GINGER: Electronics have a short life span around our house

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By Ginger Truitt

Electronics have a fairly short life span around our house. Just yesterday, I washed an iPod with a load of laundry.

I heard a clunking sound, so I stopped the washer and tried to sort through the wet laundry. There were two blankets, heavy with water. I figured maybe the clunk was the edge of one slapping around.

Later, as I was transferring to the dryer, I spotted the iPod. My jaw dropped in surprise, and I quickly devised a plan.

The ruined iPod is now lying innocently next to the docking station, waiting for the unsuspecting owner to realize that it no longer works.

As long as they don’t notice how suddenly shiny it has become, I’ll probably be able to pass it off as having been dropped one too many times.

We all have the dropsies around here.

Hubby gets a little (OK, extremely) frustrated with the number of electronics that crash to the floor.

And because he’s a freak about keeping the floors nice, it’s a double whammy.

Electronics sometimes leave dents and pock marks on hardwood flooring, and there’s not much you can do about it except make the “cross-your-heart, hope-to-die, stick a needle in your eye” promise that it won’t happen again.

Hubby continually reminds me laptops are not disposable. I have gone through more than my share over the past few years, but it’s not entirely my fault.

He should try making nine-hour flights with two pre-schoolers, and see if he doesn’t just finally hand them the laptop in desperation. It keeps them entertained for the life of the battery, or until the third time it slides off their laps.

It isn’t always the force of hitting the ground that is the problem. One month after upgrading my plain Jane phone to a Blackberry, I dropped it in a tub of water. I didn’t realize the edge of the tub was slightly sloped, and it was gone in the blink of an eye. They say a couple of weeks in a bag of rice will dry it out, but we are on day 127 with no luck.

But the thing that frustrates hubby most is my inability to properly maintain my chargers. They get twisted around, and those tiny little wires inside get broken. I have replaced more cell phone and laptop chargers than anything else.

I have every version of iGo, and 50 million adapter tips lying around the house, but they rarely adapt to my particular product.

Replacement chargers aren’t cheap, but hubby always comes through for me, albeit with much sighing, eye rolling and occasional grunting.

Yesterday I was driving the kids to school when I heard an annoying rattle coming from the dashboard.
I fiddled with the heat, sound system, and everything else trying to make it stop. I thought perhaps if I drove faster, whatever was loose would get knocked back into place.
But at 80 mph, the rattling got worse.

As I slowed down to turn into the school parking lot, I realized the noise was actually coming from the passenger side door.

I had a brief moment of terror as I remembered the hilarious, I mean horrible, scene in “National Lampoon’s Vacation” when Chevy Chase accidentally leaves his dog tied to the bumper.

I hoped against hope our cat had not made a last ditch effort to jump into the car without my noticing.

Taking a deep breath, I walked around the vehicle and opened my eyes. I don’t know if I was more relieved or shocked to find the charger for my new (as in, just got it for Christmas) laptop dangling to the ground.

I had promised hubby I would take care of this one!

Cross-my-heart, hope-to-die, stick-in-a-needle-in-my-eye PROMISED!

Not to mention, the battery was practically dead and I had a number of time-sensitive business items I’d agreed to take care of while he was out of town.

The tip that plugs into the computer was completely sheared off at an angle. Ever hopeful, I tried to cram it into the hole anyway. I had just enough battery left to get online and order a new charger.

Total cost, including next day shipping, equaled one-fifth the original price of the computer. I really dread telling hubby. I mean really, really dread it.

I dread it almost as much as I dread my kid figuring out his iPod made a trip through the washing machine.

Ginger is an author, speaker, and mother of five. Her award-winning column appears weekly across Indiana and Kentucky. Contact her at ginger@gingertruitt.com or visit www.gingertruitt.com.