Disclaimer: to protect the identity of those involved in the story, all the names wer
Many moons ago, an unusual thing happened to me.
I got a call from a girl (if you are not surprised by now, keep reading). Her voice was unknown to me, so were her intentions. The conversation started with a standard exchange of "Hello" and "Hello back", "What's up?" and "The sky". I realized that the caller was someone I did not know, not a friend who was just fooling around.
The conversation took a path that I do not remember exactly. It wasn't personal [not about relationships], nor was it absolutely impersonal, so I prefer to call it "personalish". That is, a very light version of "personal", something you do when you're just getting to know someone. Not too warm, but not as cold as asking a random stranger "Which year is this?" or "What is the name of the planet we're on?".
I could hear another voice in the background, another girl giving hints to her friend, the misterious caller. "Hmmmm", I thought.
The conversation took an unexpected turn. She asked me if I had "Macromedia Flash 5" :-)
Allow me put things into perspective - this was happening in an era in which the Internet was not ubiquitous, at least not in these parts. Heck, even computers were rare; only a handful of people in my class had one. In contrast, today even my neighbor's cat has a blog, and stray dogs coordinate their actions via #eatcyclists on Twitter; but I digress...
Internet was expensive and slow, downloading files was a pain because connections were unreliable. Advanced people used browsers that could be configured not to load images, they also used download managers to squeeze everything out of a dial-up connection, but it still took time to send a byte from point A to point B. The bit-torrent protocol was not born yet. A boy's dream was not "unlimited traffic and a great bandwidth", it was "unlimited callback".
I told her I didn't have it, but I would ask around and find it for her.
Looking back at that conversation, I cannot recall all the details. Maybe I was too dumb to ask her phone number, or maybe I did find the courage to do so, but she said "No, I'll call you tomorrow". Maybe I did ask her name, but she refused to tell me? Or maybe she did - and her name was Aliona or Alina? Certainly, it ended with an 'a'.
She never called me back.
Moral of the story:
- since then I make sure the home phones have caller-ID;
- I always keep a fresh copy of "Macromedia Flash 5", just in case.
Be prepared! [Russian version]