Now that the economy has taken a downward turn and I could afford gas if I had any money left after I hit the McDonald’s dollar menu, I’ve begun to worry about some of the staples of American life. I’m an industrious girl and could scratch out a living fashioning pet toys out of melamine if my job moved to China, but what will happen to those among us who have dedicated their lives to a single profession that is inherent to native soil?
Here my thoughts turn to Vanna White, our golden girl who simultaneously wears unattractive clothes and turns letters on Wheel of Fortune’s lighted screen, and I worry that some offshore prodigy, raised on phonetics and loose translations, might come along and steal Vanna’s job security. Worker’s Compensation couldn’t cover the psychological loss of finding out that all the vowels have been sold to a foreign conglomerate.
At night, I toss and turn but I can’t get any z’s. When I finally fall asleep, I have terrible alphabetical nightmares. I know the threat to our Vanna does not come only from the teeming shores of the land where Olympic gymnasts stay 16 forever. There is an even greater threat here on our home shores.
Texting. It’s the the silent killer. Our country is all thumbs in its desire communicate. These days preschoolers can string together more words on toy telephones during commercial breaks than poor Vanna can do in a half hour show. Before long Gerber will make a baby bottle with a pull-out Qwerty keyboard. In a field where Vanna pioneered the “turn, point, and clap maneuver,” anybody with a cell phone can duplicate her on-the-job experience.
It’s not that I’m envious of Vanna. If I had a job description that read like the prospectus for Sesame Street (This job was brought to you by he letter M), I’d make the most of it, too. So I’m going to practice my “Person, Place, Thing, or Phrase” lettering just in case Vanna needs a little help. I don’t have a cell phone, though, so I’m training on the adding machine. If Pat Sajak doesn’t need me, I can always get a job ringing up orders from the McDonald’s dollar menu.