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Suburban Island

Wireless Mouse
Sunday, Mar. 23, 2003, 8:50 p.m.

Question: Why am I attracted to the glitter of technology?

What I Learned: There is a reason for the wire.

We are having some technology problems at my house right now. We resolved the x key issue as discussed here and here. That was a work laptop issue and the technical service people just shipped out another shell to me. I had to go through two of them to get one with keys that stayed put under my obviously brutal typing fingers but eventually those keys stayed put and I was in business again.

This was the easy part. Next comes the more difficult part.

Now the home computer situation is heating up again. We bought a wireless mouse because the little ball inside the old mouse kept falling out and rolling under things. One can only crawl around on the floor, cursing under one's breath and musing over the mysteries of where lost things get to, for so long. I mean fun is fun but thereís work to do.

The wireless mouse seemed like a good idea. It was sleek and modern and lit up in the most intriguing manner underneath. Anytime something lights up, I gravitate towards it - like that crazy 6-foot fiber option Christmas tree I bought and had to hastily return before it destroyed a perfectly good week before Christmas by tipping over at regular intervals and refusing to hold any ornament not made of paper on its flimsy branches. It was the fiber optics that drew me in - that sparkly quality it exuded - and here I was again purchasing a razzle-dazzle wireless modem because of its attractive light-up feature. Will I never learn?

We were excited about the wireless mouse when we brought the first one home until we found out that we couldnít plug it into our computer. It seemed that we had the misfortune to be saddled with old technology.

There is a story about a long line at a computer warehouse store but that might be another entry. Suffice it to say that I heard some very sad stories in the line ahead of me and I have no idea how those people in customer service can bear to hear 8 hours a day of high drama.

We all liked the second wireless mouse we bought too. It worked like a house on fire for about a week and then just when I put the old mouse away for an emergency Ė someplace that seems sensible but I will never remember Ė the wireless wonder just stopped working. We did everything we could think of - plugging and unplugging, turning on and turning off, moving it here and moving it there. I crawled around on the floor because that sometimes appeases the cruel computer gods but nothing worked.

It took me a while to remember where we stuffed the old mouse. Itís a kind of aerobic exercise that might be worth patenting. I call it box-ercise. Just open every box in the house Ė top shelf to bottom. Itís got some weight training aspects too. Itís less costly than a gym membership as well.

We have the old mouse back in place now. We are lazy, so the wire is hanging over the front of the desk and we keep dropping the mouse on the floor, making the lost parts problem an even more frequent event in the household than before. We are doing this because we are kidding ourselves into thinking that we will figure out the wireless mouse thing soon and so why bother getting the old mouse set up right.

I wonder if I should stop kidding myself and return the wonderful wireless mouse. I am pretty sure that itís getting close to the 30 day cut-off for returns and I hate to be standing in that line at the computer store sharing my woes with a long line of like-minded souls.

I will be though, won't I. I wonder how sad my story will be by the time I get to the front of that line. It's bound to be a long one so my story better be pretty good.

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