Saturday, July 23, 2011

Marriage 301, Lecture 124: The Rube Goldberg life

Here is how an engineer solves problems.

Problem 1:
Engineer and his high school friend, who majored in chemistry, biochemistry and French, so he's a bit of an academic slouch, are trying to friend each other on facebook. As they sit across from each other at their high school reunion. They can't find each other on their smartypants phones. But they will prevail! They will!

Simple solution:
Engineer's wife (me) and friend's wife (Sharon) both suggest that they just send each other an email so they have the address and then use that address later at home on the big computer to find each other. As in, go to the quick and easy solution so that they can actually talk to each other in person while they have the chance.

Engineer solution:
Key in multiple iterations of friend's name. Get frustrated that it's not working! Where is friend? Friend is doing the same thing. Ten minutes later, finally send friend request. That is not accepted until the next day. That was a good use of time.

Problem 2:
It took two trips to bring in the luggage and the cooler filled with PennMac cheese (because they don't have cheese in Wisconsin) to the hotel room in Michigan. Two suitcases, two computer bags, small cooler, large cooler. That's two trips worth of stuff to get to the fourth floor of the Doubletree to our omigosh no! poolside room. Hence, it should take two trips to remove the items from the room and get them back to the car.


The Engineer wants to take just one trip. ONE TRIP! Otherwise he is not really a man. If he can't move two suitcases, two computer bags, and a large cooler filled with 15 lbs of cheese, ten lbs of Parma sausage, and two lbs of Mon Amie chocolate in one trip, he will lose all street cred in the Engineer/Nerd Club of which he was a founding member.

Oh yes. Did I mention that SH and his high school friend were both

1. Big Star Wars fans
2. Expert Pac Man players
3. And SH was a key member of the bowling club

That, my friends, is the formula for total nerdiness.

Fortunately, former nerds make fabulous husbands, so it has all turned out OK.

Back to the luggage.

SH was determined to get it all out in one trip. Which meant I was involved, even though I had no such goal. My mission is usually to 1. solve the problem 2. in an easy way. If that means two trips, then two trips it will be. But SH views it as a personal failure if he cannot break the rules of the space-time continuum. He views the laws of physics much as he views the speed limit: suggestions that really apply only to other people.

I ended up pulling both suitcases and carrying my purse, my camera and my computer bag. He loaded his computer bag on top of the cooler and lifted it all up.

He might not have been able to carry that much before his intense exercise program of tennis and half-marathon training. He is looking good, I have to say.

We had Drama when my camera slipped from my shoulder and bounced onto the big pink suitcase that SH always mocks but when you are waiting for your luggage at baggage claim, would you rather be looking for a black bag or a pink one? I rest my case.

Then we had the "how do we open the doors when all four hands are occupied?" Drama. Even SH, with all his engineer tricks, couldn't solve that one. He lacks prehensile toes and I sure wasn't going to risk chipping my toenail polish, not now that I have finally gotten the color where I want it. (A combination of Strawberry Icing and Cloud 9, which yields a nice orangey-pink.)

He was forced to drop the cooler before the double doors leading to the parking lot, but he still claimed triumph. I just rolled my eyes and got out the Mon Amie sea salt chocolate bits.


LPC said...

So I need to know - how is the device proliferation in your house? And what about cases for said devices?

Class factotum said...

LPC, we still have more than five remotes. We have two DVD players (I think). A turntable, which SH has set up in his office and uses, which is nice because it got it and all of SH's records out of the basement.

We seem to be holding steady, which is better than accumulating but not as good as getting rid of. Unfortunately, SH's friend Gary, whom we are visiting, is talking about table saws and handsaws with a laser reader. I am trying to remind SH that we saw wood about once a year and my little handsaw with nine jags per inch is perfectly adequate, but he seems unconvinced, although Gary's latest saw scar did give him (SH) pause.

Sayya26 said...

Lol! I'm married to a nerd as well :)

It's so much fun- but can be annoying as well when you ask them to do something and it takes forever to get done because their analyzing all the manners in which to get it done and figuring out the most efficient method...i mean even something as simple as putting away your clothes! *sigh*

Sayya26 said...

Oh he majored in Computer and Electrical Engineering...and if there were majors in Star Wars, Star Trek and LOTR he'd major in that too...