Dave Barry is so funny  

micahbiguns 51M
1308 posts
4/6/2006 11:03 am

Last Read:
4/9/2006 8:26 pm

Dave Barry is so funny

Dave Barry

One of my favorite writers is Dave Barry. This is a classic from his column originally published on Feb. 27, 2000

In a battle of wits with kitchen appliances I'm toast.

Recently, the Washington Post printed an article explaining how the appliance manufactures plan to drive consumers insane.

Of course, they don't SAY they want to drive us insane. What they SAY they want to do is have us live in homes where "all appliances are on the Internet, sharing information" and appliances will be "smarter than most of their owners." For example, the article states, you would have a home where the dishwasher "can be turned on from the office" and the refrigerator "knows when it's out of milk" and the bathroom scale "transits your weight to the gym."

I frankly wonder whether the appliance manufactures, with all due respect, have been smoking crack. I mean, did they ever stop to ask themselves WHY a consumer, after loading a dishwasher, would go to the office to start it? Would there be some kind of career benefit?

YOUR BOSS: What are you doing?

YOU (tapping computer keyboard): I'm starting my dishwasher!

YOUR BOSS: That’s the kind of productivity we need around here!

YOU: Now I'm flushing the upstairs toilet!

Listen, appliance manufactures: We don't NEED a dishwasher that we can communicate with from afar. If you want to improve our dishwashers, give us one that a sense when people leave dirty dishes on the kitchen counter, and shouts at them: "PUT THOSE DISHESIN THE DISHWASHER RIGHT NOW OR I'LL LEAK ALL OVER YOUR SHOES!"

Likewise, we don't need a refrigerator that knows when it's out of milk. We already have a foolproof system for determining if we're out of milk: We ask our wife. What we could use is a refrigerator that refuses to let us open its door when it senses that we are about to consume our fourth Jell-O Pudding Snack in two hours.

As for a scale that transmits our weight to the gym: Are they NUTS? We don't want our weight transmitted to our own EYEBALLS! What if the gym decided to transmit our weight to all these other appliances on the Internet? What if, God forbid, your refrigerator found out what our weight was? We'd never get the door opened again!

But here is what really concerns me about these new "smart" appliances: Even if we like the features, we won't be able to use them. We can't use the appliance features we have NOW. I have a feature-packed telephone with 43 buttons, at least 20 of which I am afraid to touch. This pone probably can communicate with the dead, but I don't know how to operate it, just as I don't know how to operate my TV which features of the wazooty and requires THREE remote controls. One control (44 buttons) came with the TV; a second (39 buttons) came with the VCR; the third (37 buttons) was brought here by the cable-TV man, who apparently felt that I did not have enough buttons.

So when I want to watch TV, I'm confronted with a total of 120 buttons, identified by such helpful labels as PIP< MITS, DBS, F2, JUMP AND BLANK. There are three buttons labeled POWER, but there are times - especially if my son and his friends, who are not afraid of features, have changed the settings - when I honestly can not figure out how to turn the TV on. I stand there, holding three remote controls, pressing buttons at random, until eventually I give up and go turn on the dishwasher. It has been, literally, years since I have successfully recorded a TV show. That is how "smart" my appliances have become.

And now the appliance manufacturers want to give us even MORE features. Do you know what this means? It means that some night you’ll open the door of your "smart" refrigerator, looking for a beer, and you'll hear a pleasant, cheerful voice- recorded b the same woman who informs you that Your call Is Important when you call a business that does not wish to speak with your personally ‒ telling you: "our celery is limp." You will not know how your refrigerator knows this, and what is worse, you will not know who else your refrigerator is telling about it ("Hey Bob! I hear your celery is limp!") And if you want to try to make the refrigerator STOP you'll have to decipher Owner's Manual instructions written by and for nuclear physicists ("To disable the Produce Crispness Monitoring feature, enter the Command Mode, then select the Edit function, then select Change Vegetable Defaults, then assume that Train A leaves Chicago traveling west bound at 47 miles per hour, while Train B ...").

Is this the kind of future you want, consumers? Do you want appliances that are smarter than you? Of course not. Your appliances should be DUMBER than you, just like your furniture, your pets and your representatives in Congress. So I am urging you to let the appliance industry know, by phone letter, fax and an e-mail, that when it comes to "smart" appliances you vote NO. You need to act quickly. Because while you’re reading this, your microwave oven is voting YES.

TTigerAtty 62M

4/6/2006 12:29 pm

Funny! My VCR/DVD/whatever else the hell it does is already smarter than me! I represent an internet network marketing company that offers all kinds of consumable products via internet website. Delivery time is now 2 days standard and they plan to get it down to 1 day. They say the day is coming when our refrigerators and kitchen shelves will be able to not only store but also automatically track inventory and place reorders when levels fall below preset levels. Now, if something goes wrong with a sensor and the system keeps signaling the website to replenish catsup, can you imagine your UPS man delivering you a giant size bottle of catsup of everyday? "I see you're grillin' out for the little league baseball team quite a bit these days, Mrs. Johnson. Just sign here, Mrs. Johnson!"

micahbiguns 51M

4/6/2006 4:25 pm

TTiger My man that will be the day, when this ol country boy stops going to the store and gets my own grocries. I am a classic Technophob, lol although I do own a laptop damn who would a thunk it!?

rm_Bct2Esi 51M/50F
1375 posts
4/9/2006 12:44 pm

HOLY COLORADO I so adore Dave Berry, I laughed my ass silly when I read that in 2000

Thank you for the laugh, for the record according to AOL, they are going to get those appliances out the door, that you can text message from your cell phone I am serious, thankfully I don't own any of those appliances and cannot wait until me Sprky has to wire the house for these appliances in Aspen

Hugs, smooches and smiles sweetie

micahbiguns 51M

4/9/2006 8:26 pm

As far as I am concerned they can Keep em I have enough trouble figuring out how to make things work now

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