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Madeleine Begun Kane,
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Madeleine Begun Kane

10:45 a.m. Another late start on this week's column. That's what I get for surfing every night until 3:00 a.m.

Okay, enough self-flagellation -- my piece is due in 48 hours. What's it about again? Oh yeah -- the Internet and kids. What's funny about the Internet and kids? Nothing, that's what.

There must be something. If I just take a few deep breaths, it'll come to me.


Still nothing. I should talk my editor into another topic. Something really amusing like uuuh ... Maybe reading e-mail will unblock my brain.

12:15 p.m. Look at the time. I still haven't written a word ... unless e-mail counts. If only they'd pay me to write e-mail.

I'd better skip lunch and work on the column. Kids ... Internet ... kids ... Internet ... kids ... Internet ... kids ...

I should have started my column first thing when I was fresh. But how could I leave 57 messages sitting there unread and unanswered? At least they're all dealt with now, and my mind is free to concentrate on ... Oh no! The mail flag is up again.

I won't look. I won't look. I won't look. I won't ... Well just a peek.

12:47 p.m. How can 19 messages come in 32 minutes? Too many listservs. Too many press releases. Too much news. They're pushing me too far. If I drop some lists now, my e-mail should ease up by tomorrow. But which lists? What if I miss something important?

Forget the unsubscribes -- I have a great idea; I'll ask some teens how they use the web. I'll get dressed, head to the high school, and ... Bad idea! I haven't done a laundry in weeks. But I can talk to teens in chat rooms. No need for clothing there.

2:55 p.m. No teens in the rooms. Not that you can really tell. But I had some really cool chats about politics and the Market.

Glad I saved the chat file -- great fodder for a money or politics piece. I'll check it out after I finish this column. Well, maybe just quick look right now.

4:27 p.m. Yikes! Where did the time go? Nothing usable in the chat file, after all. I wonder why I thought it was worth saving.

Back to the kiddies. Which reminds me -- I should check for e-mail from my editor.

6:50 p.m. Nothing from my editor, but 32 more e-mails, half with subject lines like "Beat Depression By Going Off-Line." I'm so #&#$%*%&# sick of half-baked studies claiming the Internet causes withdrawal, stress, info-overload, and bed-wetting!

Should I ask for an extension? No need to panic ... yet. I usually do my best writing at night after a good meal. That reminds me -- it's time to order Chinese.

7:45 p.m. Great Sha-Sha Beef, but nightly Chinese take-out is getting kinda pricey. Maybe I should download some recipes at No. Gotta focus on those kids.

A search might help. I'll punch in some precise keywords like ... uuuh ... "Internet" and "kids" and I'm sure I'll find something.

8:40 p.m. Pay dirt, at last: The CIA Kids Page. Talk about a killer concept! But can I write 500 words about the CIA and kids? Can I even read 500 words about the CIA and kids? I don't have a choice. I'll just have to click on the CIA Kids Page and ...

11:55 p.m. I hate computers! An instant message trashed my computer. All those files and hundreds of Favorites--Gone! Gone! Gone! It happened just as I was accessing the CIA site. Are they sending me a message? Naah, probably some chat room creep. Maybe a teen hack ...

That's it! I'll write a humor column about teen hackers. I'll do it right after I check my e-mail, surf the net, and get some sleep.

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