A friend of mine sprained her foot the other day kicking her car. She considers it eminently unfair since it was the car’s fault for refusing to start and then ended up not feeling a thing when she kicked it. I have to agree with her. People expend all sorts of energy kicking, punching, throwing and swearing at lawnmowers, bowling balls, prescription bottle caps, televisions, junk mail and so-called EZ-open packaging, and for what? Nada.
Inanimate objects are devious little SOBs, I tell you. Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed the inordinate number of times things just tip over or fall off counters when you set them down or disappear as soon as you turn your back. Coincidence? I think not. Ropes don’t just tangle themselves up for the fun of it. They do it to make your life miserable.
If I could change one thing I would give IOs the capacity to experience pain, embarrassment, remorse and guilt, obviously without the ability to retaliate, like computers do that stop running when you slap them. I think we’d all be a lot happier if we knew our rants paid off.
Imagine your satisfaction, after getting lost on a road trip, of crumpling your map, throwing it out the window and rolling over it, back and forth, back and forth, knowing it could feel your wheels grinding its oh so devious blue line roads into the pavement. That’s like two-fer revenge since the damn thing always refused to refold correctly anyway.
Of course, in no time buttinskies will form the Inanimate Objects Defense League to stir up public sentiment with sensationalized accounts of abused pay phones and smashed grocery carts. Soon the president would be signing the Inanimate Objects Protection and Anti-defamation Act in a Rose Garden ceremony, declaring his commitment to “no rock left behind.”
But suppose you do believe — I mean really, really believe — that IOs have feelings, wouldn’t it accomplish the same thing? Smack that painted-shut window frame and know it hurts as much as your hand. Tell your flat tire you understand it wasn’t its fault and see if it doesn’t cooperate better when you change it. Throw your putter into the lake and listen to its tiny cries for help as it gurgles to the bottom.
Personally speaking, I have a refrigerator door that wants to close when I want it open. I yell “stay.” I think it’s working. Also I’ve begun behavior modification counseling for my tennis racket to resolve several issues we have.
It’s probably not a good idea, however, especially if you’re over 60, to let adult children and onlookers think you actually believe you’re having an impact.