Rant 5 - Things I Don't Understand
Well let's face it, I could write volumes on the things I don't understand in this world and I'm not just talking about stuff like why hot dogs come in packs of 8 and hot dog buns in packs of 6, or why drive-through bank machines have braille buttons. I want to know the bigger picture, the really important stuff. For instance, I don't understand...
...why I can't buy a digital alarm clock that will let me snooze for ten minutes.
Two of the many things I don't do well are mornings and arithmetic, and I am most definitely incapable of doing both at the same time. So why the hell do digital clock manufacturers insist on making me do the nine times table first thing in the morning?! If I set the clock for, God forbid, 8:00 am, then I want to be able to hit the snooze button ad nauseum secure in the knowledge that I'll be woken at such unholy yet easily calculated times as 8:10, 8:20 or 8:30. What I don't want is to have to drag my brain out of its happy place to keep track of oddball times like 8:09, 8:18, 8:27, etc., etc. We put men on the moon over forty years ago, surely we now have the technology to rid the world of the nine minute snooze button?
...how adding interest to a debt will make it more affordable.
Here's logic for you. Let's say I owe a hypothetical £100.00. I don't have £100.00. So the lender, in its infinite wisdom, adds £20.00 in interest. "Oh yeah, no problem. I don't have a hundred quid but I can certainly afford a hundred and twenty quid. Thankyou, that's very kind of you."
And while we're on the subject of debt, what kind of twisted world do we live in that charges you money to declare that you have none? I've never actually declared bankruptcy but I seriously considered it about 20 years ago. At the time it cost about $1000.00 cdn to declare bankruptcy. So let me get this straight. I'm completely broke and in debt up to my eyeballs and it's going to cost me a thousand dollars to officially declare that I'm completely broke and in debt up to my eyeballs? Which part of "I'm flat broke" do you not understand??
...car ads.
The current formula for car ads is to have an impossibly shiny driverless vehicle in a dreamy, surrealistic setting finished off with a non-sensical yet terribly snappy one line catch phrase. And this compells me to buy your product... how, exactly?! And of course, let's not forget the all-powerful "cash back" sales pitch. "Get two thousand pounds cash back" or the ever popular "Save two thousand pounds now!". Gee you know, if I don't buy your shiny surrealistic vehicle I'll save even more.
Still on the subject of cars, why do we need new models every year? If a new model is brought out then surely it must be an improvement on the last model, and if it isn't then why bother? In a hundred+ years of constantly improving automobiles we should all be driving hover cars by now.
...what happened to the easier life all this time saving technology was supposed to grant us?
Thanks to the wonders of modern labour saving machines and computers we're all enjoying an easy four day work week and oodles of leisure time, right?! Well, err.... no, not really. Those of us who are fortunate (or unfortunate, depending on how much you despise your job) to have not been replaced by the time saving technology are actually working more hours and have less leisure time than ever. The average work week in Britain is now 47 hours per week, which is the highest in Europe. Add that to the ever increasing cost of living coupled with the fact that wages have not increased to match means we have even less money to spend on what little leisure time is available. So I now have to work more to buy the labour saving devices that I don't have time to use. Hmmmm......
...our sense of financial worth.
Some years ago, former Man U footballer David Beckham was paid £10,000,000 for a ten day tour of Japan. A million pounds a day to kick a few footballs around and chat with some school children. Ten million pounds. A school teacher in Britain earns, I believe, less than £30,000 a year. A nurse even less than that. Someone please explain to me why people who shape the minds of children or save lives are worth absolutely sweet f.a. compared to a half-wit who can barely string a coherent sentence together.
Completely baffled by this one I'm afraid. Standing about near railways and writing down the serial numbers of trains as they go past. Why?!? What is the purpose?! And what the hell do you do with the notebooks full of serial numbers? I was particularly horrified to learn that there are also planespotters which, frankly, made me feel a bit funny about being an aviation fan. It's enough to make you take up knitting.
...people who pay big money to advertise for big companies.
I'll probably get in trouble from footie fans for this one because they're a perfect example. For those of you who aren't familiar with English football (that would be soccer to you north americans), team shirts don't actually have the team's name on here. They have the corporate sponsor's name on. Manchester United shirts for instance, don't have "Manchester United" on them, they have "Vodafone". Fans can fork out a mere 60 quid (I think. It might be even more now) to buy a Man U shirt which means - and I must confess to being in sheer awe of the marketing genius here - that they are paying a ridiculously large sum of money to be a walking billboard for Vodafone. The same of course can be said for any designer labels. So not only are you paying an exorbitant price for that Tommy Hilfiger or FCUK sweatshirt, you are also paying an exorbitant price for the privilege of advertising for them. Clever, ain't it?
By the way, if any of you would like a shiny new "Warped Plastic" t-shirt I'd be happy to oblige and I'll throw in the advertising for free. The shirt's only £79.95 and for a limited time I'll give you £20.00 cash back. Hurry...!! ;-)
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