Bright sparks

I’ll admit that I’ve done a few stupid things in my time. I’ve driven the wrong way down a one way street in a major city, I’ve criticized a rather strange looking woman across the road to my friends, only to realise that it was a reflection, I’ve asked a statue for directions in a shopping mall, and I’ve accused my husband of having an affair after I dreamt of the infidelity the night before. These are only the ones that I care to think about right now. My list is long, but my memory is poor in some circumstances.

I am not, however, the only one who has been accused of being ‘one sandwich short of a picnic’ or a ‘few fries short of a happy meal.’  I am not the only ‘bright spark’ around, you know.

In Australia, the term ‘bright spark’ is often used to refer to a complete idiot in a sarcastic way. I have a ‘bright spark’ list of my own that I would like to refer to here.

Bright spark number one was that person, or persons, who planned our latest release of the suburban and business phone book. Usually we get a listing once a year, and it has grown to such a size, in line with the urban sprawl, that they have had to print two rather large volumes. This obviously costs a lot of money, time, and trees, so some bright spark decided that they would print smaller phone books. In theory this worked quite well. Less paper, less trees, less expense. It was soon realised, however, that the print was so small that only people who had excellent vision were able to read it – about twenty percent of the population. The rest of us were digging out our old books, if we were lucky enough to save them, or reaching for some kind of magnifying glass. In the end, free magnifying glasses were offered to anybody that rang up and requested them, at the expense of the provider of the phone books I would imagine.

Bright spark number two was a representative of my local Telco company, who rang me, after I had experienced many Internet disconnections, to let me know that she was on the case and she was disconnecting my Internet service temporarily so that they could put a ‘stabilizer’ onto my line to stop the drop outs. Now this also would have been good in theory, even though I wasn’t really sure what a stabilizer was, but this person rang me after they had cut my Internet off. I was caught like a rabbit in the headlights, so to speak, when I lost the Internet right in the  middle of an examination, also losing valuable data. When I asked her if it would be alright in the future if she could give me some warning, so as to allow me to prepare my mind, and my files, from being lost in cyberspace, she seemed quite put out, and implied that they were doing their best. Would that be an oxymoron? Conscientious Telco? I wonder.

Bright spark number three was an overly enthusiastic medical receptionist who suggested to me that it might be a good thing if I could take some of my medications before I wake up in the mornings, so that my body – that doesn’t manufacture natural cortisol – could start to process the artificial one before my feet hit the floor in the mornings. I’ll say it would be a good thing, and I would probably feel a damn sight better for it. Only trouble is that I haven’t quite worked out how to take my medications in my sleep yet.

Bright spark number four would be the council town planner, or planners, that orchestrated the recent development of our ferry terminal parking spaces on the mainland. It all looked jolly good when it was finished. The only trouble with this happy little scenario was that the disabled parking spaces were put a half a mile away from the jetty itself, which defeated the purpose of ‘convenience’ and ‘user friendly’  services for our impaired  and aged community to reach the jetty, and the ferry terminal to catch the ferry to the island.

Bright spark number five was a rather heavily accented young man who rang me a few weeks ago to let me know that he was from Microsoft and had been asked to call me to help me fix a computer problem that I was having. As I wasn’t aware of any computer problem that I was having at the time, and did not feel that a company as big as Microsoft would be taking the time to call me personally to fix an unknown computer problem for free, it was reasonably safe to assume that I was being scammed, and not very well at that. He was soon dispatched with a few carefully chosen words regarding his mental capacities.

I could go on, but once again, I won’t. I have amused myself at the expense of others enough for one day. There is always tomorrow.

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