Natalie Solent

Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.

E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)

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Wednesday, May 04, 2005
 
Things too obvious to see. I'm interested in why people make mistakes. So is Anthony Cox, although the sort of mistakes he studies usually have more serious consequences than mine.

One day my friend and I set off to a check out a new branch of IKEA. With what care and concentration did I, as navigator, trace our route through the highways and byways, bringing us at last to the fabled blue edifice. My curses turned the air blue when I noticed that plastered across the top of the very map over which my head had been bent so low, in a type size suitable for a headline announcing the invasion of Poland, were the words "NEW STORE OPENING ON..." followed by a date two weeks into the future.

We both felt that it was inconsiderate of IKEA to write that bit in print so big that any normal person would assume it was a special offer.

I thought of all this today while sniffing the brake pedal of my car. I do not do this for pleasure. It was all part of an attempt to open the bonnet. In the good old days all my cars where full of character, in the iron oxide sense of the word. Of course I knew how to open their bonnets; even when they didn't oblige by doing it spontaneously on the M11, they were always going wrong and I was always peering into the footwell to find whatever recycled impaling-stick the manufacturers had deemed the most amusing means to unlock the interior. What threw me this time was that, the car being (as my cars go) fairly new, the bonnet was opened by an enormous bright red lever placed directly under the steering wheel. Deceivers! I'd always thought that was the ejector button.