Thursday, July 12, 2007

My Top Seven Horrors of Modern Living

My grandma was afraid of electric irons. Mortally afraid and simply because, she explained, they made clicking noises which she didn’t like. She spent years insisting on using polkatu irons, which are very quaint, and don’t click, I imagine. My youngest aunt is paranoid that people will hack her yahoo email and unravel her personal details; although one realistically wonders what levels of desperation would necessitate such intervention-I don’t really blame her the unease: the more we seem to evolve as a race and make things simple, the more difficulty we have in staying calm; apart from the recurrent nightmares of waking up with no broadband, I suffer from morbid modern phobias for :

Hotel Taps
Gone are those basic uncomplicated cold (blue) and hot (red) taps :the modern arrangement is a complex joy stick type of device which swivels on a plain of 360 degrees in four dimensions. To obtain water that is still constant at a humanly tolerable temperature you need to think laterally and out of the box while struggling to keep a vertical position ; it helps if you are a retired fighter pilot who regularly loops the loop while gunning down invaders. One slight mis judgement or accidental elbow jab and your poor defenceless behind gets well and truly broiled…

Office Printers
As a rule they get stuck when you are printing your CV on them , which everyone knows you shouldn’t be doing. They can also spew out a lot of strange sanskrit like coding when there is a room full of foreign delegates in a meeting waiting for the one little annexure you forgot to print. They can sometimes blink silently in sinister patterns of green and orange morse which could mean anything from a metallic “ the paper tray is empty ” to “we know what you printed last summer…”They would gang up with the xerox machine except for the fact that they thought it was below them. The latter knows it should get stuck when its replicating copies of your CV…

Microwave Ovens
So either your food is cold and the container is sizzling and making crinkling noises - or it’s the other way around. The result is generally unsatisfactory. I also suspect some microwaves try to influence us subliminally and make up cruel and unnatural experiments we could be doing with the neighbours cat. Something this small and powerful has just got to be evil…and there is a host of stuff you really shouldn’t be microwaving but somehow, in the name of science, it begs to be done. Like damp gym shoes…. Old CDs to see what will happen. Is it our plain scientific curiosity or do they make you do things you shouldn’t? Spooky…

Celphones
Uhh where do I start… apart from giving you a major headache and an awful lot of interference on your equipment they are rumored to cause brain tumors and did I forget to mention that guys are not supposed to store them between their legs while driving. And have you noticed that they invariably do? Reason? Its easily accessible. Yeah , right. How do we know what kind of human race we will have mutated into after twenty years of having these things sticking with us? I mean- there’s no previous experience with them, is there?

Laptops
We know there’s an Intel inside but just how safe it is, is the question…The idea was that they should be portable. Next thing you know –they need power, a modem cable and there’s a mouse extension. And you can always drop coffee on them , trip over those cables or just lose them in a taxi. Chose your worry. Even if insurance handles your problems what about losing all that data? Yeech.

Elevators
Could the guy who got in with you alone, be a stalker? Will the thin cable holding up this ton of steel be strong enough to take all the definitely overweight looking people who got on board (after all they didn’t get on scales before they heaved themselves on-) and last and definitely worst of all , will the doors clamp on your shoulders as you struggle to get out.? Could you live with the sheer embarrassment of it all?

And last but not least- Escalators
Im not exactly what you’d define as a gameh-latha, and yet escalators honestly turn my stomach. At what point are you supposed to jump on to them? Will your floppy bata slippers get stuck among one of those realigning steps, bringing things to a grinding halt and making the entire establishment lose power? Who will you call if so? (perhaps you should just forget your slipper and run away genuinely hoping for once, that prince charming is no where around) - What happens when you get to the end of it , if you just do nothing? will it help if you jumped into the air at the last minute when you are getting off ? And how can you calculate the exact moment? Has anyone else noticed how petrified you are about this? And so on and so fourth…

If you spend valuable time thinking about these scares, and trying discretely to avoid them, trust me, you are not the only one. Quite a few of us just grin and bear them too. Now you know.

5 comments:

Dili said...

I can really understand all of your fears. In fact, your "hotel taps" fear is almost exactly alike a 1970s or 1960s Readers Digest article where even then, new taps were likened to flying a WW2 fighter (A Tiger Moth I think...).

But Escalators????

n said...

You know us guys really get the short end of the stick, we can't keep cell-phones between our legs or laptops on our laps. I reckon the next generations will evolve radiation resistant balls as a result. Or there might be a valuable business idea in radiation resistant boxers...hmmm...

Anywhoo I hate those damn taps...and over here in the Land of the Free they are not only in the hotels but in homes as well..arghh...

al juhara said...

hm, titanium nuts.cool.

al juhara said...

and yes, actully one lady i know is quite petrified with the idea o escaltors

flathead said...

Titanium Nuts ??? I like that.

The next best thing since the female condom.. oh sorry sorry, let me be a bit mellower than that, the next best thing since sliced bread. we would not want to upset anybody here, do we?