Digital Lip Balm

It’s winter in Michigan.  That means the air get ridiculously dry and as a result my hands and lips start to rival the Crypt Keeper’s in their complexion.  I put hand lotion on daily to help with the former.  For a programmer this is like kryptonite – who wants to type on a slimy keyboard all day long?  I also keep a stick of lip balm in my pocket.  My left jeans pocket, to be precise.

Both the exterior door to my office building and the interior door to the floor that I work on requires me to use a key fob to get in.  For those of you who have never used one of these, it’s simply a small piece of plastic that I keep on my key ring, and it has an embedded microchip that identifies who I am.  I wave it near the fob reader placed outside to unlock the door.  As it turns out, I keep my keys in my left jeans pockets as well.

Earlier this week I went to grab my keys so I could get back into my office and they got jumbled up with the lip balm.  I decided it was easier to extract both and sort them out where I could see them, rather than try to get the keys out by themselves.  As I approached the door, I put the lip balm in my right hand and had the key fob in my left.

I then simultaneously put the key fob up to my lips and the lip balm towards the fob reader.

My brain absolutely knew that one of those items belonged near the fob reader, and the other regularly visited my lips, but somehow the streams got crossed on the way out.  Even as I write this, I’m still not sure if I thought that 1) rubbing the key fob against my lips would actually relieve the dryness; 2) waving the lip balm at the reader would actually open the door; or 3) waving the key fob near my head would actually open the door.

Needless to say, my lips remained dry and the door remained locked.  After a second or two the streams of logic uncrossed enough for me to switch  what each hand was holding and try again.  (And no, I didn’t then try to wave the lip balm at the reader using the other hand, although that wouldn’t have surprised me at all.)

Thankfully none of my co-workers were in the lobby when I was attempting this, so I escaped that shame.  My next step?  Post it on the internet for the world to see.

Ooh, good plan, Mark.

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