The Duncan Banner

January 9, 2013

Celebrating technology that can be of great use

Jeff Kaley
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Women and men, boys and girls, and other humanoids living on the third rock from the Sun, greetings once again from 21st Century Technoman.

As the winter holiday season melts into history, Technoman reminds you not all the technology doodads and thingamabobs you unwrapped Christmas day are required for a happy and full life.

Remember: Techno-thingies you can’t personally control are not necessarily technology you need to possess. Also, keep in mind the shelf-life of something that has been touted as “the newest technology you can’t live without” only lasts about two days.

However, as you know, Technoman is not anti-technology. There is technology that is crucial to human existence; that enhances our lives and has positive impact on the species.

In fact, Technoman has been pondering such technology of late, and I’d like to draw your attention to a techno-item whose true value to humanity has not been completely explored — the mute button.

Yes, I’m talking about the small protrusion on what some of you call the TV remote control, but which Technoman, Technowoman and the Technosons refer to as “the flinker.”

Lately, I’ve been envisioning the many uses of muting technology and dig this: What if all humans were born with a mute button in the palm of our right or left hand and a receiver located, oh, right under our mouth?

Think of the possibilities.

By pushing a built-in mute button, we could eliminate human blather that’s annoying or unnecessary. This goes way beyond zapping the sound on another ExtenZe ad on TV.

If you’re standing in a checkout line and there’s a woman on a cellphone revealing the intimate details of her recent gall bladder surgery, as though you and everyone else in line wants to hear, think how great it would be to point the flinker at her and push the mute button.

You and the significant other are in the theater, trying to enjoy one of those movies released during the holidays, but there’s a gaggle of giggling teenage girls in the row behind you, twittering about so-and-so’s new boyfriend? Just hit the mute and they become a gaggle of teenage girl mimes.

You’re at a nice restaurant and the couple at a neighboring table think it’s good parenting to allow their 4-year-old son to wander over and tell you he “needs to go make poop.” A mute button allows you to quiet the lil’ urchin before he starts explaining in detail how he makes poop.

At next year’s office New Year’s Eve party there’s a co-worker who’s not only plastered, he’s up in your face, loudly explaining why he deserved a raise and someone as incompetent as you shouldn’t even have a job with the firm. Instead of risking an assault charge by decking the drunkard, flick that flinker.

How about when you’re at a kid’s softball game and the obnoxious parent beside you is ranting about how their lil’ sweetie would be the starting pitcher “if the dumb*** coach knew anything?” Yeah, it’s mute button time.

Think how nice it would feel punching the mute button the next time a politician says, “I feel your pain.” Or when someone comes to the front door wanting to offer you an “exclusive deal” on some new siding. Or you’re walking down the street, minding your own business, and somebody decides you should hear their religious testimony.

Barking dogs in the night? Zap ’em.

The family cat is trying to hurk up a hairball? You’ll still have to clean it up, but at least you won’t have to listen.

Because she’s my partner in life, Technowoman has provided a couple other suggestions for mute button use.

The Lovely Karen says it would have been great to have a mute button years ago, when our sons were younger and they were prone to start a conversation by saying, “Mom, can I ...”

Karen also feels a flick of the flinker is warranted, “Every time Technoman starts asking me questions, when he’s at the back of the house and I’m at the front.”

Oooh, I get it, darlin’. Very funny. Har dee har har!

Guess I forgot to mention how important a mute button can be if you’re married to someone with a droll sense of humor!

Where’d I put that flinker?

580-255-5354, Ext. 172. Kaley is editor of Waurika News-Democrat