If I were in charge, SIM cards would actually retain all your phone numbers, so that when you changed phones (or had to use a temporary piece of shit because your own piece of shit died without warning but, being under warranty, was sent off for possible resuscitation, only to ultimately be replaced by/reincarnated as a brand new piece of shit), ALL YOUR NUMBERS would be there waiting for you. Because, you know, chances are that’s what you were doing all that time you spent building your address book the last goddamn time this happened. Like last month. But no. I’m not in charge, and now half my fucking numbers are missing. Again. If your first name starts with ‘So,’ consider yourself erased. ‘Ta’? Ditto. ‘An’? Nothing for you. ‘Me’? Who’s calling, please?’Ol’? Sorry, drawing a blank. What I really can’t stand is the randomness of the deletions. Last time, I actually wrote out a manual record of all the numbers I got in response to my NOT THIS AGAIN! email, trying to anticipate a possible future where this sort of shit would indeed happen again. And it has. But I thought I’d save us all a lot of time with my manual record. I thought I was being efficient and preemptive. But the numbers I lost in the last changeover aren’t the same as the numbers that have vanished into thin air today. Where did they go? When will they be back? Why is the cosmos so hellbent against my efforts to effectively tele-communicate?
The other thing I’d fix if I were in charge is the weird and inexplicable rollback of consumer design solutions that really work. Take the squeezable tea bag. Good idea. The little tag is perforated down the middle, you pull the two strings apart, and it draws the bag until drained without your getting splashed, dripping tea everywhere, or having to wrangle your bag round a teaspoon (it never ends well). I love the squeezable tea bag. What I don’t love is not being able to find it anywhere anymore. I’ve been to not one but two shops today (including a major supermarket), and while they have all manner of tea, and all manner of bag, they have no manner of squeeze. I just do not understand it. Why would anyone buy the old type of bag when you can buy this one?? (okay, okay, my dear English readers, I know you’re sniffing in terribly refined horror, I can hear you from here, asking why on earth anyone thinks tea bags should ever be employed in the making of tea, and I’ll try to soothe your ruffled sensibilities with the reassurance that I do make potted tea and my own scones, right down to whipping the cream, when guests are involved). But now I can’t buy this one, and it’s maddening. Everything else should be discontinued, goddamn it, not the squeezable bag.
Or, for that matter, the squeezable sauce. If you’re not Australian or have never been to Australia, you may be unaware that the meat pie is nigh on a national dish. We love ’em, and we make pretty good ones, too. And there’s a compulsory accompaniment to the humble meat pie, that perfect lunchtime snack, and that’s a little packet of tomato sauce. In it goes, straight into the standard bakery issue white paper bag with your steaming hot doll’s eye (we also love a good if totally perplexing euphemism), so that when you get to the grass, or the wall, or the bonnet of your car, you’ll be able to smother the pastry lid of your meat pie in tomato sauce and get stuck in knowing everything is right in the universe. If everything is really aligned, you’ll have your meat pie in one hand and a milkshake in the other. How I nearly wept, after two long years away, when I was finally reunited with meat pies and milkshakes. Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked. Back to the sauce. A few years ago, one of the sauce companies (competition is fierce) revolutionised the pie preparation ritual with an ingenious packet design. You squeeze the sides of the packet, and the sauce worms out the centre. You don’t have to cut yourself peeling back those corners of foil (the last word in bastardry), and you don’t have to scoop out the sauce with your finger and then paint the top of your pie with tomato sauce like you’re back in kindy playing with the paints during nap time. No, it does it all for you. All you have to do is aim and squirt, aim and squirt. No mess, no fuss. SO WHERE HAVE THEY GONE??? Why haven’t they taken over the takeaway sauce world? Surely Llew and I can’t be the only ones who think these squeezable things are sort of life-changing, albeit in a really, really minor way? Okay. I do have a particular talent for getting food in my hair. And teeth. And ground into my clothes. So these things matter more to me than they otherwise might, because they spare me layer upon layer of public pie eating humiliation. Sauce distribution is one less thing I have to worry about. Or at least it was. Clearly there’s some kind of sabotage afoot, the work of a rival sauce maker, no doubt, because squeezable sauces are increasingly hard to find. It’s not good. It’s not good at all. I’d fix it for you if I could, you know I would, but this is just the sort of ruination I’ve come to expect from a society that pointblank refuses to put me in charge.