I forgot to plug in my iPhone last night and sure as a Koala Bear eats eucalyptus leaves it was dead as a doornail this morning. I still had time before heading off to the salt mines so I grabbed it and attempted to plug it in. No go. So turning it 180 degrees from where I started it slipped right in.
Have you noticed that about electrical plugs? Wall plugs have the bulge on one prong but not on the other, so it has to go in one way and one way only. Inevitably, most of us chose the wrong way and have to flip it over.
Every electronic device that we own has a similar bother. Your phone, your camera or your Kindle, have different sized plugs. Narrow and flat, some flatter than others, with triangular ends so it will go in one way only. I always pick the wrong way. Why do they all have to be different sizes? The cord, if you leave one end plugged in, flipping it numerous times to line it up and slide it into the receptacle, it ends up twisted and wants to spin the other way as you finally line the thin male with the narrow slot of the female.
The best type of plug-in was designed by a genius. Its end is round. What an invention. I would like to meet him or her (probably a she, they’re much more logical), and shake her hand. I wonder if she was paid well for her creative accomplishment – probably less than a man would be, but we won’t go there.
For me those USB hookups on your computer could be the worse. Even when you have turned it a couple of times, it still won’t fit. I usually give up, take a break and go back to hauling salt from the mine.
Nothing seems to fit: a plug, some of our kids in class, a career that is completely out of your major or the vocational-aptitude test that says you should be a doctor when all you want to do is fix cars. Diagnosing a problem with an engine and then fixing it is close.
Some people go their whole lives doing one thing, fitting one widget into another, receiving flapdoodle in the back of the building sorting it, while someone else sells if out the front. You wake up one day and say, “Well, I’ve invested this much time, why not put in my 30 years and retire.” Then what? “Oh yeah, I’ll spend more time on the Rivah or work on building more bird houses in my shop.”
You raise your kids to be independent and then hopefully find a job that fits them, or at least a spouse with a trust fund. But as my son says, “You Boomers have ruined it for those who are just entering the workforce. Social Security will run out before we can retire; companies no longer offer nice pensions; once you reach a certain age you’re thrown over for someone just out of school like you were at one time so a corporation can cut costs and who runs the corporations? Boomers!
Those Boomers who spent their early days listening to musicians like John Prine were hopeful for the future. After all they had convinced Nixon to end the war and the future was bright. Liberalism was in the air and we kids, just out of college, wanted only to help the unfortunate – that lasted about ten minutes. Then the hippies turned to yuppies and liberals to conservatives and the bottom line became... well, the bottom line.
Now the Boomers are retiring or trying to find jobs to supplement their Social Security – if they’re not at the Rivah, its “Welcome to Walmart; Can I help you find something sir? The birdhouse wood is in aisle five and the cat food is at the cashier’s counter.
John Prine wrote a song with the refrain:
Old trees just grow stronger
Grow bigger and wilder every day
But old people just grow lonesome
Waiting for someone to say hello in there, hello”
The Boomers and the Millenniums; there will come a point – it’s starting all ready – in which a reversal of roles will put the son and daughter in charge of their parents. That’s when the parents grow their hair long into a ponytail, begin smoking pot, and become resigned twilight years good or bad. There’s no more protesting, no more climbing the ladder of success; there’s only a blue smock, the Rivah or a different colored birdhouse. Does that fit your idea of your future?
But there’s hope in the grandkids, right? They are the sons and daughters of the Millenniums; maybe they will soak in the successes and mistakes of their parents and grandparents. What will the world look like then? Imagine:
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing
all the world
You, you may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one
Maybe someday everything will fit. Maybe the plugs will fit the holes and Boomers will retire with dignity – “and the world will live as one.”