It was the classic good news-bad news situation. Our home phone line fizzled and died. But the company made a speedy repair, quickly reconnecting us to the world.
The fix, of course, was the bad news. I relish being out of the loop.
I'm not even sure where the loop is. It rolled away a long time ago. I function in a square.
For example, Grammys will be awarded tonight, but I barely have a clue who the nominees are.
Sure, I recognize the names, but for all the wrong reasons - intoxicated drag racing, social media meltdowns, making inane comments on world affairs or their own affairs, and generally exhibition of rather unusual behavior.
Sometimes, it feels like I know everything about today's singing sensations except what they, you know, actually sing. I'm not positive that they do.
I'm only familiar with the music of the old guys they trot out onto the stage as ''nostalgia acts.''
Nostalgia? Those are the acts in my current CD rotation. I don't know what this stuff today is. I'm out of the loop.
Of course, my dad used to say the same thing about those very same nostalgia guys 35, 40 years ago when both they and I were current. I couldn't dig how Dad could be so out of touch, and worse, how he could so absolutely enjoy his old fogeyness.
Now I know. The gap is gone. These days, Dad and I hang out in the same merged generation.
The legendary columnist Lewis Grizzard wrote a book titled, ''I Haven't Understood Anything Since 1962.''
I'm feeling more and more qualified to write a sequel, ''I Haven't Understood Anything Since 1986.'' That's the year I became a dad. My cultural references devolved to ''The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers'' and ''Duck Tales,'' and my gray cells have been in a tailspin since. I see no reason to return.
So when the buzz of today's conundrums, flusterings and befuddlements goes silent, I sigh with relief.
That infernal clanging of the phone signals that somebody's about to try to sell me something, talk me into their viewpoint, or demand I take some action. And that's just the family.
Throw in the phone solicitors, payment specialists and politicians, and it's tough to watch an episode of ''Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks'' without another annoying interruption.
One evening I walked into the house to hear my wife say, ''He's just coming home now. I'll put him on the phone.''
I bolted for the door. I didn't want the loop to catch me.
When my first children's book, ''Bash and the Pirate Pig,'' was released in September, a smartphone became necessary to help organize and handle book signings and author talks. Since then, my wife's chuckling has increased at an alarming rate. ''I thought you hated phones,'' she chortled.
I jotted a note in the calendar, made a quick transaction, and watched an episode of "Jonny Quest" - the real one from 1964. And look, here's an app for music from the 1970s. I know these guys.
What I'm not doing is texting or talking. I'm out of the loop. I aim to stay out.
Mail me a letter sometime to let me know who wins a Grammy tonight.
---- The fogey can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org and on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.