Day Off

I took a day off work last week in order to get a few jobs done that had been building up for some time. You know! Those jobs that you convince yourself you will do on a Saturday morning but find that weekends are eaten up with other more important things, like watching cookery programmes on TV or trying to finish off that killer suduko that has been plaguing you for days.

I planned my day off to include a short, but well deserved, lie in and a breakfast that included bacon; chewing rabbit food every morning is more a chore than a pleasure. And, to ensure that I didn’t fritter away my time, I had written a list of important jobs.

When I woke on the morning of my much anticipated free day I noticed that some additions had been made to my agenda, in my wife’s hand writing I might add.

Apparently she felt that it would be a good use of my time to tidy up the wire drawer. I am not sure if every home has one but in our house we have a space specifically reserved for all the chargers, computer connectors, camera leads and other electrical odds and ends.

The development of this draw, like most home ideas, started off with good intentions; we were constantly being asked by the girls if we had seen the fire wire for the video camera or similar (as if we even knew what a fire wire was). We were so frustrated by the sight of daughters dashing around at the last minute trying to find a connector in order charge a phone that my wife suggested we choose one place that would become a safe haven for wires.

Now, after only a short while since the drawer was commissioned for its new purpose, it has started to develop a life of its own. Resembling a scene from an episode of Star Trek where an explosion has caused a panel to fall off the wall of the bridge, our drawer spews forth wires from every corner. It has also developed the ability to knot all the cables together during the night so that when you come to retrieve your much needed adapter you spend hours trying to untangle the spaghetti. This newly formed eco-system has grown so much that it is virtually impossible to now close the drawer.

It took me the best part of the morning, broken only by the delicious consumption of pig meat, to make any sense of the entanglement. I laid all the wires out on the floor in long straight lines and tried to work out what they were for.

I felt slightly annoyed that although we only have four mobile phones in the house we had seven different chargers. As well as the question about the Molineaux family’s inability to throw things away this raises another issue.

Why don’t all mobile phones manufacturers use the same type of charger?

Perhaps there are technical reasons that are beyond my limited subject knowledge but surely if you are cleaver enough to design a device that can not only allow you to talk to other people but can let you surf the internet, play music, and take digital photographs, why can’t you design a wire to fit all types of phones?

The world is full of such duplications; whether it is starter motors for your car or tv remote controls every new thing you buy will require a new version of a very basic component.

I suppose it is due to companies competing for market share with their latest inventions that leads this. In the days of the VHS/Betamax battle for home video players it was the same; pieces of equipment that were designed to do the same job yet not compatible with each other. Before that it was the compact cassette verses the cartridge and I am sure there have been many examples since.

I wonder if any one is still using a Betamax machine to record the telly; if so I think I have cable for it in my wire drawer.

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