Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
by Arlene L. Mandell
I know, it seems a little self-involved to Google "Arlene L. Mandell." It's definitely eerie to read page after page about myself, especially since the listings often includes another Arlene Mandell who appeared in the film "Baby Boom" in 1988.
My home address and phone number are in Google now, thanks to my joining the Poets & Writers directory. I've never joined Facebook because I don't need to tell near-strangers, the 167 "friends" I'd quickly acquire, what I ate for breakfast - grilled cheese and tomato on wheat bread, if you must know.
A creepy data base that I never heard of before states my age (68), my husband's full name - Lawrence W. Mandell - and for a $.95 fee will reveal my estimated annual income. I'm curious to know the answer to that, but don't want to become a dollar poorer to find out. That Intel-something-or-other source lists my previous addresses as Englewood, NJ, and East Hampton, NY (true) but missed Closter, NJ, where I lived for thirteen years and added a fictitious Denver, CO residence.
Much of this information is gleaned and assembled to make money from data that's already out there. But I'm uncomfortable knowing some miscreant might research my entire life with a few clicks, even uncover some risque poem I wrote thirty years ago.
Of course, most of the eight pages of listings still represent only glimpses of my life. If you follow the on-line links to my various poems and essays, you can learn that I was a shy child, am terribly allergic to poison oak, and have three pets - Gatsby, Maxwell and Ringo.
What if someone, maybe even you, wants to kidnap one of my pets and hold him for ransom? If you call Ringo's name - he's the Havanoodle, not the Golden Retriever -- followed by the word "ferret," he'll come running to get his favorite toy and will follow you anywhere as long as you keep tossing biscuits bits with the command "find it!" But I suspect you already know this.
With a few clicks, I'll soon know as much about you as you do about me.
Arlene L. Mandell has recently finished an e-book, Scenes from Hemlock Street: A Brooklyn Memoir, which reveals details about her parakeet, Ricky Ricardo Kostick, and the what happened when Joey kissed her in front of her father and Mr. Schwartz, the milkman.
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