no, no," said the little Fly, "kind sir, that cannot be
I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!"

I do. I do. I wish to see. I wonder what there is to read on MSNBC? And I need to check what books Amazon.com has picked for me. I shouldnít feel on guard, but Iíve heard what things can happen when I use my credit card.

"Sweet creature," said the Spider, "you're witty and you're wise;
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!

Actually, I do feel pretty good about myself whenever Iím online. I have a secret password and my logon nameís divine.

But first I must make a stop. My doctor says I must try. Since the time I drowned my keyboard with a can of soda pop Iíve declined all beverages and my throat is feeling dry.

The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again;

Iím getting hungry, this I know, Iíd better fix a snack. Into the kitchen, here I go... but what about my Mac?

And now dear little children who may this story read
To idle silly flattering words I pray you neíer heed
Unto an evil counsellor close heart, and ear, and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.

My monitor is beeping. Iím coming, Iím coming I scream. No I donít want you sleeping. You must have had a dream. I see questions on my screen as I stumble toward my chair. My dog Pile is begging to Fetch and Eudora is starting to swear.

Yes, yes, I do want to save, no I donít want to shut down. Iím coming dot.com it, Iím coming. Please promise you wonít misbehave.


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