I am not really one for gadgets. I don’t seem to own many of those beautiful, shiny, sleek, everyone-needs-one, can’t-live-without-them, things-to-make-your-life–easier doodads that a lot of other people seem to have. However, I do admit that some of the thingamabobs, whatchamacallits and doohickeys advertised on those (really, really, really long) infomercials which seem to have taken over our tellies these days can sometimes stop me dead in my tracks.
I will sit and watch and listen in awe to all the ‘amazing, extraordinary, save-you-10-hours-every-day’ promises they make. I will marvel at the cutting edge technology and aerospace engineering involved and sit rapt while the doojigger slices and dices, cleans up and disposes of, folds in and out and puts itself away, and builds a dog kennel all on its own. I will ponder the weird and wonderful mind that thought the gizmo up in the first place and, more importantly, wonder if it comes in a colour I like.
Then the phone will ring, or the dog will bark, or the kettle will boil and I will wander off to attend to that and never give that wonderful, amazing whoseamewhatsit another thought. Short attention span? Absolutely. Do I feel the loss at not having acquired whatever it was? Not at all.
I have friends who have cupboards full of gizmos, gubbins and doodads they have never used (‘seemed like a good idea at the time’), and, if anything, I feel I am just doing my small part in restoring the balance and not adding to any more landfill. I am in no way trying to belittle those in the past who have lived their lives striving to discover things to make things easier for the rest of us. Where would we be without those intrepid inventors of the past? Even I find it hard to imagine getting through everyday life without computers, emails and telephones. No television, no light bulbs, no birth control pill. Just imagine millions more people trying to get around without planes, trains and automobiles — no bicycles even. No cameras or film (no YouTube) to record our path through the years. Perhaps (the horror!) not even any books — we could still be chipping our take-away orders on stone tablets! People would be suffering or dying from diseases now long curable, or at least manageable So, good to know that I am not a complete Luddite then.
As the old proverb says — necessity is the mother of invention and, although whomever invented the bright stylish footwear in the photo (right) could perhaps not really claim this invention to be a necessity, they were not only thinking ‘out of the box’ but they must have also had a direct line to the B.O.M.
And go on . . .admit it . . . you just really do have to love an invention with a sense of humour . . .