Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Don’t bother me, I'm bouncing my batteries

The internet is an amazing place. The internet can teach you all sorts of things—good or bad. It isn’t the first thing in life that has been created for the well-being of mankind and sooner or later someone figures out a way to use it for a malicious purpose and spoil it for us. So long as we humans have tendencies wired into us to do wrong—guess what—we will do wrong. But thankfully there are people who benefit personally from knowledge gained and pass it on to the rest of us—via the internet.

But let’s get back to battery bouncing. How many times have I hunted for a new battery and if for some reason it wasn’t still in the package it came in, I really had no idea if it was good. This leads me to ask myself the same simple question every time upon finding a lone battery, ”Why would I have kept a dead battery?”

Then my mind thinks, “But maybe it's good and it just rolled out of the package.” That’s always a good one. 

So I go with the former belief that this battery is—good. I pop it into whatever device needs its power and it works either momentarily or nothing. No light comes on indicating that power has been restored. 

It’s a dead battery. It’s hard to imagine that you could reach a ripe old age and continue to do the same nonsensical things. But something in me holds to the idea that somewhere in that battery there just might be a resurrected power. That on a stormy night it will power the flashlight that will keep the darkness from invading my soul. (That last line might be a bit too flowery but I write so—what do you expect.)

Now, I know what some might think—why not just invest in a battery tester? Come on let's be real. Even though we live in a battery driven world just exactly how many times in my life have I thought, “Hmm, I think I’ll buy a battery tester.” 

Hardly ever—never. That is, until what few battery-driven devices I do use—die on me. 

Then some creative, investigative, scientific-minded geek (or not) reaches through the chaos and puts out this simple video.

Mr. Video Man:  Bounce your batteries, he says. 

Me: Sure—right. 

Mr. Video Man: No, really, bounce them.

Me: (already feeling stupid for keeping dead batteries.) Okay, I’ll bite.

Mr. Video Man: Hold the battery upright and drop it on a hard level surface. If it’s good it will land standing up on the first drop. If it is dead or near dead it will bounce several times before falling over.

Me: Gawfffff—okay, let me get this right, you want me to drop my battery and it will land upright if it’s a good one or fall over if it’s one of the ones I kept just for emergencies?”

Mr. Video Man: I’m not sure why this method works but it does every time.

Me: I know why you had to come up with this test. Because of people like me who saved used batteries. 

So the next time I search around in the dark, drop that one battery I salvage out of my “I might need it one day” bin, drop it to see if it stands up or bounces and rolls under the stove I’ll know if Mr. Video Man was telling me the truth.

Too bad we can’t have a simple fix for us, humans. Drop us and if we stand we’re good. Drop us and if we bounce around and fall over we’re not. 

I’m done; I have to go bounce my batteries. 

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