Friday, September 13, 2013
I returned to a house taken over by Yokyoks.
The wheels of the car have seized up. The water heater is making funny noises. Batteries leaked in wireless mice. Can't open Word without it opening every Word doc on my computer. WiFi is wonky. The toilet won't stop running. The phones -- all of them -- have a buzz that won't go away.
They're here. They're everywhere. They have been having a field day in my absence, the house to themselves, gamboling from attic to cellar. The Yokyoks.
I believe I wrote about them once before. I learned about them from my Dad when I was a kid. A Rube Goldberg invention. An army of tiny green men with long, straight noses and red-and-yellow gloves, who carry an assortment of tools and go about fouling the works -- clogging holes in saltshakers, making pens and faucets leak, blowing fuses, letting the air out of tires. Rube Goldberg we know from his goofy inventions. He loved machinery, but he also knew that technology grows unwieldy because of our insatiable desire for the very latest inventions at whatever the cost in money or frustration. He warned against the "gadget strewn path of civilization," and this much is certainly true: The more complicated our machines become, the more opportunities the Yokyoks have to drive us crazy
I've tried to track down Yokyoks on the internet, unsuccessfully. Did I make up the memory? No. Tom found a reference to them in a biography of Goldberg at the Northeastern University library. Dad, as I recall, had a grudging admiration for the Yokyoks, and loved chasing them about the house, rooting them out wherever he found them. Not me. They are the bane of my existence. Next time I leave home I will seal the door cracks, plug the keyholes, block the flues. I'm not optimistic it will keep them out. After all, they are resourceful enough to intrude themselves into the bowels of my computer’s hard drive, fouling the binary bits.