I know too late that the drone has decided to use my head as its landing pad. It is a safe landing for the drone. As for me? Speechless.
“We are the distracted generations, wasting hours a day checking irrelevant emails and intrusive social media accounts. And this “always on” culture – exacerbated by the smartphone – is actually making us more stressed and less productive.” Someone just sent me this email and I am reading it before I venture out to do Dronexit patrol at nightfall, armed with my Plan-B. How true it sounds. All the distractions my email and smartphone are causing me. Because I have subscribed to a number of blogs my email alerts me as and when they post new blogs. Why don’t I unsubscribe or turn off the notifications? I like to say to them I appreciate them asap just as they do to my blogs. It is like a social club even though we have no idea who we really are restricting our interactions only on virtual platform. I now know when, at what frequency and what sort of blogs they likely post and what photos I can expect to see. Quite a civil and genteel small group of perhaps twenty or less regulars.
Coming back to Plan-B. I might as well get ready for the fist drone patrol. I enter my closet and the vault below and take out a tiny robot. I am not supposed to take it out but I have no option. I am not going out there in the dark alone. I carry it in my camel bush jacket left chest pocket. It is guarding my heart. Then I put on my sketcher shoes for walking and am quite ready with the pre-set drone in my right chest pocket, wearing my night-vision goggles.
The time is almost 3am. This is the scheduled time set by the group of statistical and mathematical retirees. But I have overlooked one thing. The dog Gracie. She is not used to seeing me going for walk without her! As I walk stealthily down the street, Gracie is barking in my garden like the house is on fire and she is stuck inside. She is a tiny dog but her bark is mysteriously amplified as if she is barking through loud speakers with over 20,000 watts in amplification in the heat of the night. I look at my watch and note that it is exactly three and the drone must set off now! I have no choice but to release it into the night sky. But Gracie is not stopping. I can hear her two streets away. Some houses switch on their lights. I have to go back to stop her. So I switch on the robot, climb the tallest tree in the neighborhood and place it there to supervise the drone while I race home.
Since I can’t stop Gracie from barking I decide to release her onto the street as well. She enjoys her night out tremendously and is so excited that she continues barking gleefully as we race down the blocks to where the tree and my drone patrol operation is. By then I am more concerned about my precious robot alone up there on the tree top. So I start climbing up and poor Gracie is concerned too as she has never seen me doing this in her life! She thinks perhaps I am in grave danger so she jumps her olympic best and sinks her teeth into my sketcher and holds fast with all her might, refusing to let go.
By then all the lights are switched on and my elderly neighbors are opening their front doors with base ball clubs and shot guns in their hands. “O my Plan-B, my Plan-B,” I manage to shake loose the sketcher hanging from Gracie’s mouth and continue climbing up to reach the robot. It is in tact, perching on a branch. No words can express my relief as I safely tuck it away in my chest pocket again and climb down.
But then the neighbors are ducking and some are running back into their homes.
I know too late that the drone has decided to use my head as its landing pad. It is a safe landing for the drone. As for me? Speechless. (To be continued)
(This is part six of a series in a short story for my nerdy young and older friends and others.The dog is non-fiction.)