Saturday, October 14, 2006


Years ago, John coined the term "inanimosity": apparently unfriendly, uncooperative behavior by inanimate objects. A door doesn't latch properly, you trip over a piece of furniture you could swear wasn't in your way before, a vending machine takes your dollar and doesn't give you the soda. All that stuff. Rationally, we know that the machines aren't being deliberately mean to us. Motors wear out. Products are often made cheaply and badly. We drop things on the floor and expect them to keep working afterward. We don't read the instructions. Is it any wonder that the machines let us down? Chances are that we let them down first. But it sometimes feels as if there's malice involved, as if inanimate objects are thwarting us on purpose.

So I sit here typing on a computer with half its lettering worn away, sometimes pressing the same keys several times to get them to work. When I want to use the mouse I pull the USB connection upward with one hand and mouse with the other. I upload a photo taken with a camera whose lens cover hardly ever closes or opens all the way, and with a lens barrel that sticks. And now the refrigerator in the picture is rapidly warming up on the coldest setting. We had to go out tonight and buy a new one - a decent but modest one for "only" $500 because the space in the corner of the kitchen won't accomodate anything wider than 30 inches. And when I went to tape Doctor Who tonight for Kevin, it took me about two minutes into the show to find the right combination of buttons and settings to make the machine startt recording.

The lettering on the keyboard is simply worn away from all my typing. Still: do other people have this problem, or is it just me? The sticky keys could be my fault. The camera had problems from week one, but I'm sure it would work better now had I taken better care of it. And the fridge is probably thirty years old at least. It doesn't owe anybody anything.

But it sure feels as if technology were ganging up on me!


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Paul said...

I've always believed that the world had it in for me. Now I have a term that describes it. Thanks.

Barbara said...

I'll have to remember the term. I have felt that way many times.

Chris said...

What a great term, I love it.

It reminded me of the line:
"It's an imperfect world...screws fall out" from The Breakfast Club.

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Becky said...

Holy are going through it too! We lost our hot water heater, central AC unit and now the microwave we have built in over the stove is fried (I think I heard John say he's hitting Lowes this weekend). I think the washing machine is headed south too. All in the last 6 months!! It's like a curse!