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Senior Moments – for week of August 26

Spencer3-300x200SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – When I was young I couldn’t wait to grow up because I then wouldn’t have parents and teachers telling me what to do. Surprise. Not only do rules and prohibitions continue throughout life but the regulations now come from major organizations that seem bent on protecting me from myself.

The Bible says to be fruitful and multiply, an easy commandment to obey since nature made sex a most enjoyable enterprise. Unfortunately, religious leaders have decided that too much fun must be sinful and have therefore tried their best to take the pleasure out of procreation by saddling us with as much guilt as possible. They should stick to teaching the 10 Commandments and stop opposing our biological instincts.

An even more hypocritical bunch are the politicians who legislate our laws. Instead following the Declaration of Independence’s assertion that men are endowed by their Creator with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, they instead enact statutes for things that are none of their business. Like the clergy, our legislators feel it’s their job to tell consenting adults what to do in the privacy of their homes, though they themselves are some of the most immoral people around. Over the years they’ve stuck their noses into football and baseball, and one senator even had a bill passed to have an additional brake light installed in the rear window of every automobile because his wife thought it was a good idea. How many warning lights do we need and why was it necessary to add that extra expense?

Commercial businesses are perhaps the worst, but at least no one actually reads the directions that come with each product. Afraid of being sued by people who might misuse even the simplest of devices, the manufacturers explain in great detail exactly what not to do. My electric razor has instructions not to use it while taking a bath or shower, suppositories say to remove the wrapper and do not take orally, and my air conditioner’s literature actually says “Do not drink any water drained from the air conditioner.” Duh!
In reference to lights, I’ve noticed over time that indicators actually cause more problems than the conditions they’re supposed to be alerting us about. While working in the computer industry, one of our devices had a “Reset Check” light to warn that one or more counters hadn’t reset properly. The counters never malfunctioned but the Reset Check circuitry failed all the time, causing unnecessary downtime.

In my mid-life crisis I had a Datsun 280 ZX sports car that was wonderful, except that one day a “Check Engine” light came on scaring me no end. Looking in the owner’s manual it said that the caution light automatically displayed every 30,000 miles and could only be reset by the dealer, at a cost I discovered to be $50. What nerve… so very offended I drove that car another 100,000 miles with the Check Engine light always glowing and never had a bit of trouble.

My current car is an Infiniti, and about 40,000 miles ago a “Service Engine Soon” light appeared. Being a legitimate warning I took it to a mechanic who said the display was caused by a slight leak in the auto’s evaporation system, and had it fixed only to have the indicator re-illuminate a short time later. To make a long story short, when researching the problem on the Internet I learned that tons of people have had the same experience and that it rarely if ever gets corrected. About a year ago I had some body work done to the car and shortly thereafter the Service Engine Soon light went out and never returned. So much for that warning… just another in a long line of meaningless protection strategies.

As far as I’m concerned, the only indicator needed is an “On” light and if the mechanism hums when in operation, even that one is superfluous. The same goes for all the so called do-gooders. As long as I’m not doing anything to harm another creature they should leave me alone and worry about their own indicators.

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