The red button

Lee's Summit JournalOctober 30, 2013 

“Oh, the red button there kid. Don’t ever, ever touch the red button.”

Do you remember that line from “Men in Black?” I don’t know what it is about the red button but no one is ever supposed to touch it. Why do they have red buttons if you can’t touch them? Nothing good is ever supposed to happen if the red button is pushed. Then again, if the red button is pushed, the clock always stops with one second. I bet nothing happens when the red button is pushed, but we will probably never know. It’s been this way for generations.

Any of you old enough to remember the actor Red Buttons? I wonder if anyone ever touched him?

There is something about elevator buttons also. I have been in the elevator for the Sears Tower. Now there is a place with a lot of buttons. I have been in elevators with only two floors and they have too many buttons. There are buttons with the floor numbers 1 and 2 on them.

I don’t know but I think there only has to be one button and it should say “go.” I think the elevator knows what to do in this case. If it’s up, it goes down. If it’s down, it goes up. The same thing for the door buttons. One says open. One says closed. One button that reads “door” would suffice. So, actually only two buttons are necessary, “go” and “door.”

Some people who believe the elevator is taking too long like to push the button several times thinking that will make it go faster or they almost break their finger jamming the button thinking that will make it come sooner. I also know for a fact, staring at the button for your floor will not make the door open.

Everyone likes to push buttons. My teenagers like to push my buttons. When they were little they used to argue over pushing buttons. I used to have to keep a chart with me showing who pushed what button the last time we were wherever we are. Nobody likes button hogs, especially on elevators. Just once I would like to push the button myself.

You ever pushed a button just to see what would happen? It’s like you’re doing something really secretive. You look both ways and slightly reach out and push the button. Kind of like when you just have to touch something but you shouldn’t. Of course usually there is a good reason why the sign says do not touch. You push the button or touch the thing and something goes wrong very, very wrong. Your heart starts racing and you go into panic mode until the danger has passed and you realize you got away with your stupid curiosity. People can live with whistle blowers easier than they can live with button pushers. In fact, they make movies about whistle blowers but have you ever seen a movie about a button pusher?

Speaking of buttons, shirts have buttons right? Good, then I can mention this. Why do people have to make up words to make whatever they are selling sound better? I was watching the morning news when a guest holding a couple of shirts, began discussing, “shirtings.” Shirtings? My spell check doesn’t even recognize that word. If you have more than one pair of pants do you call them “pantings?”

What about buttons on those pantings? Button-up flies on jeans? Why? I’m sorry but you can’t improve on the zipper. Some pants have buttons on the back pockets. What’s the point of that? By the way, the word pants are good enough for me. I don’t like the word trousers and I can’t stand the word slacks. Although, slacks should have buttons and maybe even trousers but not jeans. One last thing, buttons or not ladies, men and boys do not wear outfits.

Remember, do not touch Red Buttons, um, the red button. Never touch the red button!


Denny Craft is a freelance writer/humorist and has just completed the book, “Cats Lay Eggs.”

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