Sunday, January 04, 2009

A Fault And Battery

I Can’t Weasel Out Of This One

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


On the face of it, the request was simple. It was Boxing Day and the toddler, the only daughter of our visitors from overseas, needed a battery put into her new toy. Santa had brought her, among other gifts, a lifelike weasel that constantly chased a green-and-orange ball that was about the size of a grapefruit.

Battery? Yeah, mate, no worries at all. So I produced a screwdriver of the appropriate size and the toddler’s father applied himself to the task. About half an hour later I noticed he was still trying to open the battery compartment. By this time he was frowning and yes, he was perspiring a bit. You see, it’s summer here and yes, the pressure was squarely on him.

You ever try telling a toddler that you’ll have a battery in the toy in a split-second? Big mistake, mate. B I G mistake.

So when he asked me to assist in the precision-based operation, I was more than equal to the task. I can do that sort of thing standing on my head. But five minutes later (okay, so maybe it was half and hour later) the toddler’s father and I had concluded that the battery compartment was faulty.

It. Would. Not. Open.

So the toddler’s mother and aunt took the toy back to the shop. The owner listened to them and sympathetically, he snapped open the toy to see where the fault lay. In less than three seconds he had opened it without any stress, placed a battery inside and the toy was working perfectly.

When they told him that their respective husbands had complained there were no instructions with the toy, he replied the instructions were so simple that they were contained in a basic, easy-to-see diagram on the box.

Hmmmm. The toddler’s mother and aunt were aghast. Immediately, they began to apportion blame. Yes, squarely on the shoulders on the toddler’s father and me.

So they swept home in high dudgeon. Triumphantly, they told us what had transpired. And the toddler’s mother, a wise woman, made a thought-provoking comment.

"Isn’t it strange," she mused aloud, while looking pointedly at the seiling, "that both your brains combined do not really add up to the power of one normal human brain."

Somehow, I don’t think she was toying with us.


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30 comments:

Hilary said...

Too funny. Cute story. Glad the women thought to bring it back to where they cell them. ;)

Lee said...

Funny story! I can sympathize with the difficulty in getting battery compartments open. How on earth does a toy animal know to chase a specific ball? Are they attached somehow?

jinksy said...

Just shows how brainy minds may be baffled by too simple an instruction diagram aimed at less erudite mortals. The higher the IQ rating of a mind, the more complicated are its expectations and interpretations of everything within its vision - don't you agree?
A very thought provoking tale, and a dire warning to us all not to bypass the simple things in life...

Bear Naked said...

One word----------MEN!

Bear((( )))

katherine. said...

with little ones we requested that santa always inserted any needed batteries before he went back up the chimney...

CrazyCath said...

Hmmm. No comment. From a woman married to a male of the species and the daughter of one and having given birth to TWO of them.
So I am experienced here.

Hmmm.

Baba's Blog .. Babies Are Special said...

What a cute story , but not cute for the child waiting for it's toy!!I always place the batteries which will be needed inside of the gift wrapped up...
Enjoy your week-end. Baba

Hilary said...

I can't tell you how many times baby toys/contraptions have outsmarted me. I throw my arms in the air yelling, "I thought I was smarter than this!"

I love this story.

Tammy said...

Don't you just hate toys that take batteries. All of Aidan's trains take batteries and as soon as they run out we have to start the looking for a battery process. LOL

Sally said...

Such a funny story, but don't feel badly, it's happened a lot around this household. :)

Maggie May said...

Those toy weasles are on sale round the corner from me & the owners cat went mad with delight at the Christmas present.
Well two grown men not being able to get into a battery compartment. Something odd somewhere!
Maybe the toddler could have done it.

GoneBackSouth said...

Batteries, toys, screwdrivers and I do not mix. Don't worry, you are not alone in your uselessness!

Colin Campbell said...

Ha Ha so true. Been there done that. My wife thinks that if there is a difficult or obscure way of doing something, that is the way I will do it (and make a mess).

Moannie said...

From the wife of the world's greatest bodger I have only one thing to say, you did your very best. Chortle chortle!

quilly said...

This makes evidence that 4 people seem to have left their brains in 2008. Oh,wait. I have no evidence that the two of you had brains in the first place. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Great story David!
Another point to the women!
Women: 1 Men: 0 ;)

Biker Betty said...

What a great post. I came over from tnchick. Happy New Year.

lynn said...

Oh my goodness we had one of those weazelly bally thingies. he he! Ah the memories...

Mimi said...

Great story. I learned quickly to open all toys & insert the batteries before putting them back in the box and wrapping them. It saved me much trouble!

Karen said...

LOL !!

Flamin' battery compartments. I dislike them intensly. You have my sympathy.

Grammy said...

I agree. Thats cute and funny.

Chel - An Abiding Branch said...

That was hilarious! Thank you for stopping by my blog in November. Sorry I am just now hopping over to yours. I have enjoyed my time here and I will be back.
and btw, your Woo Hoo was heard all the way here in Texas!
Chel

Indrani said...

It happens sometimes. :)

I know it is late: I wish you and yours a Happy New Year. Back after a short vacation touring North Karnataka this time.

Moosekahl said...

I have one of those for the cats! they love it even when I don't put a battery in it :)

Dusty Lens said...

Isn't that the way of it? I claimed a mandate for all future Christmas gatherings that all gifts should not have batteries. Of course I have no such authority to claim such a mandate.

Misty Dawn said...

Oh my! That story is absolutely hilarious!

I watched my nieces' father search the entire house, finding and trying different screwdrivers to open a toy my niece received for Christmas. He kept exclaiming he couldn't find a screwdriver of the proper size... hours later, he removed the battery cover to discover there were already batteries in the toy, he had only needed to turn the switch from "off" to "on". :-D

spacedlaw said...

HA! It's like the people working in phone shops: They can open those bodies so easily but back at home I never seem to manage. I think they just get special training...

Chuck Pefley said...

A fun story :) My condolences to you both!

babooshka said...

Bear Naked beat me to it. Men is aboyt right. Hilarious to read though.

Sandi McBride said...

Or in the words of my mother, when you seek to lay the blame, look towards the nearest man"...no, really...she believed it, too lol!
Sandi