Have you noticed that the less new technology products contain, the more their names imply that they are high tech. This phenomonon became clear to me as I was looking at my new gas stove, which is boldly labeled, "Maytag Advanced Cooking System". It sounds like it will cook your dinner for you if you just dump food on it. In reality it has the basic features anyone would expect on a gas stove. But to be fair, my dinner will burn a little quicker on this new advanced cooking system.

Virtually no features are incorporated into the exhaust hood above it, which has a two-speed fan and a light switch. The exhaust hood doesn't exhaust anything. It sucks air through a questionable metal filter and blows it back out into the kitchen. But its name, the "Nautilus Microtex System 1", implies that it is the latest high tech gadget to hit the market. Had I not known that it was a range hood, I might have thought that it was the latest in high tech fitness systems to prevent Dunlap's Disease. (That's where your stomach done-laps over your belt.)

On the other end of the technology spectrum is my digital answering machine, which has all sorts of high tech features that allow me to create and select a number of different voice messages, codes, number of rings, toll-saver options and remote dial-in control. Its modest label says, "Digital Answering Machine." My digital 900 MH cordless phone has a similar label announcing to anyone who has never seen a phone before that it is a "Digital 900 MH Phone." My computer, which was the fastest, most advanced desktop computer in the world when it first hit the market, is simply labeled: "Power Macintosh G3".

Recently I purchased a "Dogobie Flying Disc" from Superflight, Inc. It is advertised as "A Breakthrough in Aerodynamic Design." In reality, it is a cheap rubber Frisbee knockoff for dogs that you can't throw very far. My dog wants nothing to do with it. I think the "breakthrough" has to do with it's ability do ignore the theory of lift and strictly adhere to the laws of gravity. Admittedly it is "Soft - gentle on your dog's mouth and teeth," but, except for my sofa, I've never noticed my dog chewing on anything softer than wood or bone.

I have a sign on my office door which reads: "The Newest Technology Always Looks Good to Stupid People." Perhaps that is why I purchased the Dogobie Flying Disc.

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