I’m trying to figure out what the modern day digital world equivalent is to trying to separate two pages of a newspaper stuck together. Oh you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes when reading a non-kindle real-life magazine or newspaper you try to flip to the next page but it feels like its magically bonded with the one after it. Getting them apart is like attempting to open those vexing grocery store produce department plastic bags. In an effort to release the two sides from one and other you end up frantically rubbing your index finger and thumb together like an early sixties hipster at a beatnik coffee-bar snapping your fingers after a particularly groovy bongo-accompanied beat-generation poem performance.
The only more current equivalent to that annoyance I can think of is doing the repeated mouse click while a graphic laden web-page, you regret going to, ever-so-slowly attempts to load. As I uselessly re-click a zillion times trying to make something / anything happen, I imagine that little spiny wheel in the center of the screen is barking back at me in a wee-little computer version of a New Yawk accent rudely calling out “I’M LOADIN’ HERE”.
I have always heard, as technology changes it is supposed to make our lives easier. And it is true I’m not churning butter, my house has electricity and all that stuff but even though my phone is not permanently connected to the wall anymore, I now have new headaches like constantly misplacing it. You might not know this but to guys, calling yourself to hear where the ring is coming from is the modern-day equivalent of stopping to ask for directions.
See, every advance brings its own set of new annoying catches. I never have to move my flabby ass off the sofa because I have a half dozen remote controls on my coffee table but it’s also crazy frustrating that since I moved last fall I still have a big Zip-lock bag full of remote controls over on the TV stand that I am afraid to throw out even though I have no clue what they turn on and off. Even my beloved zillion pound suddenly trendy again wall of vinyl record albums that I bitterly curse every time I move, can theoretically be replaced with the click of a button on Spotify or I-Tunes. But then you get into the geekie arguments with audiophiles about quality and tactile feel and blah blah blah…
Yet with all these conveniences, frustrating annoyances always seem to also exist. Rather than spending billions of dollars looking for the next BIG thing, science should work on the little things that would make life better. If Mankind’s advances are so great why can’t they invent socks that stay pulled up and underwear that does not slip down? My smarty-phone is an utterly amazing life changer but I always have to re-charge the damn thing at the least convenient time. I’m not even going to mention that it is impossible to melt cheese in a microwave without it getting that funky rubbery taste that no one ever admits to. And what about those not so easy to open airlines peanut packages?
I recall the last time I was flying Southwest Airlines they gave me one of those little bags of peanuts. I could not open it. No really, I felt like Superman trying to juggle kryptonite. You would think at this point in humanity’s evolution, a simple to open bag would exist. The little semi-perforated tear line only mocked me as I at first tried to gently tear it right where it indicated I should. I wondered if Southwest make them so hard to open on purpose to give you something to pass the time while trapped on their planes?
I tried ripping and tugging all four sides, the corners and even doing the pull apart method which 75% of the time results in the bag’s contents going flying in all directions. Nothing. No nuts. I could almost feel the other nearby passengers watching me. I peeked to see if it was in my imagination. It wasn’t. They were. No one even did the polite look away when I caught them watching me agonizing over the sealed sac. It just made me work harder. A little kid two seats over gave me an extra smug look as he shoved the contents of his second bag into his grubby little kid mouth.
Like a grown man chasing a ping pong ball, there is absolutely no way to look smooth and cool battling a bag of nuts. It became a quest, a crusade, a prize fight…. Dan the Baldy Bruiser Versus Bag ‘0’ Nuts in a steel cage battle royal to the finish. At that point I knew there was likely less than a dozen busted up peanut pieces in that bag, barely enough for a mouthful, yet it became a thing. No matter who was watching, no matter how long it took, no matter what means were necessary, I was getting that damn bag open. I felt like Wile E Coyote using an array of backfiring Acme products for all to see. I tried tearing it open with my teeth, grasping the bag with the un-tucked tail of my shirt and poking it with my keys and pen. Still nothing. No nuts.
The flight attendants were already coming down the aisle in clean-up mode when it finally happened. A slight tear, a little rip, the proverbial chink in the armor. The bag finally gave up the fight and piece tore off the top creating a little tiny opening. I tried working the nuts through the gap like I was squeezing the last drop of toothpaste out of the back end of the tube.
Unfortunately, the slit in the bag was not big enough for the smallest nut to slide through. I tried to shove my pinky in it but it would not open any more. With the same sense of pride as the first monkey to discover using a stick or rock as a tool, I finally shoved my pen into the opening and ripped back the top of the bag. Huzzah! A few nuts went flying and I might have smeared ink on some others but I did not care. I was a winner and the fruits of my victory were a couple of dry legumes of love. Mission accomplished; send out a press release and call the media. Slap the Headline on the paper with the pages stuck together that reads ‘DAN GOT NUTS!’