The famous cartoonist, Gary Larson, once depicted a classroom full of students where the professor was pointing to a blackboard illustration of a giant screwdriver and a screw. The caption read, “The mechanically declined.” My first thought was to call Mr. Larson and inquire where I could enroll in these classes.

Normal people have no idea how frustrating it can be for those of us who are unable to correctly screw the lid on a tube of toothpaste, assemble anything “that any three-year old can do” or ever set the clock on anything digital.

Every new piece of modern technological equipment for home and office holds more nightmares for us than the movie “Halloween, Parts 1-13.” Refer to any of their instruction booklets and you will see the most hated, heinous word “program.” The “Today Show” is a program, not “Depress the intake button, enter the operational code, depress the program button and enter mode 1, for mode 2, repeat steps 1-3. If the green light does not come on, repeat steps 1-3 until it does.” I don’t know, maybe 20, 30 attempts later, I call the 12-year-old boy down the street to come set the device for me.

I used to think that because I could never figure out how to set the time on my old VCR that it didn’t matter that it perpetually flashed 12:00, since it was correct at least twice a day. Now, 20-plus years later, I live in a house full of cool technology that just torments me. I hope some of you can relate.

I voluntarily threw myself into the quick sand of technology with my purchase of a digital watch so I could count my steps, check my heart rate and the time. I struggled to interpret the instructions written in at least four languages. Finally, I returned to the store for help. Sadly, the clerk was my age and no more adept than I was. Eventually, the watch went to the home for useless items.

Thank goodness my cellphone has a simple alarm clock. I still have horrible nightmares about trying to set a clock radio. They are clearly much smarter than I am and arrogant to boot.

I hope you are not in the market for a new car. No matter how bad your old car is, get it repaired and keep driving. You cannot believe the apps on the new cars. And really funny symbols. Mine did come with a huge user manual; however, I quickly discovered I need a user’s manual for the user’s manual. I don’t know how to look up what I need to know, because I don’t even know what to call what I don’t know. You know?

When I bought the car, the nice salesman got in it with me for half an hour to sync my phone and set up the system that tracks your gas usage, how efficient your fuel is and who’s calling or texting you. It was all very impressive. By the next day, I had managed to delete all the data and if not for the little gas pump that turns bright orange when I am almost out of gas, I would be walking on the freeway now!

A lovely cup of coffee would sure hit the spot right now but, sadly, I managed to touch the delay button on my new coffee maker, so when it will let me have coffee again is in question—tomorrow, next week or 2022. If scientists can’t figure out a way to automate or digitize instant coffee, I’ll be just fine.


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Diane Blanco
Author: Diane BlancoEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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