Wednesday, August 11, 2010
The World is Run By Stupid People
Wait. Let me correct that. I can find about five thermometers. About $527 worth of thermometers. All worthless thermometers.
The top-of-the-line, laser, ear thermometer (which cost me more than my first car) reads 86 degrees. Apparently my son, whose skin is on fire, actually passed away about twenty minutes ago and is rapidly cooling off. No, that can't be it. He is wiggling and shrieking in my kitchen. I try again. This time, 107. What! I try it on myself. 104. Oh, for the love of Farenheit! Piece of garbage.
I have several others. All digital. All with dead batteries. No problem. I am the mother of toddlers with obnoxious toys, all requiring batteries. I have batteries. Double A, Triple A, C, D, nine volt. You name it. But first I must find my isty bitsy teeny weeny screw driver, the kind you use to repair glasses. (Which I have always found ironic, because if your glasses are broken how are you ever going to find the screwdriver, let alone use it, but I digress.) Find screw driver, un-drive screws, find dead battery. Flat, round, watch battery. Are you freaking kidding me?
Meanwhile, I gave Jonah a cup of water. It couldn't hurt. It would probably help. And he couldn't let out the house-wakening whine while drinking. Unfortunately, he was shaking so badly that he slopped some of the cold water on his hot chest. (I swear I heard sizzling and saw steam rise.) He dropped the cup with a loud clatter and a splash, jumped backward, pointed a long bony five-year-old index finger at me and yelled, "That's your fault."
I had one thermometer left. It is our go to thermometer. Batteries worked. It is known to give an accurate reading. It was designed to be (and has been) used rectally. Jonah was already hysterical. And shaking uncontrollably. There was no way.
So, I had to assume that my son's fever was only high. Not dangerously high. Plenty of room temperature fluids, rest, watch closely, pray he makes it until morning, etc. I know the drill.
But why, oh why, oh why can I not get a decent thermometer?
Remember when you could get a mercury thermometer for 59 cents and you could use it anytime, year after year? I know, mercury is bad. You don't want it in your ground water or your oceans or your children. But do you know how much mercury is in a thermometer? No, of course you don't, because you have never broken one. And if you have, it was only once, in your whole life. And you were careful cleaning it up.
I had the same mercury thermometer my WHOLE life, until someone, somehow convinced me it was evil (when I was about thirty) so I chucked it. Right into the trash can, on it's way to the land fill.
Don't get me wrong, I am not "up with mercury." I just think it is exceedingly stupid that we refuse to use it responsibly for thermometers, and have replaced mercury thermometers with battery operated ones which don't actually work, so they get chucked and more hunks of battery operated plastic ones are manufactured to replace them.
Meanwhile, a bloated former Vice-President is heralded as some kind of patron saint of the planet, and wins a Nobel Prize, for telling people that the way to save the world from certain doom is to switch to compact florescent light bulbs. You know about compact florescent light bulbs don't you? They are glass tubes full of mercury. That sounds sort of like a mercury thermometer, except more often replaced and more likely broken. Oh, and you can't take your temperature with it even it you are willing to stick it up your bum.