The Lingo

(This is part of a series of posts that I am doing in the run up to my first Sydney Fringe Festival show in September. It is called One Man Show and it is a split show performed with Andrew Barnett, in the run up we have another website to promo the show, check it out if you get a chance. Original Post)
I suffer from an unusual complaint. I’m not proud of it, but I know nothing about cars. This is hard to admit as a guy and even harder for some one who works as an engineer. I don’t know how a carburetor works, in fact if spell check hadn’t just kicked in I wouldn’t have even been able to spell it. It sorta comes down to a thing I call “The Lingo”. We live in a highly specialised world, every thing has it own code, series of buzz words. This is mostly noticeable to me when I go out and try and purchase medium to high priced electrical and household goods. Bought a new phone recently, how many mega pixels in the camera, do you have a front facing as well as a rear facing one. Is it NFC enabled, what you still using bluetooth, no one uses that any more etc etc. Now most of that statement is current, it makes sense now, 3 years ago it would have been gibberish and in 3 years it will more than likely be gibberish again. I do live in dread fear of having to upgrade my phone, like a body builder preparing for competition, I have to hit the equivalent of a gym and learn up on all the new technology and find out what is no longer there. Does any body remember express on covers? I do! This is all so that when I enter into the shop and start talking to sales dude he doesn’t start bamboozling me with terms I don’t know and before you know it I have added rust protection to the glass of the lens.If I am honest about it cameras and phones technology usually comes to me, but it is all the other things, BBQs, bicycles, lounges and beds, yes beds! I spent the past three weekends checking out “sleeping giant” and “snooze” to replace our 10 year old bed, you could say we rode it into the ground! (shit joke). But there is a lingo for beds. Frames or bases. Medium or Firm. Memory foam or latex. Matching bed sides, dressers, tall boys, low boys, built in storage, Gah!. After losing the will to live and not being conversant enough on the lingo, at first I thought we were getting it, but was devastated to find out you can not get a racing car bed in a queen size. Eventually we capitulated and picked the first frame we saw, with the first mattress we saw. At times like that I just walk into the electrical section of a Harvey Normans and pick on the sales dudes. I use my powers of lingo to make my self feel superior and ask for stuff on camera or phones that just don’t exist but sound like they should. “I want a 100 Mega Pixel camera, which front, back and side facing lenses. It needs to have 100 GHz of memory and it had to be able to upload all images to the cloud and the intranet!” When they apologise and say they are “Sorry sir, we don’t have that camera in stock”, I then like to blare in his face “Well I believe I’ll take my business else where! GOOD DAY! I SAID GOOD DAY” and then storm out. I can be rest assured I have claimed my human sacrifice to the god of Lingo.I suppose I wasn’t entirely truthful at the start when I said I didn’t get cars, that was true until these things called electric cars started to arrive on the scene, and being an electrical engineer, it was like that scene in the Karate Kid where Daniel-San found out all the shitty work around the house was in preparation to learn to fight. All of a sudden I knew what regenerative braking was and why its cool. Lead acid batteries versus NiMH and why one is better than the other under load. Ranges of 100 Km for Mega Coulomb Hour. Yeah Biatch! That’s what I am talking about!Some times I feel like Indiana Jones trying to stay ahead of that rolling stone ball, but one day I will become the Zen master of Lingo!

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