Ergonomics

“Honey, where did we put the snow scrapers?” I yelled up the stairs as I was rummaging through our garage trying to find them.

“I don’t know. I think mine is in my car still.”

“You think it is in your car or it is in your car?”

“I think it is in my car.”

“Yeah, right” I said under my breath as I trudged out to Stephanie’s car. Even though I knew there wasn’t a snow scraper within five hundred feet of her Saturn, I looked in every nook and cranny of her vehicle and I didn’t find what I was looking for.

So I went back into the house and frustratingly stated, “There isn’t a snow scraper anywhere in your car! Any other ideas?”

“Well, then I have no idea where it is!”

“How is it possible that two, rationale, responsible adults can lose their snow scrapers every single year?!”

“I don’t know,” she said angrily in her ‘this conversation better be over if you know what is good for you’ voice. As I realized my cue from the intonation of her voice, I did what I was supposed to do in these situations; get the heck out of the house! Whenever my wife gave me “the look”, “the voice” or “the sigh,” I instinctively knew that I had better make myself scarce for a little while or else! It was like some prehistoric ritual that got stuck in our genetic code and has been handed down from generation to generation throughout history.

As I made my way out of the house, I imagined the cave man who had decided to have all of his cave buddies over to share the evening fire and engage in some cave man bonding. The cavemen were grunting, scratching and swinging around their big clubs until one of the cavemen knocked over the cavewoman’s good bowl that was carved out of the tree that was over beyond the valley where the big, bad Tyrannosaurus Rex lived. I could see the cavemen staring at the bowl they had just knocked over when the cave woman “sighed” or “grunted” or gave them “the look” and that was when these strong, brutish Neanderthal men just scattered like children because they knew their fun was over for the night. And right there, at that moment, “the sigh”, “the look” and “the voice” got locked into our genetic code as a warning system that let all men know when enough was enough; it was time to run!

So I got into my car and went to the store to purchase two new snow scrapers because like the cavemen I described above, I must bring back a gift as an act of contrition because I had openly questioned my wife. The caveman probably brought back a new bowl that he spent the next week carving for the cavewoman, me on the other hand, I had it easy. I had to go to the local store and purchase two new snow scrapers that would inevitably get lost before next winter, but I had to get them because it was what I was supposed to do. I must get new scrapers!

So I went into the scraper aisle of my local store and to my surprise; I noticed a new product on the market. The store was now selling an ergonomically shaped snow scraper. This was not a joke; the sign was promoting the new ergonomically shaped snow scrapers, a snow scraper designed for maximum comfort and to protect against needless injuries.

Now I understand the need for ergonomic chairs and for ergonomically designed computer stations at work. They promote better health, they help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and they make people more productive at their jobs. I knew the long term effects of working without properly designed work stations but was it really necessary to develop an ergonomically designed snow scraper? Was it possible that scores of people have been going to the doctor and have been diagnosed with a case of carpal tunnel syndrome from scraping snow off the windshield of their cars and I just wasn’t aware of the epidemic?! Imagine the horror for those people as they would have to confide in their doctors as the diagnosis was revealed to them, “Damn, Doc, if only I had bought that ergonomically shaped snow scraper last winter this never would have happened!”

As I stood in the aisle staring at the ergonomically designed instrument, it me like a ton of bricks. It was a snow scraper! You put your hand on it and push it to clear the snow and ice from your car windshield. Was there really an appropriate way to medically hold a snow scraper so that I wouldn’t damage my carpal muscles? If there was a proper way to hold my snow scraper, I really wanted to know how to hold it correctly because I wanted to make sure we were scraping the snow properly. These were dangerous times that called for desperate measures. I had to make sure we were safe, because I didn’t want anybody to get hurt.

But even with my new awareness of the inherent safety risks, I decided to peruse and study all of the snow scrapers that were for sale. I wanted to make sure I got the right one but more importantly, I wanted to make sure I had waited long enough before I went home because there was a time requirement involved with making oneself scarce. I went to the front of the store, purchased my new snow scrapers, went out to my car and drove home with a gift for my wife like the cavemen had done many, many eons before me. I pulled into the driveway, went into the house and called for my wife. “Sweetie, look what I got!”

“What did you get?” my wife said as she came into the room.

“I got these cool new ergonomically designed snow scrapers. They are designed to protect against carpal tunnel syndrome and they make scraping your windshield easier.” I knew I didn’t believe a word of what I had just said but I also knew what every other man on the face of the earth knew; when you have gotten yourself into trouble with your wife, you are supposed to buy the coolest new item you could find for your wife as a peace offering.

Stephanie looked at me with her ‘Am I supposed to be impressed?’ look and walked out of the room. Not the response I was looking for but at least I wasn’t in trouble anymore and hey, maybe these things do work; my hands feel much better already!

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One Response to Ergonomics

  1. Victor says:

    How do snowscrapers get lost…kind of like socks…

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