I’m sick of things that don’t work, and I wish someone would do something about it. Take the corkscrew that I used last night in a prolonged and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to open a bottle of good stuff. Having mislaid my regular corkscrew, I was forced to borrow one – which promptly broke. I was forced to extract the cork with a knife and ended up having to filter the wine through a tea strainer. Not a refined experience.
A relative has used the same kettle (supposedly a superior-quality product from Germany) for more than five years, and it has deposited a quantity of boiling water on the counter every single time I’ve used it to make tea. Our toaster (also a “quality” product) invariably burns the bread on one side and leaves it depressingly white on the other.
Then there’s the toilet thing (relax I don’t do scatological humour). Unlike the Americans, who appear to take an unseemly interest in the aftermath of their most recent meal (why the hell anyone would want a shelf in the pan of their loo escapes me), we South Africans like to get the business over with quickly, perhaps even furtively. However, a certain loo in a certain person’s house was clearly designed by someone who is clearly (a) a mutant with orifices in very strange places, or (b) irredeemably wicked. Don’t they test these things before they press the button in the factory to turn out 10 million of them?
Here’s an idea: someone should build a Web site on the lines of Itdoesn’twork.com and invite hapless consumers to contribute their stories. The “Hellopeter” site does a great job but it’s probably too broad-based for this kind of thing. I want to complain about a car that I’m testing at the moment (its radio doesn’t appear to have an “Off” switch); shirts with button holes that are too large, exposing my belly button during meetings; widescreen monitors that cut off your picture; mobile phones that drop calls and zoom of their own volition; GPS navigators that tell you to turn left (into open veld) when you can see your destination directly in front of you