Do you find this site useful?
Donations gladly accepted!
Stranger than Fiction
An interface of human frailties
THE GLOBE AND MAIL - Canada's National Newspaper
By Jack Kapica
THE Internet was, not too long ago, declared to be too technical for
ordinary people. But anyone who has tried to nurse sick software or
implant a new photo scanner without running into an organ-rejection
problem, as Cyberia did last weekend, knows very well that computers can
be as organic as the family dog and more human than a monosyllabic
Lots of evidence has recently come to light to support this theory that
computers are either organic or close enough to organic to be the same
Take, for instance, the case of Andrea Lynn Vickery, a 34-year-old
housewife living in San Antonio, Tex., who developed a too-human
relationship with the Internet. Her husband divorced her and got custody
of their six-year-old daughter because Mrs. Vickery had become so
addicted to Internet "chat rooms" that she spent up to 16 hours a day on
But this was not the reason Mrs. Vickery came to be news. That process
started when she used the chat rooms to look for a hit man to murder her
former husband so she could get her daughter back (to join her in the
joys of chat rooms, presumably). In November, she gave a $1,000 down
payment to a retired U.S. soldier, Robert E. Lee Smith Jr., who called
the police -- but only after he paid off his Visa bill with the advance
and after his own wife accused him of seeing another woman.
Last week, Mrs. Vickery was fined $1,000 and ordered to perform 1,000
hours of community service by a Texas court. The intended victim is
apparently still alive.
-- Cyberia appears every Friday. Jack Kapica may be reached at
jkapica@GlobeAndMail.ca. For previous columns and discussion forum go to
© THE GLOBE AND MAIL - 1997