I was loading the dishwasher this morning when I noticed that the latest dishwasher tablets included a spectacular new time-saving invention. They no longer had to be taken out of their plastic wrapping. The whole lot could be shoved in where the wrapper would melt away. "Less hassle" promised the advertising flannel on the box.
How much hassle was it really to pull off a wrapper? What was I going to do with the massive amount of time I was going to save, maybe as much as six or seven seconds?
When I was growing up we didn't have a dishwasher, no one did except in homes of the future featured on Tomorrow's World. Instead we had to use our hands. And so in terms of time-saving, we should have hours more spare time, now that the washing up is done for us by a machine. Not to machine a washing machine, the microwave, online shopping...
Except the more time-saving devices we have, right up to self-unwrapping dishwasher tablets, the less time we seem to have. A survey of commuters published this morning said that if they had one hour extra each day the most popular activity for this extra time would be sleeping. They were completely knackered.
So how is it that in a world so perfectly evolved that we no longer have to pick plastic from dishwasher tablets that we don't even have enough time to sleep, that most basic of physical necessities?