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The Evolution of Buttons

     Everywhere I go these days, I’m pushing buttons. Buttons don’t obey. You push the up arrow button on the elevator, the elevator goes down. You push the button to unlock the car door and it locks. There’s a new law: you can’t push buttons when you’re driving. Not if they’re attached to a cell phone.

     Good thing. You think you can get that text message off quick before the light turns green and while your busy thumbs are pushing buttons left and right, the light is cycling through green and then yellow and then red and then… About then, someone else pushes their button.

     Used to be a button held two sides of a sweater together or rang a doorbell to announce your presence. They always did what they were supposed to do. Well, sometimes the doorbell didn’t ring and you had to punch it a few more times, but for the most part, they behaved. And you didn’t run into them everywhere you went. Can’t get away from them now. Buttons control our lives.

     Monday morning I woke up an hour late because I left my finger on the alarm set button a second too long the night before and I didn’t see those green digits jump up an hour before I let go of it.

     So after I woke up late, I rushed outside and before I even got to the garage, the car started honking and yowling at me. I didn’t know what set that off! When I finally realized I had to – what? push a button, of course! – to get it to stop, I could no way find that button on my remote key. It did that for about a week – every day. I now hold the car remote with its red alarm pad at arm’s length as I tiptoe out to the garage. That’s another thing about buttons. They need their space.

     You know about the buttons on the TV remote. You finally figure out which button is for what and they all start acting up. Push the number button to change channels, hold it a smidge too long and it adds a digit so you’re looking at 344 instead of 34 and there’s no such channel so the screen lights up with a “???”  What you talking about?

     Same thing with the “last channel” button. Push it once lightly and nothing happens. Push it a little harder and it skips to the last channel and comes right back. Tap it again, somewhere between “lightly” and “a little harder,” and it works. Great!

     Hey! What’s happening? It’s hopping back and forth again. I had to holler, “Stop!” and let go of the button and throw the remote at the TV to make it stop. It landed on the channel with the commercial on.

     I considered installing a GPS system in the remote. But then there would be another button to deal with and who knows where that one would take you? Probably to a parking garage where you’d have to push another button to get in. Those usually work, but you have to lean wa-a-a-y out of your side window to pull the ticket out of the slot. That’s okay, if you can get the top half of yourself back into the car when you’re done.

     Since it’s dark in there, you push the button to turn on your lights. The windshield wipers come on. When you find a space, park and get out, you push the button to lock the door and the window rolls down. Darn. Push the lock on the remote key – no, no, no! Not the red one!!!

     In the interest of better serving the human race, buttons have evolved… 

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