Needful things by Trevor Plumbly
It happens as a matter of course and, as is the case for most blindies, the sound of breaking stuff doesn’t come as a huge surprise to me; what the hell, a wineglass or two ain’t much in the scheme of things. But some stuff is glued to my daily routine, essential to maintaining the remnants of my sanguinity.
So I was somewhat annoyed when the radio and my newest iPad took a dive. A falling radio, I’ve discovered, makes a fixable sounding thud, an iPad, however, lands with an electronic ‘now look what you’ve done!’ sort of crack, that can only mean fatal dysfunction. But after the initial outburst of profanities, I took comfort from being fully insured against this sort of thing. Hell, I even had an agent to navigate me through the process.
Running for cover
Despite popular opinion on insurance claims, I found everybody anxious to resolve things and, ably assisted by a delightful lady named Lusa from the claims department, I am now radio and iPad fit for daily purpose. What struck me about Lusa was her willingness to actually talk about the problem; it’s a credit to both her and the company she represents that she does this in a personal and professional manner, far removed from the electronic anonymity forced upon us these days.
Self-denial . . .
is good for you according to my mother’s philosophy and, up to now, I’ve more or less agreed without actively joining in with personal deprivation. But 10 days without an iPad have convinced me that not only did the old girl like castigating herself and anyone else within earshot on the evils of owning anything outside a biblical minimum but also that her logic was doubtful! I have forsaken the path of self-denial and become addicted to electronic gratification. Recent legal moves in California suggest that the threat of kids frying their brains by overuse of various devices is a very real one. OK it’s an IT world now, but do we need to sacrifice good manners and polite conversation to service it? I earnestly believe I’m past brain frying; mine will hopefully melt into a gentle space, where simple issues get solved by human communication rather than electronic recipe boards, where folk like the good Lusa pick up the phone to speak, and where poor old geezers like me won’t have to continually remind you of just how much is under threat.