Adapting to modern technology

The Lawn-Cutting Crew is a humor fiction blog. It's sort of like a comic strip, but without the drawings. It offers self-contained chapters and lots of laughs.

It was early morning, and we were at the shop, loading the truck. Crew Leader Carl was standing with his arms crossed, supervising, while the rest of us scurried around gathering rakes and shovels and lawnmowers.

Shoemaker, the shop superintendent, ambled up to Carl, holding an iPad. 

“Did you get the memo?” he asked Carl. “The owner, Benito, wants all foremen to use iPads now for logging time and materials. He’s not going to accept handwritten forms anymore.”

“Are you serious?” Carl said, dropping his cigarette to the ground and crushing it with the toe of his boot. “I don’t want to touch that technological tampon! What’s wrong with pen and paper?”

“We’re adopting modern technology to make our lives easier,” Shoemaker said, stroking his goatee. “At least that’s what Old Man Benito says. I don’t know. I’ve never even seen the guy use an electric typewriter, much less a computer. I’m not sure why he’s hopping on the technological bandwagon all of a sudden. One of his high-school grandkids must have talked him into it, or something.”

“What the hell does the iPad do?” Carl asked. 

“Hell if I know,” Shoemaker said. “The data you enter is supposed to feed into some cloud account, or something. And then it goes to Benito’s computer so he can bill customers. Who knows? All I know is he doesn’t want you handwriting stuff anymore.”

“What a crock,” Carl said, taking the iPad and holding it as if it were a soiled diaper. “I’m never going to figure out how to use this thing. It doesn’t even have an on switch!”

As we ventured from job to job, Carl grumbled whenever he had to enter time and quantities into the iPad. More than once, I caught him jotting numbers on his trusted clipboard.

“Are you remembering to use the iPad, Carl?” I asked, grinning. “We’re a modern company now, you know.” 

“Shut up!” he yelled, hiding the clipboard behind his back.

Later in the day, we pulled to a stop in front of a large industrial complex. As the rest of the guys grabbed their tools and got to work, Carl let down the trailer ramp, then climbed atop the ride-on mower to drive it down the ramp.

I was grabbing my pruners when I noticed that he’d left the iPad sitting on the trailer, right in the path of the mower.

“Hey, Carl!” I yelled. 

He fired up the ride-on mower, giving me a blank look.

“You left the iPad!” I said, pointing.

Carl shrugged, holding a palm to his ear.

“You left the iPad sitting on the trailer!” I said, yelling louder and waving my arms.

Can’t hear you, Carl mouthed. 

Then, before I could leap forward to grab the iPad, he wrenched the mower into gear and barreled backwards. The tires bounced over the iPad, crushing the screen with an audible “crunch.”

Carl backed the mower the rest of the way down the ramp and killed the engine. 

“You broke the iPad!” I said, running up to the parked mower. “I was trying to tell you!”

“Oh, no,” Carl said, his voice monotone. “That’s so sad. I must not have heard you.”

I frowned. “You don’t seem too shook up about it.”

“Oh, I assure you, I am,” Carl said, his voice carrying the same monotonous tone.

Then he fired up the mower, drove up the ramp, and crushed the iPad again. 

Author: Allen

I’m a humorist and fiction writer, as well as the author of two books. One is a collection of humor, and one is a collection of short stories. Both books are available on Amazon. I always wanted to write a comic strip, but I can’t draw. Not even a stick-person. So that’s why “The Lawn-Cutting Crew” is a comic strip without drawings. I hope you enjoy!

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