Cousin Rufus Ponders Progress


Dear Cousin Cletus,

Here ‘tis a new year. Me and Ol’ Bozo, mah hound, spent last week sittin’ by the fire, thinkin’ bout all the crazy thangs 2021 brought to ever’body.


Then ah thought, Mebbe ah should try to think about some good thangs. So here’s what ah thought of.


  • Folks don’t have to take baths in tin washtubs no more. Modern technology brung us runnin’ water. That’s progress.

  • Even though ah don’t like technology or have much of it, mah grandson, Harley communicates with people all over the country with whut he calls “social media.” He says that’s progress.

  • Folks can get checked by a doctor without showin' up in person. Harley said they got on the computer and the doc tole ‘em how to get little Leroy’s fever down. He was purty happy they didn’t have to take Leroy out in the cold when he was sick.

Ah guess all them thangs could be called progress. But then ah thought of ways mebbe progress took us backward.


  • Mah great grandkids don’t know how to read a reg’lar clock face. Ever’thang is whut they call digital. So when they get somethin’ from the store that needs assembled, an’ it sez, “Turn the screw clockwise,” they’s stumped.

  • When they learn how to drive and the teacher sez, “Hold the wheel at the three o’clock and nine o’clock position,” whut will they do when they been brought up on digital clocks?

  • Harley says they quit teachin’ his kids cursive writin, in the name of progress.

Ol’ Gus Grizzel, here in the holler, wrote a check for a chainsaw part, for $30. But the bank took out $36 instead. So ol’ Gus goes down to the bank to talk to the lady behind the desk.

“Ma’am,” he sez, “Look here. I forgot to close up mah zero on the number thirty, so it looks like a six. Ah kin understand you seein' it that way. But cain't y'all read the word ‘thirty’ on the line below?”

“That probably was cashed by one of our younger tellers,” the lady tole him. “They don’t know how to read cursive.”

I hope somebody can tell me how that’s progress, Cletus. Mebbe there's just some thangs this ol' brain don't see no more.


That’s mah thoughts this second week of 2022. Did you ever think we’d live to be this old? Y’all come see me sometime here in the holler. We’ll go down to Lem’s Gen’ral Store and git us a orange sodee pop. Some thangs don't need progress to get better.


Yore cuz,

Rufus


What about you? How have you see progress--or regress? You can comment in the box below.