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Humor July 2015

The Old Gal

Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane? No! It’s Super Machine!

By Anne Ashley

Before junior got halfway through his soliloquy I finally confessed that I don’t care if my washer can stimulate my old garments, sing songs to the dryer or saves the world from toxic softeners, I just want a simple, washer that removes yesterday off my pants! Honestly, you’d have thought I called his mother names, such was his stunned expression.

Now, I get that my age group isn’t the intended target for up-to-the-minute digital technology and all its wonderment. I understand that Apple Inc.  just isn’t that into me – which is actually justified since it took me entirely too long to work out how to operate my Bluetooth contraption bought as a “convenience!” And after many abruptly terminated calls, the loss of several ill-fitting earpieces and complete confusion over exactly how far I can be from my phone while wearing the earpiece in order for the two to communicate (Seriously! If I have to practically stand next to my phone for the call to connect to the earpiece, where’s the convenience?), I finally resorted back to just answering my phone as god intended...by pressing the little green icon and speaking into a stealthily placed hole. Although, to be fair, I still unintentionally hang up on more calls than I mean to by pressing the wrong icon.

Anyway, all that aside, modern technology may not be for the boomers but it’s truly over-egged the pudding, regardless of intended demographics, by applying its magic to the domestic washing machine. Granted, I was happy that engineers saw fit to replace the mangle and wringer with a less laborious and automated machine. But once we were able to deposit clothes into the opening, add pre-measured detergents, select cycles and walk away, washing machines had pretty much reached their zenith. 

I recently went in search of a new washer for the first time in years and was dumbfounded at the variety of functions, sizes, colors (Really? A cobalt blue washer? C’mon now, that’s just putting lipstick on a pig, if ever I saw it) stackable units, utility drawers, sound effect options, water saving, economy saving, turbo-wash, mega-capacity, light load, steam wash… etc., etc. It all made my head spin. Oh wait, and spin speeds – 1000 rpm, 1200 rpm, and 1400 rpm! Presumably your clothes aren’t done until they’ve had the patterns spun off them! 

My complaints to the youthful shop assistant that I was just washing clothes, not nuclear waste, fell on deaf (and multi-pierced) ears. Completely ignoring my obvious lack of enthusiasm for cyber cleaning, he went on to show me machines so big that I’d have to launder for the entire  neighborhood to warrant the size and motherboard panels so complicated that I’d be qualified to wash my soiled clothes and fly a plane, once I had completed the operating course!

And just when I thought I could see the light at the end of the wash cycle, I was further schooled that, along with modern machines, comes the responsibility of modern laundry detergents.

Round two was all about economy sensitive cleaning agents, low suds detergents and environmentally sympathetic softener options. I wanted to cry. Before junior got halfway through his soliloquy I finally confessed that I don’t care if my washer can stimulate my old garments, sing songs to the dryer or saves the world from toxic softeners, I just want a simple, washer that removes yesterday off my pants! Honestly, you’d have thought I called his mother names, such was his stunned expression.

With that, Bill Gates and I skulked silently out of the spaceship/washer section, passed the time travel/refrigerator section, beyond the NASA monitor/microwave section… and … all of a sudden… there it was… my dinosaur. A lonely, white washing machine with only three clunky knobs and a lovely light indicator for on/off adorning the front panel, sitting in a darkened corner of the shop.

Hello you, I exclaimed!

While I admired its uncomplicated features (no motherboard tomfoolery on this little gem) I was informed that there was no online tutorial or trouble-shooting for this model as it was pretty self-explanatory. Thank you, I purred. I was further warned that I would have to rely on standard repairmen if anything went wrong – no computer telemetry to indicate a fault (you know, lest not running, spinning or draining isn’t enough of an indication). Bless you, I offered while I tested the control knobs. As a final threat I was cautioned that this was the last one in the shop. Sold, I said as I pressed my face against the cold metal!    

No wonder colleges are so full these days. It’s not just engineers or lawyers or doctors needed to keep the human race in step. Its computer wizards and mathematical geniuses needed for future generations of people who will become so dependent on micro chipped everythings that they won’t even be able to operate a toilet without technicians and mainframe experts on standby!

 

Be sure to follow me on twitter@anneashley57.

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