I seem to have a great deal of trouble turning things off. Turning them on? No sweat. Light switches, blenders, lamps, ovens, fans. They’re a breeze — especially the last one.
I used to have a car with a weird issue. When I’d turn off the ignition and get out, it kept running. There was an additional reason I never bought another Ford Pinto, but I forget why now.
My wife has to keep reminding me while I’m driving to turn off my turn signal. My car has six airbags, a rear-view camera and voice-controlled GPS directions. I’d give it all up if the blinker would go off automatically after I — what’s the word I’m looking for? Oh yeah: TURN.
The other day my wife and I were talking via cellphones. “Dick, I gotta go. I have another call.”
“OK, see ya.”
“Dick, are you going to hang up or not?”
“I’m trying, Mary Ellen. I pushed the button three times.”
“I’m trying also. Get off the phone. I don’t want to talk to you anymore.”
“You don’t have to make this sound so personal.”
Then there’s my computer. For some reason, I frequently can’t get my machine to shut down. Please tell me this happens to you. I was so frustrated I called Kevin, my tech nerd, and told him the problem I was having.”
“Dick, I just spoke to a guy who needs my help to reconfigure his router, install Windows 10 and upgrade his video adapter, and you simply want to know how to turn your computer off? Did you push the off button?”
“Geez, Kevin, of course I pushed the off button. How dumb do you think I am? And please don’t mention that time you came to the house and for a hundred bucks got my printer working by just plugging it back in the outlet.”
“Try this: press the power button softly and hold it just a second.”
“I did that. It won’t turn off.”
“Then press the power button really hard and hold it for 20 seconds.”
“I tried that, too. Wait a second, how can both of those be right? Why should this be so difficult? I’ll just pull out the plug.”
“Good idea. I can use the money.”
Here’s another thing I can’t turn off: those very loud commercials that play on my computer in the background. I don’t know where the sound is coming from, and I don’t know where to find the X to shut the windows. Sometimes I get so frustrated I just want to turn the computer off, but remember, I don’t know how to do that.
Yesterday, my wife suggested we go out for a date night. “Great,” I said. How about a quick sandwich at Jimmy John’s and then we could see that new Vin Diesel movie?”
“Well, I can tell you, Dick, that would be about as unromantic an evening as I can imagine.”
Finally, I learned how to turn something off.
Television personality Dick Wolfsie writes this weekly column for the Daily Journal. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.