What’s always good for a laugh?
April 9, 2018

When I got my civil engineering degree from the University of Nebraska in the early eighties I had no idea how useful it would be. Nothing has inspired more laughter.

The inner workings of my computer are as mysterious to me as the engine of a tractor. A remote control is one aptly-named apparatus -- I just hand it to Darrell and say, “You do it” -- because there’s nothing remotely understandable about it. I’ve been known to come out on the losing side of an encounter with a can opener.

The other day I tried to close the blinds in an apartment Darrell and I were renting for a week. He’d already left for some errands. I was going to lock up and wait for my ride. First I needed to close the blinds, but the cords got twisted. I couldn’t figure out how to untangle a mess of this magnitude, so I did what anyone else who’s wary of strangers would(n’t) do. I talked a landscaper who doesn’t speak English into coming back to the apartment with me! I’m apparently better at sign language than window treatments, and I was relieved when he agreed to help.

I had a great day and Darrell did, too. Then we had fun comparing notes about the engineering degree that had failed me once again. Though we wondered if the landscaper had the same degree, because he hadn’t been able to unjam what I’d jammed up.

I doubted it would be the last time a technological innovation gets the better of me. But I’ll forgive myself. “I have lots of gifts,” I’ll think to myself. “This isn’t one of them.”