The conspiracy of inanimate objects

I have come to the inescapable conclusion, over my half-century of life, that there exists, within the world of inanimate objects, a conspiracy; a conspiracy to make my life as inconvenient as possible.

Let is examine the evidence.

Cables tangle when I’m around, and wrap themselves around other objects that fly off shelves or out of drawers when the cables are pulled, crashing onto my foot. Objects leap out at me so that I either trip over them or stub my toe on them. Walls lean in as I walk by, so that I run into corners and doorways.

Ice creeps around on sidewalks when I’m not looking, positioning itself just perfectly for me to slip on it. Shoelaces tie themselves in knots overnight. Stones hop silently over the threshold, wriggle under the front door, then make prodigious leaps to get inside shoes that were stone-free when I last took them off.

Clumps of snow hurl themselves from branches just as I walk under them. Coffee shop tables that were perfectly stable for the last person to sit there start wobbling the moment I sit down. Coat zippers catch cloth (or worse, flesh), unzip from the bottom, or simply jam and become immovable…waiting until I’m in a hurry.

Our basement ceiling gets lower when I walk through, just so I’ll bang my head on the heating vents. Wet spots on the floor, tracked in from outside, slither around until they’re under my socked feet. Splinters form on our hardwood floor or stair banister seconds before my bare foot or hand comes sliding along.

Pens flee into hiding at the slightest indication I might need one. Socks escape from the dryer into an alternate dimension.  Coat hangers proliferate, breeding in the darkness of the closet, yet cleverly evolve ever-more-sloping shoulders to insure clothes slip off them to the floor.

Light bulbs know just when the most inconvenient time is to burn out. Computers hang or crash only if I haven’t saved my work for a while. Computer printers work perfectly until I’m really, really in a hurry, or really, really need to print a photo, then either jam or run out of ink. Camera batteries die suddenly without warning just as I’m about to capture a once-in-a-lifetime moment.

And today…today, a large portion of the city of Regina blacked itself out solely to prevent me from doing the work I desperately need to do on Twist of the Blade, the next Shards of Excalibur book; and then just to ensure that I couldn’t access my email and therefore get a copy of the latest revisions to Blue Fire so I could at least work on something down here at the Good Earth coffee shop, SaskTel’s email server started acting up.

So I really must apologize to all those other people in Regina inconvenienced by a lack of power and/or email access this morning. You are, I’m afraid, simply innocent bystanders in the never-ending battle between myself and the inanimate world.

Sorry about that!

The photo: View from the top of Mt. Whistler, B.C., August, 2010.

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  1. Hi Edward,

    Taking a late breakfast after an early morning battle commenced against my Macbook Pro (sudden and exceptionally noisy fan problem when I’d just received word of a job needing to be done by the end of today), I ‘Yahooed’ to see if inanimate objects only had me in their sights.

    I was very relieved to find your article here, and dare I say a very amusing read too (although a subject as serious as this shouldn’t be taken lightly, strictly speaking 😉

    So thank you for sharing this. Having discovered your insightful written work I will endeavour to find and read more.

    With best wishes,


    ps. after spending several hours in vain, downloading various hardware utility apps in an attempt to fix the offending fan without resorting to opening up the computer, I gave up and decided to drown out the noise with music, at least for the duration of the rush job I need to get on with. Moments later the fan silenced itself! According to the utility apps, its revolving away in there at a sensible speed but now silently. I won’t hold my breath though, the inanimate world is only trying to cook up something even more annoying 🙂

    1. Thanks, Paul. I somehow missed your comment until today, but better late than never. Glad you enjoyed the column! There’s a new one every week…(well, almost).


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