“I’m not using the video option,” Garn groused as he sat down in front of his not-so-good friend Carol’s laptop. “You have disfigured me with your poor hair-cutting skills.”
Carol rolled her eyes. “You’re a shape-shifting extra-terrestrial. Can’t you just grow some more hair?”
“Oh, right!” Garn concentrated for a few moments, and in a flash, long, rainbow-hued locks tumbled down over his shoulders. “Much better!”
“Uh, yeah, sure.” Carol tapped a few buttons, and something called an ‘App’ appeared on the small primitive computer’s screen.
“OK – since the interplanetary network you’re used to using in down for maintenance, I’ve set up a Zoom meeting for you to check in with your boss.”
“Smith is not my boss,” Garn sniffed disdainfully. “I am an independent contractor currently on assignment.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Carol said absently. “Well – whatever you are, I’m glad you won’t be hogging the remote for the next hour. Just click on the little ‘Join’ button and you should be set.”
Garn clicked on the button and after a micro-second or two, the call began to connect. He saw a brief flash of Smith’s profile picture, and then…nothing.
“Carol, what does ‘connection lost mean?”
“Hmm?” Carol looked up from where she was scrolling through the latest offerings on Net-Flicks. “Oh – try disconnecting and reconnecting to the wi-fi. Sometimes the Internet is a little touchy.”
Garn brought up the network settings, checked everything thrice and then clicked ‘Join’ again.
This time, the call connected, to nothing but a black screen. “Hello?” Came Smith’s tinny voice from the speakers. “Are you there Garn?”
“Yes, but I can’t see you,” Garn replied.
“Garn – I can see you now but can’t hear you.”
“Well, I can hear you, but can’t see you,” Garn replied.
“Garn? Can you hear me?”
Garn groaned in frustration. “Carol, your device is broken!”
Carol sighed and laid down the remote. “Your mic is muted.”
“I don’t know who this Mike is, much less if he is a deaf-mute or not.”
“I meant the microphone on the laptop.” Carol reached in from the side and clicked on a small icon that had a diagonal line through it. “That should do it. Hello Mr. Smith, we can hear you, but your video camera is turned off.”
“Oh, silly me,” came the tinny voice. “I must admit to being rather new to Zoom.” After a few moments, the black box disappeared, and Smith came into view. “Is this better?”
Garn and Carol stared silently for several moments at the normally impeccably dressed head of the Earth’s branch of the Interplanetary Travel Bureau.
“Is that ketchup, I hope?” Carol asked hesitantly, indicating the large reddish stain on Smith’s T-shirt.
“Who cares about that,” Garn broke in. “Please tell me you are wearing pants, Man!”
Happy Friday, Friends!