When my dryer has finished, it buzzes. It makes the same buzzing sound every time it finishes. Yes, the dryer is 25 years old and new, more modern dryers beep. (Funny fact: today as I update this post my dryer is broken).
In the 25 years it took us to go from landline to smartphone, we’ve gone from dryers that buzz to dryers that beep. Sure, maybe you have one of those fancy dryers with a tv screen on it but I’m talking about your average dryer.
Why do so many things use the same buzz/beep? It’s the exact same sound the washer makes when it’s finished. Something beeps. How am I supposed to know which one is calling me? Could the designers at least have made them beep once for washer twice for dryer?
Thank god I at least have both buzzing and beeping. It at least reduces the possibilities of what needs my attention. What do people do who own more modern appliances do when they hear the washer beep? Do they run to the microwave? To the dishwasher? To the oven? Who’s got that kind of time?
The more salient question for me is this: Why is this buzzing/beeping such an annoying and nagging tone?
GET YOUR ASS OUT HERE THE CLOTHES ARE GETTING WRINKLED.
Is it any wonder I take my time to get out there? I’m not going to listen to that attitude, dryer. I’ll get the laundry when I get the laundry. You can just chill out.
I recently received a birthday card that featured a drawing of a chicken playing an accordion. The card had a button on the outside and when you pressed it you heard a band play the chicken dance and the chicken’s paper accordion started moving erratically. (Much, I suspect, like an actual chicken might play an accordion if given the opportunity to play an accordion).
You know these cards. They play everything from animal noises to pop songs to orchestral themes from movies and television.
So why is it appliances that cost hundreds of dollars can only do one singular beep or buzz but it’s possible to fit an eight-piece oktoberfest band into a tiny paper chicken that costs $5?
My appliances – that I paid for – should not harass me.They should encourage me. They should entertain me (and no, not by putting yet-another-screen on something like my toaster).
They should make my day better. They should aspire to make my life better. Or at least be able to play the chicken dance.
I don’t know anyone that gets excited about emptying the dryer. So let’s address that.
What if the dryer could offer some words of encouragement: “Hot Laundry! Come and get it! Get it while it’s hot! Get it while it’s not wrinkled!”
Or what about some triumphant trumpeting followed by a booming “The royal wardrobe is ready m’ lord!” Then more trumpeting and when I get there, a lot of wordy flattery and groveling.
Or perhaps to the really reluctant couch potato: “OK! You got this. It’s been a long slog and it’s not easy getting clean, but we’re in the home stretch and all you need to do is come over here and pull it out before it wrinkles, take it to the room and hang it up. Come ON! I believe in you! You can do this! I’ll walk you through it!”
Dryers are *literally* warm and fuzzy on the inside but cold and hard on the outside. How can we get them to show their inner selves more often?
Clearly, since they (most of them) are filled with swirling water they should be pirate themed.
The choice you make on the dials gets you different pirate reactions. “Rrrrr. Shiver me timbers, you certainly got dirty booty don’t ye?”.
Press the button to start: “Fire in the hole, we’re off to the briney deep!”
When it’s half-done there’s some kind of “Ahab meets the whale battle” that plays along with requisite soundtrack. Perhaps finishing with “Land ho!”
Let’s experience the microwave:
I wonder what happens when I press this button? Beep.
Oh, what about this button? Beep.
Uh.. this one? Beep.
Seriously microwave. You have all those damn buttons and they all make the same sound. Way to think outside the box.
Why even require me to press the buttons? Just beep all effing day on your own. Seriously. What a waste of an opportunity.
When I see that food turning on the plate inside the microwave I want you to blare some carousel music. Or some guitar-driven road tripping music. Maybe you could even voice-over the food for me to make it more entertaining to wait: “Holy shet I’m gettin’ dizzy! OMG slow it down! Slow it down! Hey. Is it getting hot in here or is it me?“
When it’s done, instead of beeping it could say “Ok Mike. Most sections of the food are at a desirable temperature. Come and get it while it’s still dizzy and before it hardens up in a weird way.”
Side ask: Get rid of the potato button.
Why Stop There?
When I walk in my house I want my walking-up-to-the-plate music to come on.
My television. When I turn it on I want a voice to convince me to change my mind and turn it off.
The Internet. I use site blocking apps that keep me from being on social media too much. Instead of trying to “block” me from seeing social media or other sites I might OD on, what if it just had a nagging voice telling me to get off of it as I scrolled through it?
When my iron is ready I want it to play Arrow’s “Hot Hot Hot“.
My garbage disposal should sound like a T-Rex devouring someone (bonus if the lights in the kitchen would flicker).
That little handheld gun thing on the sink should clearly make some pew pew laser sounds.
Don’t even get me started on the car. There must be 50 lights on my dashboard. I haven’t seen them all light up but based on the ones I have, I bet it’s the exact same tone they all use. Since I can’t understand the icons, why not make the sound that’s going to happen if I don’t address what it’s warning me about.
That low pressure light comes on and there’s a huge exploding tire sound.
Low battery? The sound of a car trying to start over and over again without success.
Check engine? Horrific metal clanking noises, followed by screeching brakes, sounds of an awful collision, shortly thereafter followed by an approaching ambulance, crying relatives, someone reading last rites, a eulogy, and then the sound of dirt landing on a coffin. Because I usually just ignore that light. But if I hear all that stuff I’m driving straight to the mechanic.