Anybody familiar with writers and the writing process knows that while having a good imagination helps, we don’t have to search hard for things to write about. Usually all we have to do is observe and listen. And trust me, truth really is stranger than fiction!
Comedian Bill Engvall has made a career out of the line “Here’s your sign!” pointing out the silly things people do and say everyday. More than once I’ve wanted to say the same thing to somebody.
A few months ago, somebody was asking us about our inflatable Sea Eagle kayaks, and we were explaining their benefits over our previous hard shell kayaks. “How much does your kayak weigh,” he asked, concerned about carrying it from his car to the water. I told him that my PaddleSki 435 weighs about 42 pounds, and he asked, “How much does it weigh when you fill it up with air?”
Recently a lady was complaining that she loves to read, but that with her arthritis, holding a book for any period of time was painful. Terry showed her the Kindle e-book reader I bought her for Christmas and was explaining its many benefits. “You can make the type size bigger or smaller to fit your needs,” Terry told her, “and it can hold up to 3,000 books.” The lady, who had been marveling over how light the Kindle was, and its electronic ink display, said “Oh, with my arthritis, that would be way too heavy! I could never hold it with that many books in it!”
Yesterday I had a conversation with a new reader who was complaining that when she asked me about subscribing to our digital edition, I told her she could read it online or print it out, but that she wasn’t able to print it. I wrote back and explained that all she had to do was open the PDF file, click print, and it should print out fine. She said she had tried that over and over with no success, so I tried to walk her through it, step by step. She opened the PDF file, and I told her to click File and a window would open.
“Yes, I’ve got the window.”
“Okay, scroll down in the window and you will see a command that says Print. Click it.”
“I did, nothing happens, it just says “Choose Printer.”
“Okay, for some reason it is not recognizing your printer,” I said. “Does it give you a list of printers to choose from?”
“Alright, what kind of printer do you have?”
“I don’t have one.”
“You don’t have a printer?”
“Than you can’t print it out,” I told her.
“Well, you never told me that! You should be more specific!”
She’s not the only technically challenged customer we have. Once we were vending at an RV rally, and a lady bought one of our 7-in-1 CDs with our guides to Free Campgrounds, Fairgrounds RV Camping, Casino Camping, etc. A little while later she returned and said the CD didn’t work. I assumed that for some reason the CD was flawed and gave her a new one. She took it and was back in a few minutes, complaining that the second CD would not work either. One bad CD I could accept, but two in a row? I asked her if she got any kind of message on her computer screen and she said, “I don’t have a computer, I’m putting it in my stereo CD player, and it doesn’t work, no matter how loud I turn the volume up.”
Another time, I was talking to a man in an RV park when another gentleman walked up and and joined the conversation. Actually, he didn’t exactly join the conversation as much as dominate it and change it to a different topic entirely. It didn’t take long for the first man to walk away, leaving me stuck with the boor. He talked on and on about how much he knew about the RV lifestyle, how little most other RVers knew, and such. Then he noticed the tire pressure monitors on the tires of our bus conversion and asked what they were. I told him and explained the benefits of a tire pressure monitoring system – including monitoring the tires while underway and not having to crawl around in the dirt with a tire gauge to check tire pressures. “Wow, that’s amazing! A guy would have to be an idiot not to have one of these. Why don’t I have one?” All I could do was smile and walk away.
You can’t make this stuff up!
Thought For The Day – Our capacity for self-delusion is boundless – John Steinbeck