Tag Archives: daily life

The Perversity of Inanimate Objects

I re-posted an earlier topic entitled Fix it; Break it. Naturally, as soon as I did it, the inevitable happened.  The inanimate objects in my house revolted and struck with perverse and unerring timing.  Here’s the follow-on post which, once again, applies.

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They’re at it again.  I wrote an earlier post on the unerring ability of all inanimate objects in and around your house/condominium/apartment to break on cue with a perverse spontaneity when you least expect it.

I had been overdue on giving a party for a group of party-going friends and finally, recognizing their raised eyebrows and scornful looks as I greedily sampled their food and drinks at their gatherings, I agreed to host one of my own.  Two days before the start of the party – too late to cancel or find a repairman – the refrigerator decided to stop working.

The refrigerator could have chosen any time it wanted to break; for example the start of a quiet week or a day AFTER the party when I didn’t need to fill it in preparation for the festivities.  But no, it knew my plans, recognized the instant of no return and – POW – just stopped working.  In reality, it had been sitting there patiently waiting for just the right moment to break down.  Let’s see – he’s made the invitations, he’s got all the groceries, bags and bags of ice and – NOW! – time to stop working.

I know that you think I’m anthropomorphizing, giving animate thought to a bunch of inanimate metal, wood and plastic.  I’m telling you that all these devices are evil incarnate.  I fully expect to wake one morning and find myself in an appliance nightmare.  I’ll be a cross between Mickey Mouse in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.  All the appliances, one by one, will rise up against me.

Suddenly, the alarm clock will wake me by ringing, then shouting and then scampering away on two little feet and smashing itself into the opposite wall.  The shower head will rise from its own hook, twist itself up like venomous viper and start spitting hot water at me.  The toaster will overheat and burn; the TV will spontaneously turn on, get brighter and brighter and explode.  The phone will ring non-stop and run away when I approach it. The dishwasher will overload with suds; the dryer will spin out of control; the coffee machine will grind itself to bits; the vacuum cleaner will chase me across the living room; the ceiling fan will spin at top speed until it pries itself loose from its mount.  In an act of desperation, I will cover my eyes and ears while cowering in the corner, whimpering to have them all stop until I’m met with dead silence.  Slowly and carefully, I open my eyes, scan the room and then close them again in relief.

Phew, it’s all been a bad dream.

Suddenly, the alarm clock will wake me by ringing, then shouting and then scampering away on two little feet and smashing itself into the opposite wall….

Fix it; Break it

I had to get one of the many and never ending house repairs done the other day.  It demonstrated one of the immutable laws of nature – the fix it, break it phenomenon also known as the conservation of repairs.  Newton’s third law states that for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction.  Inanimate objects follow this law with a perverse vengeance.    If you are foolish enough to attempt your own electrical, mechanical or plumbing repairs and succeed in saving a hundred bucks, the objects in your house will rise up en masse, failing in rapid succession until you have spent ten times that amount on repairs and repairmen.

I unwittingly fixed a leaking toilet one day only to find a nearly flooded basement two weeks later because my ejector pump broke.  After a panicked call, my plumber, Fast Eddy, shows up, explains how bad the problem is, fixes it and relieves me of enough cash so that I can stop worrying about my next car, my next vacation or newer underwear.  In fact, Fast Eddy said that he had a similar problem in one of his houses.  One of his houses?  My plumber has more houses than I do!  I fully expect him to show up the next time in a repair van that is a combination Hummer and pimpmobile wearing thousand-dollar Max Armani coveralls.

I am, suffice it to say, not mechanically inclined.  The chances of me successfully conducting a major repair to my house are about as great as a dog reading a book.  I feel that, if scientists can believe in black holes, dark matter and exploding galaxies, I can believe in the self-curative powers of inanimate objects by constant incantations, prayers and, in extreme circumstances, human sacrifice.  Is it too much to ask them to break down during weekday hours when repairmen cost less?  To wait until after all the guests at a party have departed?  To agree upon a breakdown schedule that will not drain me of my life’s savings or require a second mortgage?

If only it were so.  Inanimate objects have their own laws:

Newton

Inanimate Object

   
1 An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion. An object at rest breaks when you put it in motion; an object in motion breaks anyway.
2 The acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the magnitude of the net force. The acceleration of an object’s break is directly proportional to your inability to pay for it.
3 For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. For every fix, there is at least one break.

The best things in life are free

We have wants and desires that are far beyond our reach – that 100 foot (30 meter) yacht, that palace on the Riviera or winning the lottery.

None of these are going to happen but we keep wishing.

Yet, we overlook the simple but wonderful pleasures of everyday life:

the best things

  • The sound of gentle rain in the early morning
  • Watching a sunset on a mild fall evening
  • The distant sound of a train whistle from the open window of your room
  • Being awakened by a gentle caress on your cheek…

 

                … unless you happen to be in jail at the time.

Advice [with commentary]

advice

People cannot resist giving advice. Most of it is unwanted, unwarranted or useless.  Shakespeare’s Polonius, he of “Neither a borrower nor a lender be,” was full of advice and was also a deceitful old fool.  Hamlet rewarded Polonius for this advice by stabbing him: He should have stabbed him sooner.

While I am not planning to stab anyone, I am going to add my own curmudgeonly commentary to some advice and comments that I received recently.

 

Your shoes are the first thing people subconsciously notice about you. Wear nice shoes.  [Wear more if it’s cold unless you are auditioning for a job as a stripper.]

If you sit for more than 11 hours a day, there’s a fifty percent chance you’ll die within the next three years.  [So move around every 10 hours and 59 minutes.]

There are at least 6 people in the world who look exactly like you. There is a 9% chance that you’ll meet one of them in your lifetime.  [None of these people will look like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie.]

Sleeping without a pillow reduces back pain and keeps your spine stronger.  [Sleeping without a bed does not.]

A person’s height is determined by their father and their weight is determined by their mother.  [It’s always your parents’ fault.]

If a part of your body “falls asleep,” you can almost always “wake it up” by shaking your head.  [If your head falls asleep, you’re probably dead.]

There are three things the human brain cannot resist noticing – food, attractive people and danger.  [For men, this is defined as beer, large breasts and “honey do” lists.]

Putting dry tea bags in gym bags or smelly shoes will absorb the unpleasant odor.  [Using the tea bag afterwards will not.]

According to Albert Einstein, if honey bees were to disappear from earth, humans would be dead within 4 years. [Sooner if preceded by nuclear holocaust.]

There are so many kinds of apples that if you ate a new one every day, it would take over 20 years to try them all.  [Also true for micro-breweries.]

People who laugh a lot are healthier than those who don’t. [Unless you laugh at a Hell’s Angel.]

Our brain uses the same amount of power as a 10-watt bulb.  [Which is why we see people who have a bright idea with a 10 watt bulb over their heads.]

Our body gives off enough heat in 30 minutes to boil 1.5 liters of water.  [So if you sit in a bathtub long enough, will you heat it up?]

Stomach acid (HCl) is strong enough to dissolve razor blades.  [Be environmentally sound by swallowing razor blades after using them.]

Take a 10 to 30 minute walk every day and while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate antidepressant.  [Not true. When I take a 30 minute walk, I grimace.]

Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.  [For a teenager, make it 10 hours instead of 10 minutes.]

Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Forgive them for everything. [But don’t forget their names.]

Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”  [If yes, then elevate “so-called” to “cataclysmic.”]

If you can’t improve your health OR your writing, then…

 

..you end up at WalMart, of course.

Fred, an otherwise rational adult male, foolishly believes that he will find what he needs at his local WalMart.  He realizes his mistake when he gets trapped in Aisle 6 – Depends, Tampons, Bandaids, rubbing alcohol, printing ink…

Frantic calls from his cellphone brings, in succession, his family, friends, members of the constabulary, Food and Drug Enforcement officials, the World Wrestling Entertainment federation, a SWAT team and even nuclear disarmament forces. Every attempt to rescue him fails as each group, in turn, becomes a WalMartian!

There is little I can add to these disturbing pictures except to say that evidence of alien life is closer than you can imagine.