AUGUSTINE

This is Natalie, a good friend. We go way back, to my early blogging days in the 1950's. You young punks don't have a clue how lucky you are. Back then, it took three days to upload a blog entry, and we had to do it on giant room-size computers with names like Univac and Gigantor, which all too frequently went berserk and tried to take over the world, at which point the hapless young woman caught in the room with them would get her blouse torn open and then have to call the Army on her rotary-dial iPhone, and the Army would send over a handsome major who would unload his pistol into Brainiac's vacuum tubes and save the day. Natalie calls herself Augustine in the mistaken belief that she is the reincarnation of the explorer St. Augustine, who discovered the west coast of Florida, the east coast having been discovered by Ponce de Leon, who imagined that Florida extended around the globe to the vicinity of the Azores, and who was really annoyed at St. Augustine's discovery that Florida was but a puny appendage dangling down from the mainland like a you-know-what. He never got over the deflation, and died years later a bitter young boy (having in the meantime discovered the Fountain of Youth), or so he was pronounced by the cannibals who devoured him. And that's the story of my friendship with Natalie.