A Jackass Trapped in a Man's Body

January 06, 1995|By JOE MURRAY

Angelina County, Texas -- Sometimes I feel like a jackass trapped in a man's body. But I guess I'm doing the best I can with what I got.

* Instead of door knobs, our house has door handles. You have to push down on them to open the doors.

The other day, when I tried to open the front door, the handle came off in my hand. When I put the pieces back together, it was not exactly as before.

The nice thing about door knobs is that they're round. They have no top or bottom. There's no way you can put the pieces back together upside down.

Not so with handles. The door handle on our front door, for example, you now have to pull up to open the door.

* I was searching for the TV remote. I looked down and there it was. If it'd been a snake, it would have bitten me. I'd stepped on it.

As a result, one of the buttons is now permanently pushed in. I didn't think it would matter. Like most things I do, it did.

A couple of days later the batteries ran down. I changed them. A couple of days later the batteries ran down again.

I finally figured it out. The button that's permanently pushed in keeps the remote permanently turned on. After a couple of days, the batteries burn out.

Now what I have to do, each time after I use it, is remove the batteries -- and, each time before I use it, replace the batteries.

* My car is a few months old. The only problem I've had is with the driver's-side seat belt. Often when I try to attach it, the belt will catch short of a sufficient length to circumvent my ample middle.

Like most everything else, I figured it was a computer problem. The belt is designed to hold fast when you slam on the brakes. Something, obviously, was telling the belt that I was slamming on the brakes.

I had to tell it differently.

What I found I could do was put the car in park, take my foot off the brake and then open and shut the door, thus reassuring the computer that it was not an emergency.

It didn't always work the first time. I'd simply repeat the procedure, in sequence, until the belt released.

The other day it happened with my wife in the car. I put the car in park, took my foot off the brake and opened and shut the door. The belt still held fast.

''Mumble, grumble,'' I said. ''I guess I'm going to have to take this car back to the dealer to get it worked on.''

''Why not instead,'' my wife said, ''you make sure the belt isn't caught in the door when you shut it.''

For a long moment I couldn't think of anything to say.

''Hee, haw,'' I finally said.

Joe Murray, editor-publisher emeritus of the Lufkin (Texas) Daily News, is senior writer for Cox Newspapers.

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