#parent | #kids | OPINION | Repairus interruptus? App-arently not | The Examiner


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The children didn’t believe that I had bought a beast of a spice rack and, more significantly, that their father had installed it without incident. Really? The screws didn’t go through to the front of the door? Nope. Really? It’s straight? Yep. Really? It took him less than six years (the average in our place from thought to action). No. Really, he did. And it’s perfect. And he bought our first tool. Yes, we have a tool. A mini electric drill with its own handy dandy recharger – like the phone – only more dangerous because it has a mind of its own and can make holes anywhere, anytime. It even has a convenient little light for working in the dark – a handy metaphor for our approach to handy stuff. Sweet reader, is your partner a Virgo? If you’re nodding yes, you know exactly where I’m headed. Virgos are precise, in fact, some Virgos are so precise that unless Mercury, the Moon and Venus are in line, the wind is 20 knots from the south, the sun is visible and the pets are fed, the washing is on the line and the recycling has been rearranged to within a millimetre of its life, Virgos are unwilling or haven’t got the time to fix stuff. That’s us. Before you can say “pull the other one”, in our house, there is no urgency applied to the flotsam and jetsam of fixing stuff. Which is why, sweet reader, we don’t own tools and why I invented an app called “Consent to fix Stuff”. Regulars to this column would remember the amazing, leaning tower of milk crates that we used for a ladder? Or the shoe heel of glee that we used for a hammer? Even though we’re still light on tools, I figure the app might provide evidence that at least we actively chose to fix (or not fix) stuff. Like you know, opt in or opt out? Like a mini-referendum. It will be installed on our mobiles (which btw are regularly misplaced). It goes like this: Just before we’re about to launch into a crossword, sudoku or Spotify, we must first check-in on our app, the thoughtfully-named “Consent to fix stuff”. There are several options, but we must opt in or out, thus providing evidence that we were in fact willing to consider and importantly, did have a choice. If we’re too focused on the crossword or sudoku to participate in our consent app, then my whole system will be a waste of effort. But why wouldn’t we stop what we’re doing, find phone, stand in an area with internet connection and open the app; read choices and act (or not)? Oh, the app wouldn’t open? The app said, “user error” or “fatal error” or, my very favourite “error 404 – page not found”. But what about all those other apps that have become part of life – you know – that one the government convinced us all to install so they could trace our movements – bingo – The COVID-Safe app? That worked. Didn’t it?

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