The great innovations swindle

I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore. I’ve been trying to soak in the bath and the plug is broken so all the water has been rushing out. How do you break a plug? Simple. Replace a perfectly good and inexpensive plug on the end of a chain with a really complex and expensive series of rods and joints plumbed in behind the bath so you can’t get at it to fix it.

It’s much the same story everywhere else in and around the house. My new car has lights that when they break have to be replaced, either with a hugely expensive unit or one where you have  to dismantle half of the car to get at a bulb, which, of course, costs a fortune. Contrast this with my old car. If the light broke you just unscrewed the cover, the lens fell out and you put in a new bulb – which cost about two quid. It’s the same with the car keys. One has a push button start linked to a remote unit with a battery that keeps going flat. Last week all the electrics just stopped working for no reason and the car couldn’t be started. With the old car there was a metal key. No batteries and not much to go wrong.

Or take my dishwasher (please take my dishwasher…). Why I’ve got one is anyone’s guess. It takes longer to stack and remove the dishes than if I washed all the dishes by hand. But that’s not the real problem. The real problem is that when it finishes washing it beeps to let me know it’s finished. Fine. Not necessary, but fine. Only, it never stops beeping. It beeps until I stop whatever I’m doing (sleeping, for example) and attend to its desires. It’s all about it. I can hear it right now, laughing at me.

It’s all enough to make me write Future Files 2 about how the world is making some of us go slightly mad. I could, for example, also include the helpful suggestion from BT’s automated answering service that if I am having problems with my broadband connection I can go online to find out how to fix it. Are they serious?

BTW, I saw a good quote today in a bookshop window.

“Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted’
– Charles Saatchi.

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