The Great Microwave Conspiracy

We have had the man on the grassy knoll, Area 51, and even Kirstie not winning “Dancing with the Stars” this year.  The world is rife with conspiracy theories that abound and persist.  We are simply captivated by the thought that some secret event has occurred, it has somehow been veiled in a shroud of secrecy, and we are destined to discover it.  However, the greatest conspiracy of all time was hatched on October 8, 1945.  That was the exact date that Raytheon filed an US patent application for the first microwave oven!

By 1975, well over one million of these appliances had been sold in the United States alone.  Today, ninety percent of our households own a microwave oven.  Liberation came to the American home in the form of this newfangled technology.  Suddenly we were able to warm up water and thaw meats in less and less time.  Technology advanced, manufacturing methods became leaner, and this radiating cabinet was within the financial grasp of the ordinary masses. 

A new industry was born, offering entire meals that could be cooked in minutes.  Grocery store displays trumpeted the latest gourmet offerings that could be on the table in less than ten minutes.  The traditional convection oven-based TV dinner went the way of the Dodo.  Never would you have to worry about missing the start of your favorite television show because dinner was still in the oven.  We were freed to gather around the tube with our foam-encased delicacies; gathering the family together and ignoring one another as we absorbed the mindless dribble coming over the airwaves.

In spite of the Norman Rockwell picture just painted; there is a darker and seamy side to the microwave oven.  There is a conspiracy waiting to be revealed and I am just the person to blow the lid off of the entire thing!  The microwave spelled out the eventual demise of that wonderful human trait called “patience!”

Once upon a time, we were thrilled to send correspondence overseas that would arrive in a week.  In the early 1970’s, the advent of overnight delivery services allowed for foreign delivery within a few days.  The fax machine went one better, allowing you to now send that contract to Paris in near real-time.  It did not take long for the Internet to give birth to the concept of email, which delivered your attached documents in near instantaneous fashion.  Unfortunately, delivery only occurred when somebody on the other end actually opened your attachment.  Now we live with an entire generation that considers email too slow; opting out instead for the benefits of text messaging.

In all aspects of our lives, we expect immediate gratification.  The thought of waiting for anything is no longer acceptable.  We are compelled to push a single button or key and have all of our concerns magically melt away.  There was a time when people would spend their precious days anticipating the results of their actions.  There was a certain satisfaction in mulling the potential rewards of your efforts while you awaited the result.  That nostalgic ritual has fallen by the wayside, vanquished by the legions of efficiency.

The end result of this technological onslaught has been a society of neurotics who fall to pieces if their latest Tweet is not responded to immediately or if their recent update does not receive over one hundred “likes” within the first hour of being posted.  In short, we expect our intellectual investments to be ready for harvest right this instant. 

This erosion of patience has spread to every aspect of our lives.  We have become a “real-time society.”  The side effect of this seemingly wonderful Utopia has been the extinction of patience.  That in turn has spread through our entire bodies and the cancer has now attacked another vital function; introspection.  In an age where everything is delivered to you in mere seconds, can there be time to reflect, to ponder, and to anticipate?  Have we robbed ourselves of a precious gift that used to be called “soul-searching?”  There is so much to be said for lying in tall grass and asking yourself, “what if?”

I would love to continue this illustration of the greatest conspiracy in the history of mankind.  However, I can smell the alluring scent of popcorn coming down from the kitchen.  No, not a bag in the microwave; the real stuff on the stove!

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About Jerry V. Dollar, Author, Humorist, Observer of the Human Condition

When not trekking around the globe, Jerry Dollar can be found in Colorado Springs, CO where he lives with his wife Robbi. Besides an affinity for writing and travel; he is also an avid bodybuilder, a very prolific reader, and an enthusiastic observer of the human condition. Jerry has published two books which are available on: Lulu, Amazon, Kindle, Nook, and IBook. "Announcing a Flight Delay" is a hilarious recap of the author's experiences as a million mile flyer. "A Dollar's Worth" is a collection of observations on the human condition, which originally appeared as blog posts. Dr. Dollar has served in various senior executive management capacities over the past 25 years. He has previously worked within the healthcare, insurance, software, and several other high technology industries. Jerry is recognized for his expertise in creating the foundations for emerging organizations to succeed in complex sales environments. He is also well known for his leadership in guiding technology companies through rapid growth phases. Jerry speaks five languages and has conducted business in over 70 countries on six continents. He holds particular expertise in the Latin American and Western European geographic areas. Dr. Dollar holds a BA in International Affairs, a BA in Spanish, an MBA in Marketing, and a PhD in Organizational Development. He has authored numerous professional articles, various training courses, and has conducted seminars and conferences around the world.
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3 Responses to The Great Microwave Conspiracy

  1. As long as I can still buy popcorn to make on the stove, I’m happy. I use the microwave stuff at work, because that’s all we can use–but there is no substitute for exotic popcorn prepared in hot oil! I mourn the loss of Wolf Island to Mississippi floods, I loved their “prairie red” and “prairie black”. But Fireworks has some great varieties like “blue heron” and “midnight” and “starshell red” that are a good replacement. It’s worth the time!

  2. Richard Bell says:

    I grew up before the advent of all these time saving devices and mourn the loss of privacy. In my opinion, a cell phone in a car is only needed if you see an accident and wish to call the police. There are times when I prefer to be unreachable, to relax and know that I will not be interrupted.
    Was at the movie theater last night and the teens in front of me were all ‘tweeting’. I thought it was quite pathetic although they would beg to differ. Fortunately they turned them off seconds before the actual movie started so I didn’t have to kick their seats. I can only imagine that kids like that would go into withdrawal if their devices were taken away. Sad.

  3. The wonderful way that microwaving turns everything to rubbery consistency. I wonder about that every time I use a cell phone. My new motto: “Forget the ringing in my ears, consider the stringing in my brain.”

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