Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Hose and the Corkscrew

There are some frustrations in life that we just have to accept.

I don't fully subscribe to that mantra, just saying! 

I spend money to reduce frustration. Sometimes my desire to reduce frustration is thwarted, but I still try. 

I offer two examples. 

My "No-Kink" Hose
The first is the venerable and absolutely necessary garden hose. I have multiple garden hoses to perform multiple tasks such as water the plants during the heat of summer, wash the car (like I ever do that), supply water to the power washer, and fill the pool.

My biggest source of frustration with the garden hose, aside from being often length challenged, is the kink! Hoses kink when being moved and it is frustrating. I get prepared to preform a task and no water comes from the hose.  A few years ago I purchased a hose supposedly guaranteed not to kink. It was going to reduce my frustration. 

It has not reduced my frustration level. It kinks every bit as much as the old green hoses it replaced. Maybe more now that it has aged some. Ugh!

Maybe "no-kink" hoses do not really exist. (Is that a double negative?)

The second example of trying to reduce frustration is related to being a member of one of the most oppressed minorities in the world. 

Left-Handed Cork Screw
Yes, I am left-handed. Almost everything in the world is designed for right-handed people. I run into the righty bias in everything to include how gasoline pumps are constructed and how the air is ingested into my gasoline powered blower. I often find myself interfering with the airflow by holding the unit in my left hand to use it. Why can't the air be ingested from the top or bottom instead of the side?

I was in a recent discussion about corkscrews. Even corkscrews are built for right-handed use. I noticed the bias when a young left-handed waiter, who clearly did not have a lot of experience, struggled to remove the cork of a wine purchased for dinner. Believe it or not, corkscrews are designed for right-handed people!

I decided to do some research and found a left-handed corkscrew which I purchased. It arrived yesterday and I was ecstatic, until I tried to use it. It is backwards. Rather, I have become so trained to perform the task of removing the cork from a wine bottle using right-handed tools that it felt very weird to use a tool designed specifically for me to do the job. 

And it was fun. I even tried to remove the cork from the corkscrew improperly. Everything is reversed. 

I can't wait to have my friends try the corkscrew and experience life in reverse!

I remember when I was a kid laughing about a left-handed monkey wrench--maybe one does exist after all? 

Maybe there yet is hope for reducing some life's frustrations one item at a time! 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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