Dashboards have gotten out of hand. Drivers need to be able to consult a speedometer, a fuel gauge and the radio. That’s it!
Today’s cars have so many geegaws and gadgets, drivers are spending more time fiddling with buttons and adjusting levers and watching for warning lights and audible signals than they spend looking at the road ahead.
My new car has a screen that I can touch (or talk to) when I want to use the phone, find a favorite radio station or consult a map. It also came with a 506-page book instructing me in the subtle uses of all these doodads.
It has a camera so I can see my rear license plate and watch myself back out of my driveway while the “Obstacle Distance Indicator” beeps and buzzes and tries to make me STOP, FOR GOD’S SAKE, YOU’RE GOING TO CRASH! It thinks I’m too close to a brick chimney on the right (I’m not!) or to a chest-high hedge on the left (I’m not!) I have backed out of that driveway ever since I’ve lived here using my own eyes and two side mirrors.
(And in 23 years, I only hit the chimney twice.)
I remember being thrilled when new cars came with built in cup holders and I didn’t have to hold that can of cold Diet Coke between my thighs. Cup holders are a good thing. No need for revision.
My car is nowhere near the luxury category or even top-of-the-line, mind you, but it has heated seats with separate controls for the driver and front passenger, keyless entry, remote start, cruise control, rear window defrosters, graduated controls for heating and cooling and fan speed. All these things have buttons to push or flip or slide or check on.
Important warnings are OK. “Fasten seatbelts” and “Low tire pressure” and “Engine needs service” are useful. But who needs a light to show something like “Horn control” or “Requires Registered Technician” or “See Owner’s Manual?”
Make them without holes because when I’m spreading the cream cheese on a perfect, delicately-toasted bagel, the cream cheese keeps falling through the hole.
TV commercials for drugs that warn: Do not take if you are allergic.
There must be a law that requires this statement, which is so bare-faced obvious, every time I hear it I mumble, “Duh.”
Film clips that have a “LIVE” notation at the top of the screen.
It’s a film clip. It already happened. It’s not “live” anymore. Now it’s a recording. Delete “live.”
Who invented ironing anyway? Did peasants iron their smocks? Did Plato and Socrates and all those power-hungry Roman emperors wear wrinkled togas or did they have someone (a slave, probably) who came in once a week to iron?
I looked this up. Greeks in the fourth century B.C. used a heated metal object that looked like a rolling pin to put pleats in their robes. This brings up another baffling question – who invented pleats? And why?
Presses for ironing and smoothing clothing were unearthed in Pompeii. Irons as we know and hate them were invented in 1882. Steam irons came along in 1926. All this flattening equipment was historically only used for special outfits and fancy occasions like coronations and parades and funerals, not for everyday knock-around-the-house clothing.
So no, the sturdy peasant stock from which I came (according to my DNA) did NOT iron their smocks.
Airline boarding procedures
I think airlines could fly more planes (and make more money) if they boarded passengers more efficiently. Why not last rows first, then work forward, row by row?
I Googled this too, because it seems so obvious. Apparently not.
Various airlines have tried different boarding methods. The problem is those doggone passengers. As they board, they want to stow their carry-ons in the overhead bins or under the seats. Then the middle and aisle passengers have to wait for the person in the window seat to show up and settle in. The aisle gets clogged and the process drags on. The method just doesn’t work.
One airline tried boarding people with carry-on bags first, hoping to get that chore over with. It was unsuccessful. Another airline tried boarding people in the window seats first, then middle seats, then aisle seats. But people objected to being separated from their traveling companions, even for a brief time. Another airline tried letting everyone line up and climb aboard willy-nilly.
None of these methods turned out to be any more efficient than the current one. So I’m back to square one on this.
Send me your ideas of things that need to be fixed or changed. I’ll do the research and report back.