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Time saving devices lie – they don’t make life easier

Monday 4 April 2022 | Written by Ruta Tangiiau Mave | Published in Opinion

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Time saving devices lie – they don’t make life easier
Ruta Tangiiau Mave. Photo: CI NEWS

Is there anything more annoying than someone using a leaf blower after it has rained!

The whine of the motor as they insist on standing over a wet leaf stuck to the ground, not budging while their finger holds down the trigger like the loud grinding monotonous sound of the revving engine is going to move it. They walk around the leaf pointing waving the noisy nose at it from 2ft above it, if it refuses to budge, they then resort to trigger happy jabs of on and off and on and off like that will work. It might move an inch so they get in closer and hold down the trigger and as the revs climb and the motor whine’s they insist on the snail pace of movement of the leaf to a pile 4ft away. If there is more than one leaf, the motor is not strong enough to move two or three wet leaves together so they think holding the trigger down longer is going to work more. It can’t move leaves on branches, rubbish and stones they are best tackled by the one and only indispensable cheap and reliable quiet rake. 

It reminds me of those people who spend all their time walking around a room, lifting cushions and furniture yelling and frustrating everyone while they search for the remote, when they could have taken one step to the TV and turned it on manually by hand.

A leaf blower on windy days is another display of wasted time and fuel. As the whining waving of blower versus wind go up against each other battling to control the direction and collection of leaves and cut grass into a single collected pile is an annoying yet entertaining dance of cacophony futility. Watching the village beautifying maintenance day-glow people clear the road after the grass cutters valiantly whooshing the leaves towards the curbside, while they walk alongside, only to have the wind blow them back onto the road as they pass by.

Without the challenges of nature, the leaf blower achieves its named goal and blows the leaf, granted it can move along all the smaller and finer dust and dirt but then so to can the equally quiet broom.

The insistent and persistent use of machines is supposed to save time and work easier. They lied. Manufacturers of time saving devices lie, they don’t make life easier, they don’t save time instead they take time and create arguments while using heaps of energy and costing more, than if we stayed with the manual do it by hand methods.

The dishwasher is a classic requiring more work if you want it to work well. Food should be rinsed off, pots still have to be scrubbed and the order of where and how the utensils, crockery, pots, cups and glasses are stacked require study in meticulous architecture. If done incorrectly after the hum and swish-swash of the cycle is complete, food that remains stuck to the plate either gets left there to go through again or has to be manually scrubbed or stronger chemicals are used. Once finished, unpacked to store away plates need drying with a cloth when the upturned glass full of water sloshes over the plates as the door opens.

The greatest advantage of the dishwasher is its great capacity to store out of sight the myriad of bowls and snacking plates and detritus from view for perhaps days, plus the free facial spa treatment when you open the door to a burst of steam but this too can be achieved over a sink of hot soapy water and the dish rack on the side can be left to drain the dishes until morning without the need for cloth drying. Unlike the machine the hand washing alternative means the creativity of being able to stack the dishes on top of one another like a sculptural Picasso is the aim and entertainment of every true hand dishwasher worth their weight in soap.

I do concede to the clothes washing machine saving time. It’s so much faster and easier than taking them down to the lagoon and beating them against the rocks.

The answer to more annoying than machines creating a crescendo of grating audio proportions equaling those of the 4am crowing roosters and the incessant barking dogs. These are equal in volume and annoyance but rating higher is the silence of the Prime Minister on the continual full payment of his deputy even after he stood him down from his post. Rather than doing his job, he is collecting more charges on fraud. How does he get suspended but retain his $137,000 plus salary, when many taxpayers are on an $8/hour subsidy after losing theirs due to Covid?