Incremental Fissures in the Quality of Life
This column may appear to be somewhat petty in some aspects, but as I believe that many times big problems begin as miniscule problems and, like microscopic worms, casually weave their way into the fabric of our lifestyles and in the conglomerate can have an overall effect on the quality of our lives.
For instance, it seems to me that the new traffic lanes, especially in congested areas are being constructed much narrower, leaving just enough room for large vehicles, buses and trucks, to stay inside the lines.
I brought it up with Dean, our bus driver, and he agreed and spoke about how nerve-wracking and tiring it was to try to maintain your place in heavy traffic all night with 18 wheelers weaving in and out of the lanes, making the passing process a tedious procedure.
The brand of bottled water we have been using for over forty years has come out with a new bottle, which is so thin that just holding it firmly enough to open the cap which almost necessitates a pair of pliers, will compress the body of the bottle and squirt water on you.
The water is as good as ever, but getting to it is a laborious and hazardous undertaking.
There is a brand of cookies with peanut butter that I like a lot and have been eating for years.
I began noticing that recently there are two cookies in each six-pack that had hardly any peanut butter at all between them. At first, I thought it was an anomaly, a bad batch, a small screw up. But I was soon to find that every package of my favorite snack had two almost peanut butterless cookies.
When you call someone’s cell phone and they are not available to answer, you get their recorded message, then you have to wait for another long operator message, in essence, informing you that you can leave a message after the beep.
Did you ever stop and think that the recorded message - which in itself is just a few seconds - is, first and foremost, a complete waste of time, but you have to stay on the line until it’s over to leave your message and it eats into your allotted time.
Trying to get a human being on the phone these days is close to impossible, and happens only after a long list of instructions after which you are put on hold and reminded by recorded message that all the personnel is busy right now but will be with you as soon as they possibly can, and even after all that you are very liable to talk with somebody from Mumbai whose accent is so thick you are continuously having to ask them to repeat what they’ve said.
Warm bodies are disappearing from toll booths and being replaced by electronic cameras which take a picture of your license plate and sends you a bill, which is alright, but some city toll roads have unmanned booths that require a local electronic pass or cash, and woe to the driver who doesn’t have the pass or the exact change to pay the toll.
You have no choice except to drive on, at which time bells and whistles go off that sound as if you are triggering a prison break and you wonder if several police cruisers are going to swoop down and handcuff you.
Of course, they have a way of identifying the perps and send along a notice of a fine to be paid by return mail.
And have you noticed that airlines are cramming more seats into the flight deck now, encroaching on the already limited legroom, and if somebody in front of you reclines their seat it leans right into your lap.
Okay, okay, maybe I’m nitpicking, or maybe it’s my age. I’ve seen so much change in the last eight decades, some for the good, some definitely not, but this gradual reduction in quality and services is like a mosquito in my ear, it just bugs me.
They think if they do it gradually enough we won’t even notice.
But I’ve got news for all you peanut butter scrimpers and lane narrowers.
I’ve got my eye on you.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops our police and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America
— Charlie Daniels
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