Killing Technology One Small Step at a Time

From Ellen in Gdynia, Poland: To reduce the jungle of wires around my computer, I opted for a wireless mouse.  It’s cute, sleek as a tiny racecar, convenient – and a source of absurd problems.  Naturally, it’s supposed to be turned off at the end of each session.  Somehow I managed to forget this rather frequently, and panicked when within the month, the batteries died.  Certain it was defective, I carted it off to the computer store around the corner.  The owner grinned at me after testing it.  “You just need batteries.”  So again battery-powered, I returned home.   

I tried leaving a post-it near the screen:  “Mouse off?” Of course, this helped only until it became an accustomed part of my surroundings, but I did marginally better.  Maybe left it on all night just two or three times  When the batteries died again, I confidently set out to change them…and found I couldn’t get the damned thing open!  I prodded, pulled, cursed…and then, jettisoning what was left of my pride, returned to the computer store.  He patiently showed me how to open it.  To my relief, it really wasn’t that obvious. 

This morning, hurriedly turning on the computer to check emails, I managed to knock the mouse to the floor.  It broke open, batteries flying.  I replaced them, shut it, turned it on…nothing. 

“This time, I’m afraid it isn’t the batteries,” I said gloomily to the computer man.  “I dropped it.” 

He popped it open and began to snicker.  “Got your positives and negatives confused here.”  The mouse lit up.  

I feel like I’m starring in a particularly slapstick episode of I Love Lucy.  And Ruth thinks she’s technologically challenged!   

I’m glad I didn’t kill my mouse…especially since earlier this week, I did manage to kill my cell phone.  Shut a car door on it.  Never mind how I contrived to do that.  Opening the little phone to see what appeared to be a gasoline rainbow on its screen was traumatic. After years of loathing cell phones, I’ve come to a general, grudging appreciation of them.   

Fortunately, replacing it was easy.  My friend Ania, about to buy a new one (and knowing Ania, who doesn’t share my ineptitude with gadgets, it will be one of those multipurpose state of the art marvels), gave me her spare. 

“But you have to learn to SMS,” she insisted, giving me a demonstration. 

Oh, no I don’t. 

(Copyright 2008 by Ellen Dlott)

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