Friday, July 14, 2006

What My Parents Didn't Tell Me

Sometimes I wonder if there was a huge mistake made when I was a little girl. I picture the conversation thusly:

First Grade Teacher: I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but your daughter’s IQ is barely above that of an idiot. In fact, she’s practically a moron.

My Parents: What she doesn’t know, won’t hurt her. Let’s pretend she’s really smart.

And then I grow up, fooling everyone along the way when, in fact, I’m really, really, dumb and every so often, the truth peeks out.

So, I buy a fan last night because the “repaired” air conditioner has crapped out again (along with the garage door opener which, after a week, I finally figured out was a circuit breaker problem after the latest blackout). Anyway, this time the a/c is gone for good and on my first pass I wasn’t able to read the model number to order a replacement (besides, it’ll cost beaucoup bucks which are already pledged elsewhere this month). Meanwhile, if Al Gore wants proof of global warming, he should visit my town ‘cuz it’s like Iraq here.

Where was I? Oh, yes. The fan.

I find it in the “summer promotions” aisle and there’s only one. Not surprising this far into the season, so I half-heartedly check a couple other aisles, but no. For $19.99 I buy the last one and feel lucky to get it.

I arrive home, all excited to try out my new fan. I already picture carrying it from room to room as I move from activity to activity. First next to the treadmill, then to the computer room, maybe downstairs later for TV and dinner.

But as I make a mental note of the most conveniently located electrical outlet, a vague thought pricks my subconscious. Why don’t I remember seeing a power cord?

Because there is no power cord, idiot.

Okay. Calm down. If it needs some sort of extension cord, I’ve got one. Probably. Somewhere.

I sit on the bed to inspect my new appliance. It’s like a travel makeup mirror—the kind that unfolds to form an L, complete with its own horseshoe-shaped base. Aha, I think. That thick base—maybe the power cord’s stored inside. How ingenious!

Or not.

I slide open a pair of tab thingies and reveal…


Belatedly (well, in my defense, not belatedly because up until this point I thought the sucker plugged into the wall) I try the power switch.

Right. Nothing. No blessed whir, no whoosh. Nothing.

With a sinking feeling, I figure maybe the batteries aren’t making a connection somewhere…? So I proceed to remove one leg’s worth.


Because now I can’t get ‘em back in.

So I’m cursing, I’m sweating, I’m breaking nails right and left. Just as I finally get this close to cramming them back in…the other five pop out.

At this point, I’m pretty confident the thing will never work (hey, maybe this is why it wasn’t boxed and the only one they had—ya think??) but I’m determined. Twenty minutes later, I get all eight batteries nestled back in their cradles.

Switch the power on.

Yep, definitely a moron.

Okay, I know when I'm whipped. So I don’t even bother taking the newly-purchased WD-40 out to fix the recalcitrant garage door. No, I decide to leave that to the experts...y'know...the ones whose parents didn’t lie about their IQs.


John said...

Some women who have a career, get married, have kids, grow old happily ever after, never even know they are mechanically challenged. So, consider you simply know more.

Brooke said...

Ah, Randy...I feel your pain. I hate it when things break down and I have to figure out how to get them fixed. You'd think there'd be a class or something on how to deal with things like this...