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JANICE WELLS: ‘They’ have gone too far this time

Janice Wells
Janice Wells

What I don’t know about social media and information tracking could be a year of columns. I can’t even think right now what they call that thing where every time you buy something or look something up, databases from God knows where are compiling a profile on you so “information tracking” will have to do. 

All I know is that it is becoming very spooky.

Last Christmas I asked Santa for one of those contraptions that you just ask to play a certain song and out comes the music; a wonderful technological advance that would allow me to call up songs that I haven’t heard in years.

“Not a good idea” says Janine, who knows less about technology that I do. “They can listen into your conversations through that device.” 

I scoffed at the idea and said it didn’t matter anyway because nothing that Newman and I say could possibly be of any interest to “them.” But other heads prevailed and I took the darn thing back.

I’m going to ask Santa for another one this year. I have come to the conclusion that “they” know whatever they want to know anyway and are probably reading these very words as I write them.

Nothing would surprise me. 

My last column was about my wardrobe and the futility of finding something in it to wear for a family picture. Today, I turn on my computer and what comes up but an article on what you should get rid of from your closet.

Coincidence? I think not. 

“They” know everything. Janine says they are selling my information to retailers because if I follow their advice I will have a near empty closet and be forced to purchase more clothes. (Buying data about my shopping doesn’t really seem like the Salvation Army’s style but I suppose stranger things have happened.)

How else would you explain the timing of an article telling me to get rid of clothes that I’d be “ashamed to wear outside the house” and “anything that is stained.”  

It’s too silly to talk about. 

All my nice warm sweatshirts would be gone and my navy flannel pants with the pink polka dots. Anyway, I only wear the sweatshirts outside the house when they’re hidden under a jacket. 

“They” have gone too far.

They advised me to get rid of underwear I’ve had for more than a year. 

That’s right. They know what’s in my drawers. 

Surely allowances should be made depending on how much underwear you have and how often you change it, not to mention the small fortune you shelled out for a good-fitting bra which you don’t even wear very often because it’s not comfortable.

And imagine telling people to get rid of worn-out sneakers. You might be ashamed to wear them outside the garden, but that’s what worn-out sneakers are for.

Newman is the king of worn-out sneakers. He had a nice white pair with red trim. When they wore out he bought the same ones but with blue trim and used the old ones for mowing the lawn and when those ones got worn he kept one pair for Heart’s Content and one for here. 

Now they’re both so bad that you have to look really closely to see that each pair now consists of one with red trim and one with blue trim. 

Put that in your database and smoke it.

They know what’s in my drawers.

And while we’re on footwear, what kind of a spendthrift would get rid of odd socks? I wear odd socks all the time, in boots. I like odd socks even when on full display. When I see a young woman wearing odd socks I like that young woman.

If I wore them people would wonder about me but you can actually buy odd socks.

Just wait. An odd socks website will come up on my computer tomorrow. 

Janice Wells lives in St. John’s. She can be reached at (or


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