All around me is destruction. Paper falling from the skies as I stand looking out in panic and frustration. Why? Why does this have to be this way? For all we have become as a society, for all our achievements, that it should come to this causes me great anguish.
I close my eyes. I close them and begin to wonder what a world would be like where this never had to happen. It’s a beautiful scene full of serenity and calm. It’s sunshine. It’s warm.
I slowly open my eyes again whilst trying to hold onto the calming images that have now infiltrated my tired mind. I pick up the toilet roll and for the umpteenth time try to start the roll off without tearing it into a million little pieces.
Why in 2015 are we unable to invent a toilet roll that can be used from it’s very first two-ply sheet? I don't want mismatched bit’s of ply or indeed a roll that wishes only to be one-ply. I also don’t want to wipe my bottom with various sizes of torn tissue paper, no matter how soft or covered in aloe vera.
Life is full of frustrations. I’m convinced that we wouldn’t need psychologists or anti anxiety medication if we could just solve a few simple problems. We all cope with the major stresses in our lives but the moment the bus is two minutes late we go into meltdown.
So for today I am a grumpy old man and this is what I need solving in my life. Everything on this list should be proceeded by the age old cliche ‘we can put a man on the moon but we can’t..’
Actually, now that I think about it, what did people say prior to the 20th July 1969, when man actually did land on the moon? Maybe there was less frustration? ‘Fucking hell why wont my pen work? Mind you we cant’t put a man on the moon so maybe I’m expecting too much.’ Happier times I imagine.
Anyway, I digress, so here goes:
Lids on jars. I mean who can actually open these? I’ve seen grown men weep as they try to prize the lid off a jar of gherkins. Yes gherkins! This should be included on the annual ‘World’s Strongest Man’ competition. Stuff pulling a truck with your testicles, this is the real challenge for the muscled freaks.
Lights that don’t light up. Old bulbs were so magical. You flicked a switch and there it was.. light. Amazing! Yet now I have to wee in the dark whilst my light decides if it wants to reach full power or not during the next hour. No wonder they are energy saving. A light that doesn’t work is even more energy saving so I imagine that’s what the future holds for us.
Forms of identity. Why do we need to identify who we are in a world where everyone knows every fucking detail of my life as it is? Plus the post office put a card through my own letterbox and then ask me to prove that I am the person it was intended for. You gave me the card, you figure it out!
Phones actually being able to make a phone call. First there was mobile phones, now there are smart phones and yet I still constantly find myself somewhere where there is no signal at all. You call someone from a snow covered village and leave a message asking which pub you were going to be meeting in. After four hours of shivering you get a text ‘sorry, only now got your message, we all had a great time. Now in the bath’. Fuck off Vodafone, destroyer of my social life.
Giant remote controls. I use ‘power on/off’, ‘channel up/down’ and ‘volume’. Yet my remote control has 41 buttons! 41! I’m fairly certain they landed man on the moon with less controls than that. In fact I got so annoyed I have become very retro in actually getting up to turn my TV on and off.
If we are going to have self service checkouts then make them self-service. That little red light of ‘assistance required’ comes up on every visit I make. If I wanted assistance I would have gone to an assistant. Yes I look over 25, yes that is the right item in my ‘bagging area’ and yes I am only buying condoms, milk and a razor blade but that’s just how I live my life. Would we accept this inept level of technology in anything else we do? Bring back the milkman I say.
Train tickets. One journey, fifteen tickets. One says ‘only valid with your ticket’, the other says ‘only valid with your receipt’ and then you have other tickets that have no real purpose other than to ensure you don’t know which is your receipt or your ticket. To add to that, in 2015 the way to validate your ticket is still with a hole punch.
So that’s my grumbling over for another morning as my toilet roll lies shredded on the floor. Surveying the scene I wonder what my psychologist would say to it all? ‘Pull your pants up’ would probably be one suggestion and ‘can we discuss this somewhere else?’ would be another, but ultimately she would probably would just smile and nod her head. Or cry. Yes probably cry.
One final thought. I was reminded whilst writing this that it had been World Mental Health day recently and hurrah for that as we need to promote that mental health issues are not something to be afraid of.
It got me wondering though. Is there a World Alzheimers Day and if there is do they have another one two weeks later when they've forgotten they had it in the first place?