Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Things I Wonder About

A recent New York Times essay suggested that the meds used in suicides should have their tablets individually sealed in blister packs. The idea: having to push 50+ tablets out one by one might slow a person down enough to stop the attempt.

Got me wondering which other difficulties are on purpose and which have no good reason.

Public Bathroom Toilet-Paper Dispensers. You know the ones: they only let you tear off one square at a time. Clearly, this is meant to reduce the amount of TP you use. What a miserable business.

Car Door Locks. It's late as you stop for the red light at a deserted intersection. And that's when you see the homeless man gesticulating angrily at his imaginary friend and realize you didn't lock your doors. Too late now. Hit that button and he will hear that distinctive ka-chink sound. Inadvertent.

Angled Parking Spaces. Painting the lines of parking spaces on a diagonal in a parking lot doesn't really make things easier. Or it's only easier 50% of the time, when you approach from one direction, but not the other. This little difficulty is meant to steer you in a certain direction.

Smoke Detector's Low Battery Alert. Both intentional and unintentional. The intentional part: those annoying little beeps are clearly meant to drive you to action (or out of your mind). The unintentional part? On ours, the alert only sounds at odd intervals and there's no blinking light on the detector to tell you which one of them is going off. You need to wait like an idiot, ears pricked, to figure it out. Somebody's idea of a joke?

Those New-Menu Options. Have you ever called an automated call-answering system and NOT have it tell you to listen to the entire message because "menu options have changed?" They have not. Just dumb.

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