29 Jul 2010

And Then There Were Three Steps….

I have been meaning to post the last line of this piece for some time and the kick I needed was buying a set of step ladders the other day.

This was a set of three-step steps. Three steps. Included with the steps, three steps, were three A4 pages of tightly typed shiny paper, with diagrams, explaining how to use the three steps and instructing me on the safe use of the three steps and what they couldn’t be used for, all three steps. These instructions and warnings are condensed and glued all over the step-ladder, all three steps.

I mean, where is this coming from? There are three steps for crying out loud, three! A page of instructions for each step? (Yea, I know. I’ve seen the advertizingment, “….I were given the wrong type of ladder an’ I got loads o’ money!”

Risk of litigation aside, do people really need all this? Are we all that gooney? Do we need to be told not to stand on the really thin hand-hold bitty at the top, with one foot, while leaning forty-five degrees to port? Do we? Of course not. Did we ever try doing that? Sure did. Did we fall? Sure did. Did we learn from that? Sure did. Did we do it again? Sure didn’t.

Did we sue? Didn’t. Why not? Didn’t give it a thought, and if we had, still wouldn’t. Why not? Too damn shy, that’s why not. “Yes I did Your Honour. There was nothing with the step-ladder to say I shouldn’t. Oh, and I was wearing frogman’s flippers ‘couse, again, there was nothing in the instructions to say I shouldn’t. Pretty damn stupid eh? Can I have the money now? I want to go home.”

“Hay, how did you lose the tip of your finger?”
”Peeling potatoes.”
”Oh dear. Sharp knife?”
”No, the step ladders I was using slammed shut on me.”
”Oh dear. Kind o’ stupid to use steps don’t ya’ think?”
”What? Why? Nothing in the book to say I shouldn’t use ‘em for peeling potatoes, an’ I was in a hurry.”

I well remember more or less just dumping my little nest of vipers, who is a foreign person from Southern Eastish Asiarainia, when we moved over to Englandistan and I had to go back over there to work.

ToBAA ‘Little Nest of Vipers’ earlier…..

On getting back over there I guess a bit of nanny kicked in and I found myself ‘phoning a couple of times a day to make sure all was well. Central heating? Gas fires? Shopping? Top step leaning? Flippers? Potato peeling? Don’t step on and off moving buses like wot you’ve been used to be doing as that’s not allowed where you be now. Coping with the Polish language lessons? So on and so forth.

On day three she asked why I was phoning so much rather than the agreed one call a week. I explained I was concerned and wanted to make sure she was managing okay.

And this was her reply, which, for me, says it all.

"If you keep trying to hold my hand, I'll never learn to walk on my own."

‘Nuff said.

Quote; Henry Louis Mencken.

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

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