Monday, January 7, 2013

Fit to be Tied

A week ago I bought an elliptical trainer to put in my basement. Between you and me I think I knew I was going to own one by the second day of using it in the gym and not getting killed by it. I liked the exercise, or the feeling of exercise (under the general rubric, 'the more you sweat, the more you get') without tearing up my knees which have spent half of the previous decade and all of this one getting torn up, rebuilt and then torn up again.

Of course, as a proud inheritor of my father's boundless mechanical ability, I got nearly as much exercise trying to assemble the 875 kajillion pieces this equipment comes in, cleverly sealed in a plastic designed to catch a  speeding asteroid as it enters an earth orbit, and to be assembled with a hex key that lost out in the semi-final round of the IKEA trademark tool lookalike auditions.

As I learned, the 'tool supplied' tool is useful about half the time which means it's useless about half of the time which is only half again as useless as I am (and was) throughout this entire assembly process. Without my wife and our daughter supplying all the critical thinking at the most critical moments I would be still be in our dirt-floor basement staring at the mountain of 'some assembly required' pieces, contemplating unkind thoughts towards everyone connected with its manufacture.

I knew the assembly would NOT be a walk in the park when a leaflet inside the packing material proved to be a flier to hire a professional to assemble the device for you. Talk about marketing! Yes, they could have put this information on the outside of the box but when do you suppose the most opportune moment to broach this delicate subject is? Yepper, when the stuff is all over the floor and you're starting to despair of ever seeing the light of day again. Perfect-a plaque of platinum, status is whack. As long as no one makes me  wear a unitard, it's all good.
-bill kenny    

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