Quickly today, since my copy-edited manuscript is due back at the publisher's yesterday. My teenaged daughter has set me up with a My Space account and profile -- Old Man Seeking Something -- saying, Dad! (she's enthusiastic) you have to get on My Space! It'll boost your image profile. Really? I asked. Oh, yes! Away she typed (she's much faster than I), and in thirty seconds I was up and walking.
The profile reads like a yearbook questionnaire: TV shows and Heroes and Pet Peeves. I filled in obediently, thinking all the time: who is going to read this? Do people troll through My Space reading other people's profiles? (Trust me, Dad! said my daughter.) And if anyone does stumble on me, are they going to be able to reach into their wallet, pull out a credit card and buy a book?
Heroes made me think. I admire lots of people. Single parents working two jobs and making sure there are soccer cleats and school trip fares, volunteers coming in early with a smile, kids living through hell at home without turning into a bad guys themselves ... I've got more time for any of them than for Bono, say. I suppose I could have listed my fictional heroes: Sergeant Bilko, Daffy Duck, Little Black Sambo. Or my kids (Oh, Dad, that is so lame!) Or the people who buy my books -- now there's real self-sacrifice! (You poor brave souls. God bless you all.)
But get this: I already have a friend! My Space provides me with one. Isn't that great? His name is Tom, and he seems to have quite a nice smile. I can hardly wait to set up a play date.