Saturday, 19 April 2014

How does a TV or a car engine work? confessions of an idiot.

My youngest lives and breathes Toy Story. He loves to dress up as the characters and frequently sports chaps, a cow-print waistcoat and a stetson to church, the supermarket, family parties.Invitations rarely state "dress-black tie or cowboy wear"  but DS#7 thinks his outfit suits any occasion.

The other day he was walking up to pre-school in his large, plastic Woody-style hat when, veering a little too closely to a parked car, it was almost knocked off  by the wing mirror.

My little man thought this was hilarious and couldn't wait to tell his friends that his hat had been "clonked by the car ear." Car ear! what a great description! Now every time I look at a car, I see all the different shaped ears.

But why would he know what wing mirrors are called, or indeed what they are for? It reminded me of DS#1 on our first foreign holiday after toilet training. DH took him to the toilet and came out laughing as DS was baffled by the unusual "flush-it" as he called it. A great descriptive name which works equally well if you type it flush-sh*t!

DH explained to DS how the cistern works and how the continental pull-up flushing system worked in the same way as the handle or push button operation which is more common in the UK.
I'm so glad I married a sensible practical man because I'm here today to admit that generally, I'm an idiot. I'm blonde and its not just dye- for me the stereotype is largely true! I sort of know how a cistern works, and luckily for the other road users I do know what car ears are for. But in so many other matters I'm as clueless as my four year old.

big bang theory new season
big bang theory new season (Photo credit: Heavybm)
There is a great sketch in one episode of my favourite programme "Big Bang Theory". The scientists are in Leonard's car which breaks down. He asks if any of them know anything about the internal combustion engine. They scoff at him and say of course they do - its basic 20th century technology. So he asks if any of them know how to fix one. of course, being pure academics they haven't a clue!

Unlike the Big Bang boys, I don't even really know how an engine works. I don't really know how an aeroplane flies, or how a giant cruise liner weighing tons could float. I've read the explanations but still it seems to defy common sense doesn't it?

I don't understand how phone conversations can magically travel through wires never mind via wireless internet, and for years I clung to the lovely image of there being tiny people living in my TV. Of course with the advent of flat screen televisions even I have reluctantly accepted this probably isn't true. Or maybe the tv pixies have had to lose weight?

Electricity is a mystery to me. So they make it with fossil fuels or nuclear power. But I don't really know how they store it, send it or convert it into power again at my end. I know I should know but I prefer to just use the stuff in blissful ignorance.

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DS#7 having a Toy Story Christmas.
This blogging lark has really highlighted my ignorance. The genre has a whole dictionary-full of new words and abbreviations which I dont understand. A whole new set of rules of etiquette and a whole realm of technical knowledge which I need to know but don't.

But unlike electricity and the car which I can use whilst remaining an idiot, I am determined to work it all out and if not become an expert, at least not such a "newby".

And for all the other stuff I will do what I have always done and tell the children:"Ask your Dad."
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