Conch Life in the Florida Keys
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Don and Diana on Google
Don and Diana on Google
Conch LifeWe're Somebody Now!
March 2011
There was a scene in Steve Martin’s 1979 absurdly farcical film ‘The Jerk’ that has stuck with me all these years. Martin’s character Navin, an imbecilic innocent has moved out into the world and upon receiving the new phonebook, breaks out into euphoric excitement. “THE NEW PHONEBOOKS ARE HERE! THE NEW PHONEBOOKS ARE HERE! ...I’M SOMEBODY NOW!”

Well, time and tide passed, and technology usurped the Yellow Pages. With the artificial intellect of the internet and prevalence of smart phones, ‘letting your fingers do the walking’ was replaced by the far more succinct act of ‘Googling’. The notoriety of having one’s name published in black and white print for all to reference no longer existed in the obscuring, commodious ether of electronically stored information, making us all feel a little more insignificant.

And then, one random day while trying to enlighten family members with details about the resort-like facilities Don and I enjoyed while docked in the Florida Keys, I ‘Googled’ Marathon Marina via the satellite map, grabbed the little dangly dude Pegman, and dropped him in the parking lot. This action zoomed in on the ‘Street View’ and low and behold – DON AND I WERE SOMEBODY NOW!

Three different picture locations captured the two of us peeking into the marina office, coming out the front doors, then walking away. Per Google’s policy, our faces were blurred to protect the innocent, but the ‘Gumby – Buck Naked since 1956’ on Don’s favorite t-shirt confirmed those fuzzy features were ours.

We both remembered seeing the Google-Mobile meander by; the soccer ball-esque camera strapped to the top was quite the attention getter.  But we were just days away from our own memorable cruising experiences, and never gave it another thought. Then half a year later, we happened upon images of that moment in our lives, posted on the World Wide Web for a much broader audience than any phonebook ever reached.

Who hasn’t ego-surfed the internet; cyber-stalked an old flame or swooped in on a satellite image of their homestead? But our real estate roamed, so we’d eluded the Google grid, and Re Metau had become a virtual ‘Where’s Waldo’. 

In fact, having discovered our images, we began searching the globe for our girl and discovered she'd completely eluded the patchwork pictures of the planet; Re Metau wasn't to be found off Vaca Key, nor was she captured mid-cruise amongst all the Bahamian islands.  Our ship moved outside of the virtual net, but at street level - WE WERE SOMEBODY!

Now, I knew that this little spotlight of stardom was buried under billions of other pixels. And I also knew that it was but a flash that would soon be replaced by the next generation of super-duper definition snapshots. But I kept thinking the phrase “Where were you when Google shoots through?” I couldn’t think of a better place to be caught than in the Florida Keys, on the cusp of a West Indies adventure.

 

 
 

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Copyright © 2015 Diana E Reynolds - SV Re Metau.  All rights reserved.

"And after two days in civilization we realized we could never stay for long and started to plan our next adventure." ~ Bob Bitchin