The Navy Didn’t Prepare Me for Technology
By Garland Davis
I know in the past I have had problems with new technology. There was the time I bought the Taser for my wife and decided to test it by zapping myself on the leg. After all it only used two of those little triple A batteries. It only took me a couple of weeks to regain control of my bladder and to stop pissing down my leg. I still dribble a bit every time my wife uses the microwave oven. The hand tremors are pretty much gone and only bother me during lightning storms.
But that wasn’t a new experience with electricity. It pretty much mirrored the effects of testing the electric fence I installed to prevent my grandmother’s cow from getting out. How was I to know that for such a little enclosure the small unit would have been sufficient instead of the unit designed for forty acres that I bought? Although, I only pissed down my leg infrequently after that experience and the tremors didn’t last as long as they have with the Taser. That experience reminds me of what they used to say about me when I was growing up. “You can’t tell that boy anything. He’s one a them that just has to piss on the electric fence.”
Then there was the time I almost asphyxiated myself testing my wife’s Pepper Spray. I was careful with the spray. To prevent spraying myself, I closed the shower curtain, stuck my hand with the canister of spray into the shower and let loose a protracted burst, it floated over the top of the curtain, right into my face. I regained consciousness with the dog licking my hand and barking at me. My vision returned by time to go to work Monday morning. But everything I ate for a week tasted like it had been prepared with Chipotle peppers.
But that is all in the past.
Recently, this asshole who lives next door has been complaining about my dogs barking. I told him they wouldn’t bark if he kept that snotty, stuck up cat in his yard. It comes over and looks through the window until the dogs begin barking then lays down on the window sill and licks its privates. Drives the dogs crazy.
But knowing that cats cannot be controlled, I knew that I had to take measures to stop the dogs barking. I went to the computer and researched methods to control dogs barking. One suggestion was to spray water in their face and say “Quiet” when they barked. That wasn’t feasible because there usually wasn’t anyone home with the dogs during the day.
Another suggestion was an electric collar that would zap them when they barked. After my experiences with electricity I immediately nixed that idea.
I found a humane citronella collar on Amazon. When the dog barks the collar shoots a gentle blast of citronella under the dog’s nose. They don’t like it and stop barking. I was home alone with the dogs the morning the collars arrived. I followed the instructions and filled them with citronella and nervously inserted the batteries. I get that way around anything dealing with electricity. I have watched numerous reruns of Ducktales because I am scared shitless of the TV remote and cannot bring myself to touch it. The TV runs twenty-four hours a day. If we ever lose power, that should turn it off and I guess I’ll stop watching Ducktales.
This is where my morning should have ended but , of course, I couldn’t let it. I decided to test a collar before putting them on the dogs. I held it up by my mouth and barked like a dog. Nothing Happened! I reread the instructions, nervously looked at the batteries again, and barked again. Nothing Happened!
I’m not quite sure why. I shouldn’t have had the next thought, but I did; I put the collar around my neck, fastened it and positioned the growl box against my throat. I barked! Apparently, the collar works when it feels vibrations from the dog’s throat. I immediately received a blast of citronella to the face. This caused me to start coughing.
Holy Mother of God!
Every time I coughed it gave me another shot of citronella. The collar continued to squirt citronella into my nasal cavity. I’m on my hands and knees in my back yard, coughing and trying to breath while the dogs are barking at the cat and the neighbor is rolling in his driveway laughing outrageously.
While all this is happening, I am furiously scrabbling to unhook the fucking collar, which seems to have welded itself shut from around my neck. I finally got the collar off and flung it across the backyard at the cat. I lay in the grass sucking in the cool fresh air. In the middle of thinking this is the dumbest thing I have done recently, I hear my neighbor go into another paroxysm of laughter. He was laughing so hard he was having a harder time breathing than I was. He finally said, “I was gonna come to help, but every time I started over the fence you would set it off again and I would start laughing again and I couldn’t make it.”
I learned a lesson; Technology and I are non-compatible. Also, don’t depend on neighbors for help in a comedic emergency.
On the plus side, the mosquitos haven’t bothered me since the incident.