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I know I am not dumb. Over the course of my life, I have figured out a lot of “stuff” on my own and by reading.

But when it comes to mechanical engineering problems, how things fit together to work, I come down with a violent case of brain freeze.

Case in point: I bought a phone tripod through Amazon so I can start doing videos. There were seven pieces of equipment in the box. Here is the “assemble instructions.” No, that is not a typo; yes, it said “assemble.”

  1. For phones, attach the phone mount to the tripod.

 That’s it! There is no instruction #2, 3, or 4.

I looked for a YouTube video to help me. The only video for this brand of tripod had a background of loud noise. (I honestly believe it was intended to be music, but they failed.)

Then a pair of disembodied hands was shown opening the box, holding up each piece, turning each piece around to show every angle, then laying each piece down. I turned that off at about 45 seconds.

I finally figured out how to stretch the “jaws” of the holder to go around my phone, but it wouldn’t quite accommodate it. Look, I know I have a big phone. It’s a Motorola Droid Turbo 2. It’s so big that my grandsons think it’s a miniature tablet and that I’m very cool to have such an advanced electronic device. I let them believe that’s true.

Anyhow, the blurb on Amazon said that my tripod contraption fits phones up to 3 ½ inches. I measured the phone and it’s under that. But the phone seemed to be stuck at a precarious angle. I envisioned my “mini tablet” suddenly ejecting from the holder, flying across the room, hitting the wall, and lying in ruins.

For the first time ever, I’m making an Amazon return, regardless of the message from the manufacturer on the back of the non-instruction sheet. “We’re committed to helping our customers achieve a happier, healthier, and more creative approach to life.”

I had no idea that a phone tripod could provide such magnificent benefits for me.

Moving on to the web camera I bought to attach to my laptop: This device had NO written instructions, just pictures as shown here:


Are you kidding me? OK, I get step #2: plug cord into the laptop. But the rest of it, I just don’t know.

This is probably why I have never enjoyed jigsaw puzzles—trying to figure out how the pieces fit together. And maybe that’s why I consider myself geographically challenged. I get lost quite easily. It could be that I see myself as that puzzle piece trying to fit itself into a warren of streets, searching for a destination.

Thank you, God, for inspiring someone to create Google Maps for my phone.

Word puzzles I love. Creative thinking games and word challenges, yes, I adore. Charades, Pictionary, Tribond….let’s play!

But please don’t ask for my help in assembling anything.