Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Gizmos and Toys

“Americans have been bought off and silenced by gizmos and toys.”
                                                                                                                      --George Carlin

All I really wanted to do was lie on the couch and review the instruction manual to my camera. But first, I had to find it. And so to the bottom drawer on the left side of the kitchen sink, where we keep a pile of manuals and instructions from all of our appliances, electronics and other modern implements of destruction.

And what a pile it was! When, I wondered, was the last time I had sorted through all this crap? Well, clearly, today was the day. My potato-ing on the couch, reading about the workings of my camera, would just have to wait. And so I began to go through the stack, and here’s what I found:

Operating Instructions for my Black and Decker cordless edger: I never did need this. I’ve already used that edger since I bought it years ago. Twice.

Operating Instructions for a CD from Sharper Image. This is also something we almost never use. It’s as fragile a piece of electronics as I’ve ever seen. I can’t imagine that we ever actually bought something from the now-bankrupt Sharper Image. And we didn’t. I think Spike won it years ago. Or found it somewhere.

The Installation Guide to a thermostat: The thermostat has long been installed. And certainly not by me. Why do I still need this?

The Owner’s Manual to my Schwinn: My Schwinn is currently unrideable, but I don’t think I need the manual to figure out the problem. I believe I just need to put air in the tires.

Setup Guide to a Dell Computer: Not sure which computer this is for, the one I’m using now or the one rusting away in the garage. 

A two-page Instruction Sheet on how to set up my three–piece hammock frame: I’m really sorry I found this. I just finished measuring my old, corroded hammock, in preparation for getting a new one. My measurement says it’s ten feet. The Instruction Sheet says it’s eleven feet. Who should I believe?

Use and Care Guide to our gas water heater: That’s the big thing in the garage, right?

Instruction for JVC car radio: That was the one that was working great that I had to rip out because it wouldn’t work with Sirius. I have to have Howard.

Operating Instructions for the telephone we just threw out: Now I’ll never learn how to work that fax machine.

Instruction Manual for my Mulching Rear Bag Mower: My lawn mower came with a bag?

Guide on how to program your TV remote from Comca—I mean, Xfinity: I give them credit. At this point they’ve almost completely eliminated the c-word.

Operating Instructions to a portable DVD player: I’m glad I know where instructions are. Now if I could only find the DVD player.

User Manual for a 4-cup Mr. Coffee maker: Spike, who doesn’t drink coffee, bought this even though I told her I wouldn’t use it. Anybody need a coffee maker? It’s brand new.

User Guide for our VHS player: Okay, don’t laugh. It also has DVD player, so it’s only mostly obsolete.

Product Registration Card dated 2003 for something called a Dirt Devil: It’s possibly too late to mail that in.

Instruction Booklet for a Westinghouse microwave oven: I’ve never actually read the instructions. So far, so good.

Owner’s Guide for our Softub: Apparently there’s more to the process than 1. heat water, 2. get in.

Manual for a Bella Circus Waffle Maker; This was a gift that I knew Spike, who eats those frozen toaster waffles every morning, would never use from the day I bought it. But I had to, you know, get her something. And really, who wouldn’t prefer waffles shaped like clowns?

Operating Instructions for a Panasonic telephone. The picture of it reminds me of some long-ago girlfriend. It’s only vaguely familiar, even though apparently there was a time when I used it every day.

Instruction Manual for a Black and Decker electric drill: I have a drill? Whatever for?
A “Welcome” booklet from the local library: It provides a list privileges and responsibilities, but doesn’t explain why it’s now acceptable for people to talk loudly there.

User Manual for out SodaStream: Well, I sure know how to operate that.

User Manual for our LED TV: My, this looks outrageously complicated. That’s why when I needed it installed I immediately called the boys from Comcas—I mean, Xfinity.

A booklet about living life fully charged, which turns out to be the warranty on our new Beautyrest mattress:  It was the first new mattress we’d bought in twenty years. We thought it might be even turn out to be our last, so we spared no expense. It bowed like an old man’s spine within six months.

Instruction Manual on how to mount that Sharper CD player into the wall: As if.

Installation Instructions for the sliding screen door. Don’t remember how long ago I bought it, but it’s needed to be replaced for years now.

Instruction Manual for a Crock Pot: What’s to learn? Put in food, turn on, go to work, come home and, if house not burned down, proceed to eat.

The Instructions for the space heater I bought Spike last Christmas: Now that she uses.

Owner’s Manual to our wall heater, or as they call it, our Gravity Vented Wall Furnace. You know, I would have sworn we had the same one from when we bought the house, but I guess not. On the front in big letters: “What to Do If You Smell Gas.” Run?

An envelope that seems to contain an unrecognizable and unrelated assortment of papers, including a toilet installation guide, installation instructions for a pair of beautiful folding wooden doors that I have never seen in my life and a recipe for cinnamon-raisin donuts.

A “Limited Lifetime Warranty” for my electric guitar: Does “limited lifetime” seem like an oxymoron to you?

Instructions for the tubing system I used to fill and drain the aquarium that had been occupied by the late Ellsworth. Sigh.

Owner Manual for the Cube-30: I had no idea what it was either, until I looked inside. It’s my guitar amplifier.

Use and Care Guide for a Galaxy Mircowave Oven: So that makes two, a Westinghouse and a Galaxy. Which one is it that we use now, I wonder?

An older Instruction Manual for the previous Black and Decker Lawn Mower. You know, the one I ran over that lead drainpipe with.

A glossy folder containing a pile of papers from Sirius Radio: I probably should read it one day, so I can figure out how to listen to more than just one of their 120 channels.

A folder containing all the delivery information from the bathroom sink we bought from Home Depot: In 2005. I thought we had spent less than that.

A glossy little pamphlet from the Heated Back Massager: I just last month found it in the garage, dusted it off and threw it out.

A receipt for something from Sears that cost $517.98: I have no idea what it was, but I bet I bitched about the price at the time.

A piece of cardboard with the words IMPORTANT across it, reminding us to Confirm Our Warranty:  For what I’m not sure, but the address is to Kenmore. They make washers and dryers, right? My guess it’s for our washer and/or dryer.

Owner’s Manual for our European 2-Slice Toaster with Three Control Buttons:  Yes, operating instructions for a toaster. Oh, and it’s made by Kenmore. Now it’s all making sense.

A report showing no asbestos fibers in our home: Hooray! I can breathe freely again!

A large, shiny folder from Sears exhorting me to “Wish Big.” Oh, and there’s the information for our washer and dryer. You know, if I had really “wished big” we’d have a maid to do our laundry.

And so there you have it. I found the warranties, owner manuals and operating instructions for just about everything with at least two moving parts that we’ve purchased in the last decade. Everything, that is, except for the camera. 


At 5:30 AM, Anonymous FUNGUS!!!! said...

You're worse off than me!!!!!

I keep finding instruction manuals for the old cell phones that I don't even remember buying and recipes for things I know I'll probably never make given to me by well meaning friends!!!

One recipe was for making cactus burritos!!! No, not from someone in Arizona but from southern California!!!

They were tasty when his wife made them!!!

I'm always finding old crap like those manuals and I always wonder why they weren't thrown out years ago!!

Well, I gotta go but if you want to get rid of it, I'll take that coffee maker!!!

Let me know, I'll send you the address!!!!

At 8:26 AM, Blogger Leonard Stegmann said...

Cactus burritos? Sounds painful!


Post a Comment

<< Home
Provided by site.