By Occam’s Razor: The list of people who have made significant contributions to geriatric access and communication is distinguished: Dean Kamen, who invented, among other things, the iBOT, a wheelchair that can navigate stairs (and who once spilled a bit of red wine on Darlene’s BORROWED Chanel pumps…she’s still sorry about that, Amanda); Robert Jarvik, inventor of the artificial heart; and Isaac Shepher, founder of the company that sells Life Alert (of, “I’ve fallen…and I can’t get up!” fame). Add to this list of luminaries Florence Henderson. That’s right, Carol Brady of The Brady Bunch herself.
What has this citizen scientist done to be included in this list? She has started the FloH Club, which she calls, “roadside assistance for your computer.”
It’s essentially a service that provides seniors with phone assistance to handle technological challenges they encounter as they use a computer, particularly in accessing Facebook, email, and other communication tools. While there are free resources available to seniors, providing them help in accessing the internet and other secrets of the mysterious IBM box that sits in their den, the FloH Club is doing laudable work, even if it is a fee-based product. (If Occam was more cynical, he’d compare this to Old Glory, sellers of robot insurance, as a way to scare old people out of their money.) But regardless of whether Henderson makes a buck or not, we at the Science Cheerleader applaud her at bringing technology – and the world – a bit closer to those otherwise sealed off from it. Nigerian princes everywhere have already found this new audience quite obliging.
Of course, Henderson is best known as mom Carol Brady from The Brady Bunch, a show which we’ve come to learn with each subsequent castmember book was a bacchanalia of hedonistic Hollywood excess. Henderson was said to have gone on a date once with TV son Greg Brady, played by Barry Williams. That would explain one of the premium services of the FloH Club, May-December, an online dating service for those of incongruous ages. FloH Club describes it as “a social meeting place with no judgments…and no boundaries.” The “aged love” advocacy group Geri-Action has given two wrinkly and Viagra-stained thumbs up to the site. Celebrity endorser Woody Allen has said: “Oy vey…this would have made things so much easier for me!” and Roman Polanski adds, “I’m sorry, this is my only phone call this week…can we talk about this later?”
You go, FloHo! (Warning, this links to graphic images and sounds that may be disturbing to many viewers.)