Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Windup

109 The Windup

What happens if the power goes out and you’ve forgotten to charge your electric tooth brush and it stops and you can’t brush your teeth and can’t reach the electric company because your phones run on house current and cell phone service is iffy to begin with?

How did they live a century ago without Vonage and Buzz King Vibramatic tooth brushes?

No wonder the life expectancy was so short. All those germs in your mouth. Yech!

Of course by mid century, you could pick up the phone – even in a power failure – and reach someone.

Not now. Bad breath, germs AND no communication in the “age of communication.”

They have wind-up radios, though.

When the lights go out, you can crank the handle of these things and it charges a little battery inside and you can get radio reception – if the power failure hasn’t affected the local radio stations.

Germs. No phone. But at least we get Michael Savage and Fox News.

Verizon says our DSL service and lap top will work together to keep us in touch with the outside world for as long as the computer battery lasts. IF we have battery backup for our “home wireless network.” What “home wireless network?”

They recommend installing gas stoves around here. That’s probably because electricity is a relative bargain and gas prices are through the roof. But, of course, when the lights go out, you can still see to cook. Unless, of course the gas stove has an electric flame-starter mechanism.

Germs, no lights, no phone, no food.

Maybe they could make a windup stove to go along with the windup radio. Maybe they could make a windup tooth brush, too.

But that’s not likely. Wind up stuff is like steam-powered stuff. No one knows how to do it anymore.

When was the last time you saw a wind up toy?

When was the last time you bought a NEW windup watch? Or a windup alarm clock? Or a clothes wringer?

The secrets to these devices are buried in Swiss bank vaults. And the bank secrecy laws DO apply to mechanisms.

We are prisoners of our “advanced” technology.

Don’t you wish you still had your 1964 Chevy? The one you could fix with duct tape and a screwdriver and maybe some hair pins? (Do they even MAKE hair pins anymore?) No need for a “check engine” light on those babies. Pre computer cars were like pre computer toothbrushes, telephones, and radios, gas stoves and clothes dryers with electric brains?

Is this nostalgia for a simpler era? Maybe.

Or is it just a phobia about germs and tooth decay?

Better get that toothbrush into the charger before the next storm.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

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