Incredibly Simple Things That Made Me Feel Like a Complete Buffoon

Ken Taro
4 min readOct 11, 2023

Have these common contraptions fooled you as well?

A particularly unflattering picture of the author with a caption that says “ken.exe has stopped working.”
A particularly unflattering picture of me sitting on a bench in San Francisco.

I actually don’t particularly consider myself an intelligent person, but some of the items on this list are definitely things I should have no problem with. Alas, they have caused, and continue to cause, plenty of confusion and angst.

Packaging Tape

Someone using a packaging tape dispenser to seal a parcel in bubble wrap.
Photo by cottonbro studio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-white-and-black-vr-goggles-4568701/

When it’s just me and the roll of tape, we are completely in tune. If you bring a handle into the equation, it’s game over (for me).

USB anything

USB stick
Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

When you plug in a USB, there is theoretically a 50/50 chance of inserting it correctly the first time, right? Well, not for me. I swear I have a 90% failure rate on the first try.

Pickle Jar

Several pickle jars.
Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

One stubborn specimen forced me to go on YouTube and search for “How to Open a Jar.” Oh, and I’m a 36-year-old adult in decent shape. So, what’s the secret? No way I’m telling you! You will just have to shame-search the way I did. The worst part? I hate pickles. I was just opening them for my mom.

Pallet Jack

A pallet jack in a warehouse.
Photo by muddi aller; shown here under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en

Unlike a forklift, you don’t need a license to operate one of these (at least in the U.S.). However, this presents a double-edged sword. Pretty sure this voided my A in 9th grade geometry.

Books

A stack of books.
Photo by Kimberly Farmer on Unsplash

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Ken Taro

Writer, satirist, and humorist. You can find my best work on my mom’s refrigerator.