Beautiful wife Sandy is away visiting relatives in Wisconsin. I was a bachelor for a fair number of years before we hooked up, so I knew this temporary separation was likely to present certain problems.
When Sandy takes a little vacation, she leaves me enough food for a hungry Boy Scout troop and detailed directions for just about everything. She knows my ineptitude with things mechanical, electrical, and electronic is perhaps exceeded only by my complete inattention to where useful items are stored. In my defense, I was trained as a word arranger, not an auto mechanic or pantry expert.
A problem was not long in arriving. On day two of Sandy’s absence my computer stopped delivering anything except a nice, clear opening scene (isn’t that called wallpaper?). “No problem,” I thought, “I’ll just crank up Sandy’s computer and seek her advice with an e-mail.” I had worked at her laptop several times in the past.
Unfortunately, whenever I worked on the laptop, Sandy had turned it on before I arrived. I plugged in everything that looked like a plug into everything that looked pluggable. Nothing. I phoned Sandy.
She told me to take the little doodad off the bottom of the mouse and plug it into the first available slot in the bright blue gadget plugged into the left side of the computer. I don’t like her keyboard, so I explained what had happened to my machine and said I really didn’t want to work at hers, even though now I could.
“Sounds like you just need new batteries in your mouse,” Sandy said. “Oh yeah,” I said, I seem to remember this same kind of thing happened before.”
Sandy told me where our spare batteries were. I searched the basement area without result. I made another phone call. She said the batteries were there, and I ought to look again. “Nope,” I said, “I just wasted a half hour looking where you said. I’m going to buy some batteries downtown.” (“Downtown” is 5.5 miles away.)
Here’s a tip for your older gents: If you want to attract female attention, just stand in the middle of a supermarket aisle looking confused. Women will flock to rescue the poor old man. That won’t work for you younger guys. I suggest buying a cute little dog, and taking it everywhere on a leash. That will work for you. Bewilderment in supermarkets will not.
I didn’t need to pretend to be bewildered, because I was baffled by the location of batteries in the supermarket we shop at every week. Two female clerks and a gray-haired lady customer guided me to two large battery displays in a matter of minutes. “What size do you need?” the young blond clerk asked.
“I don’t really know. I think it’s something about A, and it looks like those on the left.”
“Those are AA’s,” the older clerk said. “These over here are AAA’s.”
“Seems backwards to me,” I said. “You’d think the bigger ones would be triples and the littler ones would be doubles. That’s the way it works in baseball.”
“I never thought of that,” the lady customer said. “Didn’t you look at the ones that wore out?” When I shrugged, she gave me a strange look and left.
By visualizing my mouse for several minutes, I decided it was a relatively small device, and therefore AAAs had to be the right selection. I bought a dozen. Eager to get back to my computer routine, I hurried home, pried open the back of the mouse, and gazed upon two big, fat, AA batteries.
Unwilling to chance having to face up to even one of my trio of helpers at the supermarket, I added a mile to the 11-mile roundtrip and bought a six-pack of AAA batteries at a hardware store. Two of them worked just fine.
Two days later on a visit to the basement to replenish the water softener salt, I inadvertently knocked a box off a shelf. I learned that we had a substantial supply of AAA, AA, and other batteries. It is more substantial now.
Let’s hope nothing really big stops working before the lady of the house comes home.