For a nearly sixty year old lady with a budget of injuries I am still kicking pretty severe ass (sometime soon I will tell you about yesterday’s bravura half hour kettlebell workout), but I become intellectually conscious of my age when I find myself commiserating with a contemporary about how nothing is made to last any more. Hell, nothing is even made to WORK any more.
I have upstairs the corpse of a KLH FM radio presented to my father on his retirement in 1968 from the United States Army Band. It died last year. You do the math. I hate to even think of how many stereo-player type outfits I have owned since my marriage in 1989.
Actually the thing that set off this contemplation was a discussion of washing machines with a longtime client. I believe I have said something elsewhere about the top of the line LG electronics piece of shit that is the most expensive washer I ever owned. If you are a massage therapist and wash four or five sets of sheets a day you develop a washing machine fetish. This was my third since moving in here in 1995 (again, do the math, I can age a washer three times as fast as a normal person) and it has been nothing but a trial since I bought it late in 2010. It cultivates a festering stench that crept upon my clothes before I knew what was happening (the massage sheets, washed in the “extra hot with steam” cycle, escaped unscathed). Bleach, orange oil, something called “Smelly Washer”, nothing really gets it out, I have had front loaders before but never had to deal with jock odor from them. The engineering of the soap and bleach reservoirs is so ill thought out that I have ruined three pairs of trousers with Clorox while loading the thing. Oh, and they leak, so the housing of the appliance is already bubbled and streaked with rust.
But you know, the biggest disappointment in my recent life has been the peg board.
When I was a sprout my father bought a piece of peg-board and anchored it to the studs in the kitchen wall. You could buy peg-hooks of various configurations — straight, curved, small, large — and situate them on the board with a ductile little top hook, then fixate them with a bottom peg that was just flared enough to “pop” through the holes in the board but not pop out again unless you exerted some force. It worked a treat. For a hundred years, or however long it took me to get out of that place anyway.
Fast forward to a couple years ago. The Cute Engineer and I go to Home Depot, have some board cut, and buy a couple of kits of assorted pegs. He mounts the board on the kitchen wall, loving his cordless tool kit as he does. I go to work situating pegs. I find that they do not anchor properly in the board; either the flare part of the peg is actually too large to fit in the holes, or the hook has no real bottom peg at all and is meant to be anchored by a little plastic thingie that pops through the adjacent holes. Rotsa ruck. Every second or third time you take a pot or pan down from this thing, the plastic harness flies out and the hook, most times, falls to the floor. If you have a painful, injured hip as I have had since 2012, this is a particular nuisance.
Apparently the rule in the 21st century is that you make stuff that people will buy on the claim that it works. You don’t bother to actually make sure that it DOES work. And if it doesn’t, there’s no obvious way to do anything about it. We can’t even get round pegs that fit in round holes any more.
We are in the End Times. Get off my lawn.