Why is it that many among us are adamantly adverse to reading directions? Have you ever gotten an item that requires assembly? Of course you have, be it a computer desk, office chair, even most toys require some snapping together of parts. Usually there is a detailed instruction booklet printed in a dozen or more languages requiring one to find their language of choice and go to work. I usually go with English but when I feel exceptionally witty I will have a crack at the Norwegian or Latvian directions with varying degrees of success. My good wife Robin (picture an educated Lucille Ball on Red Bull) has, as it turns out, a phobia of the printed instruction booklet. I only found out about this recently after many years of matrimony. We had a major disruption in our relatively peaceful home when the Sharper Image oscillating fan in our bedroom went south. It had an electrical short and when she turned it on there was a loud “pop” then a louder female scream, then darkness and whimpering. I ran into the bedroom expecting a normal serial killer confrontation. After getting a grip on the situation I instructed her to unplug the defective device while I reset the breaker. Before I could explain to her the electrical chain of the events that caused darkness she had turned the still faulty fan on again. Believe it or not, it had not healed itself even though it did come with a pedigree from a superior retail establishment now in receivership. My bride can’t sleep without the fan so replacement was of great importance. Long story short, I went out and got her a new, even nicer tower fan. It was her birthday so everything seemed to be going my way as I had nothing else working on that front. After opening the box she yelped like a coyote pup and I looked to see her staring at 4 fairly self explanatory fan parts. “Do something” she pleaded. I picked up the instructions (good ones with cartoons) and placed them on her lap. The paper might as well have been a rattle snake. She held up her hands and yelled, “I can’t read, I can’t read”. For a moment I felt deep pain for all the innocent gifted and talented children she has come in contact with, and then I just felt sorry for myself. As I carefully fed the deadly instructions to the shredder (after a quick glance at the cartoons) I realized my wife suffers from Direction Deficient Disorder (DDD). I’m thinking Shock Therapy is worth a try. I’ll keep you posted as I’m thinking she needs a new computer desk with shelves and doors! But right now it’s still baseball!
For the rest of this column, read this week's Cadiz Record.