Visiting with Aunt Omega one evening just as she was tuning into “Wheel of Fortune” (her favorite show), she immediately switched off the set. Uh,Oh I thought, she has something really important on her mind, and we’re getting ready to have a very serious in-depth discussion.
“I want to know something!” she almost shouted at me. “What is all this “dot com” stuff I keep hearing about on television? I just don’t understand what it means!”
“Oh, Aunt O, that is about computers. It’s something that you would never use or even need to know about,” I casually replied as I reached for the remote to turn her show back on for her. Swoosh! In a flash, she grabbed that remote out of my hand, and insisted that she would find out what “dot com” meant. She was not about to be put off!
“OK, Auntie,” I tried to soothe her anger over my insensitive brush-off, “it’s like this. When I get on my computer, and I want to find a certain website, I have to type in the name of the site and usually it is followed by dot com. The dot, well that is just the period on my keyboard, um, you know like the period on a typewriter.”
And the “com” she quizzed. Well, the com is just sort of an abbreviation. To tell you the truth, I’m not sure what it stands for. Maybe company…
“Hmmp, she snarled, everybody knows the abbreviation for company is just co., not com!”
“You’re right, Aunt O, I really don’t know what it stands for, but that is just what you have to type in to get to where you want to go.” Lord, help us when she hears .net, .org, .edu and others.
“I still don’t understand!” She was becoming increasingly agitated. I decided to try a new approach.
“Look, some times on my computer, I go to a site called Amazon. I can go there and order things. Mostly, I order books. Or sometimes, I go to Overstock and order things for the house, like sheets or cookers or things and I don’t have to actually go out to Walmart. I just order them from my computer and they deliver them to my door. The dot com stuff is like their “address” on the computer.”
“Well, why didn’t you just say it was an address? That is easy enough to understand. I don’t know why you had to make such a big deal out of it. All, you had to say was that dot com is just an address,” she snapped as she put her attention back to Pat Sajak, who was now in the bonus round.
A few days later, I was at Aunt Omega’s house again. I noticed several envelopes in her plastic napkin holder on the little formica kitchen table, and I realized she had been paying her monthly bills. “Auntie, would you like for me to drop these bills off for you when I go by the post office this morning?”
“Sure!” Aunt O brightened right up to that idea. “You know, I never like to put them out in the mailbox cause when you raise that flag, it’s just like announcing to some of these mean little boys in the neighborhood that there’s something they can get into. Thanks”
As I walked to my car, I shuffled through the letters I was about to mail for my dear aunt, and the address on one of the envelopes bent me double. There it was, just like I had explained it to her, on that stark white envelope staring back at me: “Kentucky American Water.Com”!! Oh, Aunt Omega, you’ve done it again!