Tuesday, January 30, 2007

PROGRESS IS OUR MOST IMPORTANT PRODUCT I’m electronically challenged. I was reminded of this when the electrician came to hook up the big screen television. My husband opened an innocent looking, cardboard box and out came the DVD player, TIVO and speakers from the old house. Now the television looks like the cock pit in a 747. I didn’t know I was electronically challenged until I couldn’t use an electric can opener. My husband, on the other hand – the one with the extension cords – loves electronic gadgets. When he brought home an answering machine, I was intimidated by its buttons and flashing lights. That piece of plastic progress let my dentist remind me about appointments and let my son’s teacher ask me to bake cookies. Before I was on speaking terms with the answering machine, my husband brought home a VCR. More buttons and flashing lights - more unappreciated progress. When the VCR came in, we stopped going out to movies, which meant we stopped going out to dinner after the movies. However, as soon as the VCR and I had come to an understanding, my husband replaced it with a DVD player - new buttons, flashing lights and – confusion. Then there's my computer. I only use it for word processing, e-mail and the Internet. My husband assures me it can balance my check book and pay my bills more efficiently than I can. Fine, but it can’t make up excuses for not doing those things more efficiently than I can. I didn't change as fast as the world changed – until TIVO. It was obviously invented for the electronically challenged. I haven’t had such clear, step-by-step directions how to use a machine since I was sixteen and had a “Caution! Student Driver” sign on the back of the car. TIVO, like every invention, began with an idea, which means inventors haven’t thought about dust. No one has invented an electronic, multi-buttoned, light flashing, dust eliminator. In contrast, the progress in space travel has given us down-to-earth inventions like Teflon, Velcro and Tang. Okay, Tang wasn't a giant leap for mankind; but man continues to take small steps toward progress and I continue to trip over that progress. The only invention that doesn't make me feel like an outsider is indoor plumbing. I feel better. Thank you!
HERE'S TO YOUR HEALTH Right after the holiday season comes the flu season. Flu should be spelled flew, as in we flew to a health spa about this time three years ago. I’d bought a church raffle ticket and won a weekend at an Arizona spa. My husband agreed to go because it was free. As far as I was concerned, God wanted me to go. We went for early morning walks, late night Jacuzzis and draped our bodies over pool chairs in between. I was so relaxed I didn’t discover there was a gift shop until the second day. Spa services were offered daily. While my husband had a massage, I had a mineral bath, an herbal wrap, a facial and then a massage. The only spa service I didn’t try was a mud bath. Although other guests praised the cleansing and restorative powers of the mineral-rich mud, I couldn’t make myself sit in mud. Pigs sit in mud, but I’ve never seen a clean and restored pig. Writing of pigs, I’d never seen as much food as there was at the mealtime buffets. Fruits, vegetables, soups, breads – everything but meat. The beef in the stroganoff was tofu, the chicken in the fricassee was tofu and the veal in the scallopini was tofu. The chef had all sorts of tricks up her sleeve; but if she’d pulled a rabbit out of her chef hat, it would have been tofu too. Ready or not, our bodies were going to be purified by vegetarianism. After Saturday lunch my husband and I returned to our pool chairs to relax from our hard day of being pampered. The next thing I knew I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. A cool, gentle hand was touching my shoulder, as an angelic voice told me it was time – time to turn over so I wouldn’t sunburn. I sat up smiling and discovered a glass of frozen lemonade by my chair. My husband was smiling too, but not at lemonade. He was smiling at my thong-bikini-wearing angel. All the staff – women and men – was entertainment for the eyes. However, more conventional entertainment was provided at night. Friday there was a lecture about making our skin look young. Afterwards, I decided to make my skin look young by hanging out with old people. Saturday night’s entertainment was Bingo. More guests were interested in the lines on Bingo cards than the lines on their faces. Prizes were scrumptious looking desserts. When my husband and I didn’t win one, we hoped our losing streak would continue on our scales at home. Scheduled activities ended at ten o’clock. We didn’t stop in the bar on our way to our...

Knight Pierce Hirst

I may be the only writer who has moved to Los Angeles for the weather.

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