Sunday, December 18, 2005

A Better Mousetrap?

I've got some friends. They showed up last night because I've been careless about leaving food out. I also thought I'd sealed every nook and cranny behind that cabinet. They can chew their way through most anything if they think there's an "all you can eat--open all night" diner on the other side.

So I had some old ricketty wooden mouse traps, you know the kind your grandfather used, why I ever kept them was now coming clear. CANT MISS brand. To make a long story short, I pulled the first victim out, cheeze still inbedded in upper and lower teeth this morning.

Why go up to the hardware store and get one of them fancy newfangled environmentally correct contraptions when the SURE HIT brand will do the job when you need it. I don't mind picking them up (with a pair of pliers) and opening the Jaws Of Death (with another pair of pliers) and letting the corpse drop into the garbage. I'll tell you what I don't like, and the only reason I can think of to build a better mousetrap.

I'm OK with cramming the cheese on the trap and setting the spring is no problem. I already said I'm OK with the clean-up. What I can't handle is the flip-floping around from the convulsions of the thing being strangled to death and nerves being severed only to dance their last breath.

I'll set another tonight, but I'll wait until moments before I'm in a deep sleep and far from the dance floor. With all the doors closed. And music playing. Jazz.

Sure all the newfangled traps (do they even call them traps anymore?) have the benefit of avoiding this slight incovenience. Sure they keep you from having to remeber to wash your hands--you should do that regulalry anyway, you know. But when it comes to success rate, ease of use (notwithstanding an occasional bruised finger,) and availability, nothing beats the old SURE SHOT.

Like many other things nowadays, they build in "conveniences" only because they can. They, are the engineers. We are plagued with over-engineering and convinced that we "need" it so that enginereers can have their jollies and build a better mousetrap.

My favorite example, and I'm sure I'll use it again, is electric car windows. I am amazed at the number of people who, when I explain to them what an unsafe feature this is to any automobile, say with conviction: "I've never thought of that before." See if you are one of them.

Consider what happens when you wreck an automobile and the battery gets smashed, or even a main wire? Bingo, no more convienent access to rolling up or down any window from the comfort of the drivers seat. This is why those little pointed glass breaking hammers are so popular in the auto stores. Polpular to those who are aware what they're for, and why they are imperrative.

Another scenario which is ever scarier, is driving into the water off a bridge. A good reason to leave one window cracked open a bit, so that it won't be so difficult to break a window with the pressure relieved. I'll never own a car without crank windows. Neither would my dad.

Who put out the poll to determine that the consumer wanted electric windows? Who let the safety issue slip by? Where's Ralph Nader these days? Who is John Galt?

What are the engineers thinking?

Plato advocates a "Philosopher King" in his Utopia, I'm thinking, in our modern industrial age that's not enough. We need an "Engineer King." And I am running for that office.

As Engineer King I would immediately impose the following rules:

No electric windows in cars.

An IQ test for all cell phones issued.

Stupidity will be called what it is, stupidity. Not the politically correct verbage of today.

A ban on all over-engineering.

And most importantly...quash the quest for a better mousetrap.


Post a Comment

<< Home