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I should never be allowed to buy or have installed new technology in my house. But I’m so tired of having Gill, Crazy D and L’il Sis criticize or laugh at the decrepit state of my techie devices that I recently decided to stop them in their tracks, shut them up for good.

I had a bit of remodeling done on the kitchen — including new quartz counters and new sinks. To complete the sleek new look, I went for a fancy water tap, just like one I had seen in a kitchen decorating magazine. I too would have state-of-the-art fixtures. I have now, with the acquisition of that tap, doomed myself to permanent ridicule and frustration. As much as I liked the tap and thought it would be just what I needed, I now curse the wretched thing and the horse it rode in on. The kids now razz me with greater fervor than before… and the sad thing is, every word is justified. I too loathe the miracle tap.

It is equipped with sensors that turn the tap on automatically when a hand brushes past them. (Actually, I’m not totally convinced that Mrs. Beeton, my pink parakeet, wouldn’t set off the tap by strafing it while she flew over the belligerent thing.)

The idea is that you can still turn the water on even if your hands are dirty and, just for sake of argument, covered with raw chicken germs (especially salmonella). For someone with a reputation for having slightly lax health standards in the kitchen (at least according to my kids…I think things are fine with my bleach bottle at the ready), this seemed a gift from the heavens.

Alas, not so. It has turned into a tap with attitude, an evil device with a penchant for revenge, a thing cursed that I would gladly dismember or beat to a pulp if I could. I attempt to wash the dishes in the sink. As soon as I lift a dish or plate up out of the water, Psst!! The tap squirts on. Sometimes it hits the plate, rinsing it nicely. But most times, it catches my shirt sleeve or my watch  which is in no way waterproof. I attempt to lift the plate and my hand out of the beasts’s range but the sensor on the top of the tap then kicks into action, this time drenching whatever isn’t already wet on my person. So I am soaked and the tap stares at me, looking as smug as can be. “Bastard thing!” I scream at it. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that this tap, this cursed inanimate object, was out for revenge. The next time I am working at the sink, different parts of my shirt suffer its wrath. I am so tired of hearing its blasted “Psst!”

Things took a serious turn with Gill here this summer. The tap attacked her whenever she went near it. “Argh! Fucking monster!” she yelled more than once.

“I have to say, Ma, I appreciate that you’re trying to bring your technology into this century, but we all know you’re really better off in the last century…or perhaps the one before that. You were never meant to be up-to-date. You know what happens every time you upgrade your computer or get a new television…we all end up trying to fix what you can’t figure out.And depending on which one of us is coerced into the job, your new techie wonder will end up in pieces on the trash heap, the fixer will end up tearing his or her hair out, or all the booze in your house will be drunk within the day.”

“How about,” she continued, “We forbid you to buy anything ‘modern’ for this house ever again? If you feel you must admire such innovations, please, please just take yourself to the fancy kitchen store up the way and gaze for as long as you want at their taps. Hell, take a lunch and make a day of it. You’ll come home, tensions released and you’ll feel so much better about yourself. Then pour yourself a good stiff drink and sneer at the wretched tap with its glaring blue lights. It will be ever so good for your soul.” As she said this, we heard the telltale “Psst”. Apparently it is easily offended and squirts at will. Sigh.

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