Our computers know way too much. I haven’t totally trusted them since way back when I watched the movie “2001, A Space Odyssey,” in which Hal, the computer, proved to have a murderous, power-hungry mind of his own. I am convinced that in the decades since the first computer was developed, computers are in constant communication with each other, spying on us in our homes and offices with their cyclops-like screens, mocking our inferior intellect. They have stolen our privacy.

Have you ever noticed that the coupons the computerized cash registers spit out when we go shopping are geared to our specific shopping practices? If I bought lunchmeat, the coupon might be for cheese. If I bought cereal, the coupon might be for milk. It will eject a coupon for toilet paper on the very day that I unwrapped the last roll in the house. How does it know that?

Lately, I have begun to feel that it is criticizing my purchases. If I bought Comet brand cleanser, the coupon might be for Ajax brand. If I bought Jif peanut butter, the coupon might be for Skippy. It seemed vaguely threatening.

Then things began to get ugly.

This week the store’s computerized register spit out a coupon for fat-free frozen yogurt. “What’s that tiny printing on the bottom of the coupon?” I thought. Squinting through my reading glasses, I read, “I thought you were on a diet. Put back the chocolate ice cream.” Another coupon said, “Put back the cookies, too. Nobody is buying the argument that they are for the grandchildren.”

Another coupon was for razor blades. The printing at the bottom said, “When is the last time you shaved those hairy legs, Sasquatch?”

There was one for bug spray. Its tiny printing said, “You have roaches under your kitchen sink.”

Another was for laundry bleach. It read, “Your underwear needs whitening, especially that pair you wore to the fair last Friday.”

When I got home, I checked under the sink and in my dresser drawer. The computer was right on both counts. I guess when I am not at home, my laptop computer is spying on me, snooping through my house, reading my mail, tapping my phones, and rummaging through my underwear drawer. I feel so violated.

But I will get my revenge. Every time I pass my laptop at home, I cough on the keyboard and sneeze on the screen.

Pass that computer virus on to your nosey little friend at the grocery store, you little ratfink!


  1. Oh, my goodness! This is hilarious! So – a shoe store, maybe Zappos, keeps showing up whenever I open my home page, Yahoo News. That in itself isn’t surprising since I’m a Zappos fan and we’ve come to expect these things – creepy or not. Yesterday I admired a pair of sandals on sale. Did not click on them. Just thought, hmm – cute. Today in the line up of sandals that pair is pictured TWICE. Coincidence? I think not! My conclusion is that my computer is reading my mind and/or knows my style preferences. It may know I’m writing this. It may have to do away with me while I sleep tonight. If you don’t hear from me tomorrow, you’ll know why. Can’t wait to read more of your work, Denise! 🙂


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