I’ve been traveling round the Internet since well before the World Wide Web became a public phenomenon. I remember the days when we curious geekatrons paid $12.00 an hour to the likes of Compuserve or AOL. Pioneer programmers helped us reduce the financial burden by creating software that allowed us to get on, grab the information we needed, and then get off fast to read while offline so as not to run up our tabs. All of these data running through a telephone wire, aided by a screeching, real modem (as in MODulate DEModulate the analog signal). I felt like a trailblazer who each day discovered more about where in the world one might travel while sitting on his bum da bum bum. One memorable morning, I found myself, by way of a program called gopher, perusing the stacks of a library in Sweden. I don’t read Swedish, but that didn’t matter. I was there! I had discovered something (i.e. the way) to reach something new (i.e. Information)! New information that entertained me, that stirred my bloody Sicilian brew, that urged me to call out to the person nearest me to say, “Hey, you have to see this! Perhaps you’ll even enjoy an adrenalin boost by way of reading it, no matter the lengua Swedish.”
I think it was John W. Campbell, editor of Astounding Science Fiction, and creator of the term Scientifiction, which later evolved to become the term Science Fiction, who first spoke of that genre’s ability to elicit a “sense of wonder” in its readers. (If I’m mistaken about that please GoogleCorrect my lapse.) My early days as an Internet explorer oftentimes provoked that same reaction from me. This feeling regarding online excitement, the likes of which could raise even a Sicilian’s naturally sky-high blood pressure, might be difficult to imagine for the younger members of my audience (i.e. anyone who jumps out of bed in the morning without groaning).
Anyhow, and anywho, and also anyway, these days my hair is gray, my knees ache, and Google researchers have all but retired and replaced us paperback-book toting, hard-bound dictionary addicted, graceful disco darling old farts. Sure enough, through the Internet I learn new information. I gain knowledge, most of which sooner or later slips through the tired follicles on my head, and I’m glad to do so. Wisdom, no. Knowledge, often and for a while.
BUT . . . only on a rare occasion do I find myself supremely entertained when I come upon a blog for the first time. This happened to me a few days ago, and if you read further — that is if you’ll do my aging but stubborn ego the favor of reading this entire ramble — I’ll soon enough give you the link.
But first a little back story. I didn’t lead with it, so I’m allowed to wander, rather stumble, backward in time. I have a friend, a paisano as a matter of fact who calls himself Joey Fiorella (email@example.com ). Joey’s a sweet enough guy, and he’s — as youngsters are these days wont to say — hot. But that much is to be expected. After all, Mr. Fiorella is Sicilian. As is required of each and every one of us of the noble Sons of Italy, Joey has been trained from infancy to sing romantic ballads, to dance with a swan’s grace, to love with romance uppermost in his candlelit mind, and to recognize great writing, the kind of writing that is born of the minds of superior storytellers. I am but a wordsmith. The blog to which Mr. Fiorella recently referred me is written by a natural born ale, er . . . I mean tale spinner. Forgive my use of a perhaps overwrought expression, but this author, his apparent name is Dan Hen (maybe that appellation comes from his mother’s side), he will make you laugh, weep and whistle, all at the same time.
Now, as I binge read (that’s a modern expression to this old man), but as I scrolled, reverse scrolled, read and read again, something familiar regarding Mr. Hen’s writer’s voice struck my ear. I felt as if I could hear the man’s Irish brogue, see the devilish twinkle in his eyes, watch him mount the nearest rock there to exhort me to believe that a powerful force who ruled the universe would one day save me. Although sitting at my desk, staring through the tears in my eyes, and begging myself to read more, still I rose from that chair, stretched my arms and hands as if to reach the clouds above, and exclaimed, “Alleluiah! This guy is smart and funny!”
If you should heed my recommendation to visit Mr. Dan Hen, please don’t mention my insignificant name. That would do a disservice to my dear Sicilian compadre, Il Signore Fiorella. Instead, leave a comment there. Tell Dan Hen that Joey sent you.
HERE’S THE LINK TO Mr. HEN’S SITE: