I’d like to take a moment to make an important shoutout.
This acknowledgement goes to a member of society that, I imagine, is rarely acclaimed. Furthermore, my gratitude belongs to a fellow human being, or perhaps a team of delightful humans, whose names I am unlikely ever to know. I do harbour quite a few fantasies of a journalistic streak deep within me, however after plunging into several internet holes to satisfy both curiosity and writing material, I must admit defeat. Thus far, research has served only to take me away from my original intention, to which I must now return.
Some people are working to cure cancer, or engineering solutions for various challenges to climate change. There is an electric car in space.
But today, and perhaps for many years to come, in my little urban story, nothing compares to this.
In a 99% Invisible-esque eye for detail and design, in a stroke of pure genius, and in what I can only assume is an act of downright mercy for parents and caretakers everywhere (not to mention the people who ride with them), the maker of the elevator in my apartment building made the buttons able to be turned off.
Do you understand what this means?
It means, when my child, attracted to the red lights, reaches over in delight towards those buttons – small, metal squares that determine the immediate future of everyone in the vicinity – no one need panic. No one need swat his chubby little hand away, nor cry out in distress. There are no audible groans, and no one gets triggered into a state of anger so severe that it resembles road rage in a space that gives most people at least a small degree of claustrophobia at the best of times. No. This small, thoughtful feature has the miraculous ability to transform pushed buttons into un-pushed buttons, just as easily. Well, more easily, since most people on earth have better gross motor skills than an 11-month old. No need to worry. Little Q can (and does) enjoy those buttons to his heart’s content.
And let’s get real. Since I’m usually alone in the elevator with baby Q, then what I am really thanking these designers and engineers for is the few minutes of my every day that are benevolently returned to me; a few minutes that I get home faster, adding up to several hours over the course of a year that can be used in a myriad of society-benefitting ways; a few minutes less per ride, lowering my chances of getting trapped in there, only to be rescued hours later after all my milk has dried up from dehydration and the baby is scarred for life.
Plus, there’s the fact that I did not pee my pants today on the way home.
3/21 – #SOL18