Things on the internet last forever. We know this, and yet…

Things on the internet last forever.

I swear it was 20 years ago – twenty years ago.

There be I:

I’m multi-multi-tasking, too many things in too little time and I’m running late for a flight and I’m in a bakery in the Yukon.

Bruised, sore, oxygenated, grubby, so at my happiest.  Had hiked the Chilkoot Trail and climbed that swindler’s ascent, the Golden Staircase.  Sixty-plus pound pack, action-movie almost-falls on vertical scree, cursing like a truck driver – then a sign of hope, of possible pause in the pain, a symbol of summit, a Canadian flag signaling a national border dead ahead, up above.  So apt they named it Happy Camp.

The bakery, the bakery. I buy far too many loaves, it must have stupendously superlative bread to have me stopping there so determinedly.  I’m overloaded with the loaves when I discover: zero cash.  I expect this was pre-debit, and maybe they didn’t take Visa, so no money and I’m late for my flight and damned if the Alpine Bakery didn’t say, ‘Take it all. Take the bread. Get to the airport. Mail us the money.’ So off I zip for my home back in Toronto but not before writing in the guestbook — this is handwriting mind you, not on anything digital — something a bit over-the-top about the tear-inducing humanity in this northern bakery.  And off I tear, unpaid, loaded with loaves.

Twenty years later, that damned bakery guestbook entry still comes up in a Google search of my name.

Things on the internet last forever.  We know this.  Yet we do things that defy that knowledge.

Obama election campaign.  A new, acclaimed, iconic 20-something speechwriter. Professional, wizard mind, gets it.   Almost there at the election hurdle.  Discovered: young speechwriter’s Facebook page. Photos. Lovely life-sized cardboard stand-up of Hilary Clinton, young speechwriter’s arm around her, groping her breast.  The media do not conclude that this is irrelevant to the current campaign.

Things on the internet last forever.

Global company’s marketing VP, flown in to be a speaker for the world’s best-known courier company, in fact at their headquarters. Courier company is in Nashville.  Tennessee, right?  A proud place. But even if you don’t know about this pride in place, if you’re about to speak to an audience and they’ve flown you in, would you really tweet that it’s dreadful-looking and with a shudder, ask why would anyone want to live there?   And would you hit send,  to then be read by the world including your about-to-be-very-unhappy client, when you’re on your way to see them?

Things on the internet last forever.

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