Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.    The Honorable Governor of Texas, George W. Bush

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Remotely Disinterested

For 54 years of my life it has apparently not occurred to anybody that I might actually be worth something, and so I admit that I again shirk my Patriotic American duty to be SCARED TO DEATH, this time of my identity being stolen. Nevertheless my little Hun yesterday brought home from the again obviously evil gates of Super-monstrous Wal Mart a shredder, the timing of such purchase to coincide with the annual cleaning of the files of records of things transacted across the vast Sequoit global empire.

And so while I might have been enjoying a nice, quiet Saturday in the doldrums of this February Great Lakes climate—listening to the Illini game, playing Scrabble with two computer generated mavens and watching the Discovery Channel—I found my concentration dangerously fragmented by a series of additional noises. This beguine began benignly (sorry, I watched De-Lovely, the Cole Porter story, Friday night) with about fifteen repetitions of rhrhrhrhrh as I figured it would all be over soon. But more disturbing was what followed, a couple of very low huuuuuuuuuuuuuuums and then silence. I was nearly moved to turn around, but my alpha male’s nose didn’t detect any trace of what is so familiar to those who might be sure that one more try would free the garbage disposal, the dispiriting odor of burnt electrical motor coil.

After several cycles of this it was clear that some intervention would be necessary to avoid the distracting hubbub of my wife collecting up the packing material, warming up the car for another trip to the Superbly-magnificent Wal Mart and the attendant oaths of damnation, let alone the inevitable byplay related to the perceived importance of our as yet separate activities.

And so, heroically, I turned to enter the fraying.

First off, it was clear that the proper tool was needed for the job of clearing the blades. An attempt was being made to pull out the offending clumps of account and SS numbers with a set of tweezers. Carefully balancing the relative values of my previously noted valuable time, the cost of the machine and the likelihood of irreparable damage I opted immediately for the small screwdriver vigorously poked between the blades alternated with blowing the loosened material all over the room. Thus was made relatively short work of the jam, and upon inspection it was determined that the blades remained more or less in line and that it was time for another run.

What followed might be considered eerie or coincidental in another household, I couldn’t say because my memory of other households I’ve been a member of is understandably selective. In this household, however, it was inevitable. I proceeded to shred every thing in sight, hundreds of sheets, with no jams. Did this irritate my dear one? Nope, the whole ordeal just further validated her longstanding tenet, “I hate machines and machines hate me!”

Last night, after shutting down the DVD player, turning down the Wave Radio from theater-type volume, tuning the VCR back to channel 4, selecting TV from VCR/TV, selecting the “Soundscape” music channel on the cable box, switching to TV mode on the cable remote, turning off the TV, setting the wave radio to 45 minute sleep mode and canceling the alarm, I thought to myself, “What’s her problem?”

I realized that in the morning she would turn on the TV, change the channel of the TV instead of the Cable (remote still in TV mode) and get static with no sound (was turned down to listen with the Wave Radio to the movie). And so I again remembered to leave the seat up, left the door to the bathroom open (I hate that thud in the middle of the night), and made a mental note to remember in the morning to turn on the TV, switch the mode to Cable, put the volume back up and turn off the Cable/TV combo.

Probably because I have so many such responsibilities around here I forgot this morning.


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