The Inconvenience of Improvements
by James Snyder
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Last week was a particularly busy week in many regards. Everything the week had was thrown at us with something nearing a vengeance.
Towards the end of the week, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage made a passing remark, which I highly endorsed. A wise husband always endorses what his wife says. Sometimes that endorsement is half hearted, but this was not one of those times.
I do not always agree with my wife, but since silence is golden, it is about all I can afford in this economy.
I could find nothing in her proposition that was disagreeable, which is always a happy occasion.
''I'm really tired,'' she sighed, ''and I don't feel like cooking supper. Let's go out for supper tonight.''
Well, you do not have to hit me on the head with a baseball bat to get my attention in this area of life. I would not say I am addicted to eating; I just cannot stop doing it.
The only point of discussion was where we should go out to eat. The discussion was not a very long one because we both agreed on our repast destination. Both of us said at the same time, the Slurp ‘N Burp Café. It is our diner of choice, when choice is our option. We have patronized this dining establishment for many years and have never been disappointed.
We both drug our weary bodies out to the car with a cheerful heart and headed for our destination. We did not chatter much in the car as we drove because both of us were relishing the fantastic feast that lay ahead of us. Anticipation is a very exciting emotion. Both of us were anticipating a very relaxing dining experience to top off our busy week.
To say we were not prepared for what we saw when we got to the diner is a “super-size-that” exaggeration of the subject. We were prepared for a dining experience but we got something altogether different.
Pulling up to the diner we noticed everything inside was dark and over the entrance a huge sign said, ''Closed for Renovations.''
For several moments, which seemed like hours, we sat there staring at that sign, not believing our eyes.
My wife looked at me and said, ''Why didn't you tell me it was closed?''
This is just the way my life runs. No matter what I do or do not do, I am to blame. How she connected the diner being closed with it being my fault is something no man could ever understand.
It was a silent drive home and I was not sure what she was thinking but I know what I was thinking. Improvements are a drastic intrusion upon my life. Not that I am against improvements, because my wife is always harping about this, especially certain improvements concerning my person. I plan to get around to some of those improvements … when a certain place freezes over. But you did not hear it from me.
There are several things about improvements that irk me.
First off, they are rather inconvenient. This restaurant in question could have picked another time to close down for renovations. A time that would not inconvenience me. There are such things as telephones. They could have called me and made their arrangements around my convenience. After all, I do tip the waitresses when I am there.
But I think the most important thing about improvements is the fact that rarely are they an improvement over the older. Sometimes an improvement is simply updating to a newer version of the old. Some people have the crazy idea that anything new is always better than everything old.
No matter what product you buy today or service you patronize somewhere along the line somebody is going to have the idea that improvements are in order. But the improvement rarely improves the product or the service. Usually, all they do is inconvenience me, the consumer.
Take my computer programs. Please!
I buy a new computer program, install it on my computer and learn how it works and off I go using that program in my work. Unbeknownst to me, there is an electronic thingamajig that informs the developer of the program when I have become adept at using it. Then, they announce a new improved edition of the program making my program obsolete.
I hate obsolete. I think it is a close cousin to obscene. Because, when some software program company tells me the program I just bought is obsolete, I have obscene thoughts dancing around in my head toward that company. It is not my fault. It is their fault.
Why don't they make the product better in the beginning? Why do they have to use me as a guinea pig, (or is it a cash cow), for their product? Why are they not ashamed of selling me an inferior product in the first place?
I wish someone would pronounce a moratorium on all improvements for a least a three-year period. Give these inventors a well deserved, vacation. And if they should come back from their vacation with any ideas on how they can improve the product, immediately returned them to vacation status.
Some things do not need to change at all. For example, ''Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.'' (Hebrews 13:8 KJV).
Jesus got it right the first time.
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Touche', very well written. I love the method of "contrast" you use here. The way you subtly draw the readers attention to something gray with increasing shades of gray until it's all black and then you "hit the switch" and there's the Light of the World! The "let there be light" came after the words "...and darkness was over..." and you've done that here. I like it!
As always, I enjoy your humor. This was a good one. It reminds me of when I purchase an item, they ask if I want the extended warranty? I asked them why, is the product inferior in some aspect? They look at me like, what do you mean, inferior? I say, "if the product needs an extended warranty they did not make it very good the first time"....(Looks like they just want more money)....Thanks again for sharing..I really enjoy your writings.