I just celebrated another birthday, if celebration is the right word for recognizing you already made it longer than you planned and, come to think of it, you didn’t plan too well.
I’d be OK if they, whoever the hell “they” is, had not taken all the products I know and love off the market or redesigned them so I can no longer figure out how to use them.
Case in point: Odds are if you pull a vehicle up to a gas pump, it is 50-50 on whether the fill up is on the side you pulled up to or on the other side. So, at least half the time you should be right, even if you have no idea where the gas cap is located.
Why is it every time I drive someone else’s car, I always pull to the wrong side — every single time, not 50-50, but 100 percent of the time wrong? I say we need a law that all gas caps are on one side or the other. I think they all used to be on the driver’s side, but now they may be anywhere. I would not be surprised to find one under the spare tire, if anyone in the world can actually find the spare tire on a car today.
I probably need to go buy some Geritol, which when I was growing up advertised it could cure almost everything under the sun. Why? Because you were suffering from iron-tired blood and Geritol would fix it. Sleepy? It would awaken you. Can’t sleep? It would make you sleepy. No energy? It would pump you up way before anyone came up with 5 Hour Energy. Jumpy? Too much energy? It would calm and soothe you.
Just my luck. I’m pretty sure I have iron-tired blood and now I can’t find any Geritol to save my soul.
I need excitement, too. When I was young, you could buy an M-80 — illegal, of course, in Georgia, but they weren’t hard to come by. An M-80 was an 8th of a stick of dynamite. Now that was fun. Ten-year-old kids can’t enjoy such things these days. On the bright side, there are a whole lot less kids nicknamed Stumpy and Lefty since they banned them. But I still miss ‘em.
Gas caps aren’t my only problem either with cars. Drive an unfamiliar car and within 15 minutes it will begin to rain. I could be in the Sahara Desert in a car I’d never driven and it would begin to rain.
I recently drove my wife’s new car. Instantly, it began to rain. I try to cut on the wipers, but instead I’m now signaling a right turn, the emergency flashers are on, I’ve turned the headlights off, and the tilt wheel is now stuck to my knees — all the while, still no wipers.
I may as well be driving down the road with a flashing sign that says, “Please pull me over. I’m an idiot.” Heck, I may as well open a beer and sit it in the console so they can get me for open container, too.
My best option is to roll down the window and wipe with my hand. Once upon a time, the wiper knob was clearly visible and marked. Now it is on the blinker knob … or maybe the other knob side … or maybe some switch you flip … who knows?
God help me if I meet a car and need to dim my lights. Once upon a time the dimmer was in the floorboard where God intended it to be. I guess the brilliant engineers at the major car companies figured there were a lot of no-legged people driving cars, so they switched the dimmer switch to the hand-controlled blinker switch, too.
Now, you can turn off the headlights, cut on the blinker and emergency flashers, and dim your lights all from the same switch. Pretty soon they’ll probably add the gas pedal to the blinker arm and I can end it all by trying to cut on the windshield wipers and, instead, gunning my car through a red light.
Just for fun they might as well add the brakes there, too.
I hope I have a bunch more birthdays, but I’m not sure I can live through all the changes that may bring.
Email columnist T. Gamble at email@example.com.