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Hi, my name is Rich, and I’m addicted

“I’m a man and I can change, if I have to … I guess.”
I looked out over the crowd of blank stares. Any fan of PBS’“Red Green” show knows that is the “Men’s Prayer” at Possum Lodge.
Apparently I was at the wrong meeting.
Let me start again.
“Hi, my name is Rich, and I’m a Captain Crunch-aholic.”
“Hi, Rich,” the group responded, but with even more perplexed looks on their faces.
From the back of the room came, “You’re addicted to cereal?”
I thought for a moment and replied, “Let me start again.”
“Hi. My name is Rich, and I’m a Crush-aholic.”
Same look and same guy. “You really like orange pop, eh?”
Uff da! Reboot.
“Hi. I’m Rich and I’m a Candy Crush-aholic.”
Every head in the room nodded up and down. They all seemed to have the same computer game addiction that has so occupied my early retirement days.
I had never heard of Candy Crush until last year when my wife bought a Kindle and had the game installed. Then when I retired last August, The Chronicle staff bought me a Nook. My first reaction was, “What is it, and how do you turn it on?”
The staff knew my severe limitations with technology, but they presented it to me anyway. Perhaps it was their way of forcing me into the modern technology era, or of driving me crazy. I favor the latter theory.
Let me just say, if you know nothing about Candy Crush, count yourself lucky. If you are curious about the computer game, go lie down until that urge passes. If you think you would like to play Candy Crush, think again. If you start, you will get hooked … that’s pretty much guaranteed.
Candy Crush is an endless, and mindless, series of games that require little other than spare time. Apparently, I have some spare time.
The games start out simple enough. Match a series of three or more squares in a certain number of moves or amount of time and you win. What you win is the right to go to the next level which, by the way, progressively gets tougher to win.
Candy Crush reminds me of a casino that lulls you into a false sense of worth by baiting the gambling hook, and then, before you know it, you’ve lost all your money and common sense. Guilt sets in for wasting all that hard-earned money for a half hour (if you’re lucky) of entertainment.
My wife and I agreed if we ever feel the urge to go to a casino again, we will simply drive through its parking lot and toss our $20 bills out the window. It is the same result, but takes less time.
Anyway, Candy Crush is highly popular because of its repetitive, competitive nature. You just have to win in order to see what the next challenge might bring.
I have won games on the first try. I have played the same game for a month before winning. On all occasions, I‘m not sure how I won. But after a month at the same game, I really don’t care to know.
So as I march along with my new technological toy, I continue to gain some insights. I know how to turn it on. And I know when to quit, because the Candy Crush game only allows me five chances before it thankfully shuts down to reload. That’s smart technology!
That forces me to do other things — hopefully, something more productive — for the next hour. Washing dishes comes to mind, reading a good book is another, but my favorite is taking a nap, or two.
So, I continue to slowly stagger along into the computer age and retirement. I am making progress on both fronts.
Rich Glennie was the editor of The Chronicle for 23 years. He retired Aug. 1, but still plans to submit an occasional column.