The future ain't what it used to be.

Yogi Berra
AUGUST 29, 2011 1:33AM

Orange Aid

Rate: 42 Flag

 Wendy Orange August 21 2011


Nature designed us to touch, see, smell and listen to the world full of objects and sounds and scents and sights. When the animals we now know as people learned to talk something strange happened. Touch and smell and sight could all be made out of sounds and when we learned to write and read all that again could be magicked into symbols available to sight.


And now our fingers dance on keyboards to transform ourselves into digits to fly through wires and space and bounce up and down to and from orbiting satellites and our little screens transmogrify all this electronic jiggling back into people. But how can we be sure that there were real people at the beginning of the process. As the old New Yorker cartoon suggested, nobody on the Internet knows you’re a dog.


So when a real person turns up in Helsinki proclaiming itself Wendy Orange I was a bit taken aback that it was not a dog with no guarantee it was not a secret assassin from Mossad bent on “accidentally” brushing me with a sharp pseudo-fingernail loaded with anthrax or Ebola for my open criticism of the current Israeli regime for its Palestinian policies. One never knows about these things although my experience has indicated that dogs are far more trustworthy than people. Then again, she was wearing dark glasses like those men in black and a flash from her pocket flashlight could wipe my mind clean of all negative attitudes on Israel. Paranoia ran rife though my nervous system evoking extra-terrestrial aliens and large strange dogs cleverly transformed into faux humans with flexible plastic overlays and intensive training in walking on two legs with a tail ingeniously strapped down under a belly-band.


But reality intruded and it produced a fellow New Yorker with common memories of the old city and I ended up blabbing for hours on my random ramblings over all sorts of things and life in general and both the talk and the weather was most accommodating and Helsinki behaved itself uncommonly well.


The open market at the seaside full of the splendors of glowing vegetables and tempting slabs of salmon and other ocean goodies provided us with coffee and the cries of sailing seagulls and a bit of action from strutting pigeons nipping in and out amongst the tables cleaning up crumbs and cocking their heads in appeals for donations.


We are, now, confirmed friendly humans confident we are both human and vulnerable and delighted with each other.


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What a great commentary! The creative name and the description of the day all as poetic as the person who typed them. Wonderful piece.
Yes. What Rita shibr 'said.
O, by the way? I am hacked.
I turned my gadget off`gin.
Joisey Shore swings a bat.
He sip Pope's Orange drink.
Yea! You & Wendy Orange?
You met and discussed bats?
Joisey Shore swings ash bat?
I tried to comment - No go.
I believe Open Salon's ill.
Your not. This Hack? Oy!

is ...
Joisey Shore has a tattoo?
It's barbed wire prison wire?
He may sip 'Fanta Orange' can?
I read the Pope sip 'Fanta' can.
I am just a`checking in pre-conk.
Joisey Shore hug cocker spaniel.
He is no bored hick farmer who?
Go to Manhattan's chicken coop.
He dines in Queens with Kerry?
He has barbed wire neck tattoo.
He is homeless and keeps a Ymca`
gold star membership for a bath?
It's frugal to keep a 'Y' card for a`
Shower once a month if he need`
a shower.
I could not get on-line to comment.
I just wonder? OSer staff can fiddle?
Can they obstruct a simple comment?
huh ay?
I am glad you met with Wendy Orange.
Did She reveal any Open Salon secrets?
I doubt the staff are on the up & up? no?
Phew! Why, that is a happy ending. Nice piece and a nice friend, Jan. R
It is a rare and wonderful thing when your internet aquaintence turns out to be real and quite pleasant
Once in a while it hits minus 15F but the winters in general in Helsinki are no worse than New York City. The Baltic Sea buffers extremes but up in Lapland it gets rather intense.
Thanks Jan, and I love you too. As you well know. For me it was all just easy from the minute we met, but each one is different. Wendy PS Sweetie now do not go analyzing that. I take the above as a total compliment. Thanks
Wendyo, I envy You, immensely.

From my perspective, Jan is one of the humblest people I have ever come across, despite the fact that his knowledge is as deep and broad as the greatest of the Great Lakes.

Terrif commentarry re: Wendy... tho are you this sure Mossad cares abt what you write and think? ... ...
A perceptive look at what the word "real" really means, Jan, plus, as a bonus, some glorious language and, for me, one of the funniest things I've read in quite some time: "large strange dogs cleverly transformed into faux humans with flexible plastic overlays and intensive training in walking on two legs with a tail ingeniously strapped down under a belly-band." That's hardcore funny--it made me yawp, barbarically, and that yawp is sounding over the rooftops of my small Iowa town.
Very nice.

I've met some not-a-dog OSers and it's fun.

Oh god, a post I'll never write just popped into my head: Comparing each of the OSers I've met to particular kinds of dogs, oh no. Well, I'll put a stop to that by considering what breed of dog I am - kind of a shaggy mutt to start with, given to chasing sticks...
There IS such anxiety when meeting the person one has gotten to know by symbols. And I may just be a dog.
What a delightfully described meet-up! I"m so glad you guys had fun, and I wish Wendy safe travels back to the US!
Jan, I believe you may have caught it well... though there might still be a file on you somewhere, perhaps with lipstick at the edges
What a good thing, to have splendid conversation with intelligent people in a seaside market, could be the makings of a perfect day
A great description of a meet-up full of "sounds, scents and sights" in a place many of us will only visit in our dreams. I've had the pleasure of meeting a few fellow bloggers myself and you depict some of the feelings and emotions around it.

Your last sentence reveals you have cemented a new and real friendship in each other. How wonderful.
I love the visual of us sending ourselves through the internet! It is great that you were able to have this meet-up!

I am going to try to meet Linda Seccaspina this weekend as she blows through town. I am sure the 30 minute layover will be well worth my time...

I know you not... but I've "met" WendyO -- that is to say, the virtual Wendy -- through her words, her generous commentary on OS-- and through a number of personal email messages -- and I "know" her to be an enormously sensitive - complex -- and caring person. A citizen of the world, it would seem to me.

Yeh, I would share your natural instinct to be cautious in "meet-ups" -- but I believe I would be happy to meet Wendy. It took a great deal of effort on her part to meet you in Helsinki, as you know.
Jan, the photos captured and posted on Wendy's blog were evocative of a warm, witty, charming man whom I will now refer to only as the Silver Fox. What a wonderful opportunity for an OS meet-up in Helsinki! of all places.
Oh, thank goodness no assassinations occurred on your meet up, no anthrax slashes, no diabolical memory erasing....although a clever memory implant could have taken place, leading you to believe this coffee and chat actually occurred...
...or you could have gotten a PM that said, "I came to your town, had a great time, was busy, so no meet up plans with you..." like I received this summer.
I, being a paranoid individual myself, definitely worry about anthrax or stalking or something equally heinous, from any cyber invite.

I'm glad to read old-fashioned humanity won out, connections made, coffee enjoyed -- two more OS writers meet !
Parallel lines never do cross over.
I have a good friend in Canada who I have never met only e-mailed and it almost is like we have known each other for years. We are both older now and the internet is now our front porch bench at the General Store. Hell of a lot less effort. Nice Piece Jan, and as always my Very Best to you sir. older/exasperated s>
Frankly, it seems to me that Bill O'Reily is not Bill O'Reily but thanks anyway.
Thanks for the vicarious pleasure.
What does it mean to be human in this context? Or in any context? I am suspicious.
LOVE all of this; thanks all! Did follow Wendy's journey to Helsinki and back; Jan, I've long followed your posts not only here on OS but also as (as I've long noted) one of the earliest people to comment on a NYT online post.

I'm thinking of changing my OS name to "A day late and a dollar short" except (a) that's much too long and (b) "ah's tir'd and I wanna go to be..e (a?) d". Can't do that, though, without at least thanking you for your lovely ruminations on Bill O'Reilly!

This is gorgeous...poetry in prose. And doesn't our Wendy O look wonderful?? Meeting you was an event, and it's so good we get to be the unseen visitors here!! How did I miss this??
The image of oranges, the image of sand, the image from the camera, the image of a first meeting, the image...the images, the plurality!

very happy ending. love happy stories. now I'm also that much surer neither of you is a dog.
I envy the both of you. It is, indeed, nice to meet up from time to time.
Did your new pal have anything to say about her cousin, Orange Julius? He had a shop on W. 4th St. in Greenwich Village, but I can't find it anymore. Have both he & the shop been pulped?
Very nice, Jan.
Lovely! Glad you both enjoyed your meeting!
re israeli & spies with poisons.... did you read about that dubai assassination by the mossad? astounding... I have an old post on that