Outdoorsmen and women either retire, expire or learn quickly that Nature functions under specific, inviolable laws we must heed — or bleed. For example:
- Gravity pulls with an accelerating force of 32 feet per second per second. Ouch.
- Water holds oxygen, but human lungs are not capable of extracting it. Burp.
- At temperatures of about 32-degrees F, water turns from a liquid to a solid — and humans are 60 percent water. Brrrr.
Then there’s the new natural law that digital shooting muffs (electronic, clam-shell hearing enhancer/protector — acronym EDSHE/P, pronounced “Edshep”) will work with fresh batteries for one shooting session. After that, dead. Every time. Guaranteed.
I wasn’t the first to notice the effects of this law, but exhaustive on-line research suggests I’m the first to name it. I call it Spomer’s First Law of Digital Disappointment, or SFLDD (pronounced “suffled”) and it goes like this: “For every electronic digital muff there is a dead battery to power it.”
This is radical, the first new universal law since Murphy’s (Everything That Can Go Wrong Will.) Some speculate Suffled is really just a subset of Murphy’s law. Regardless, it is real or, as a famous non-politician would say, very, very, very real.
My first experience with SFLDD came the day after I got my first EDSHE/P at a informational shooting event for Communicators of the Ballistic Arts (formerly known as “gun writers.”) I was immediately impressed by my new digital shooting muffs. They made the range master’s commands sound as if they were being delivered from a distant AM radio station rather than through a culvert stuffed with polyester batting. Equally impressive was how effectively the unit switched off the radio station the instant an explosion of more than 100 decibels rang out. Cool. I could hear without risking losing my hearing.
Imagine my disappointment on our second day when SFLDD reared its ugly head. The battery was dead. Oh well, the clam shell muffs continued deadening the loud reports of escaping gases. The range master’s commands just filtered through polyester batting instead of AM radio.
Since that inauspicious beginning, I have found ample evidence to enshrine SFLDD alongside Newton’s three laws of motion and Einstein’s E= mc2. Somehow over the years I’ve managed to accumulate nine EDSHE/P devices, none of which has ever functioned electronically after it’s maiden voyage. At first I thought this was because I wasn’t turning them off, but careful efforts to do so made no difference. I suspect there is a government safety regulation mandating a built-in battery drain to insure no device spontaneously combusts. Either that or battery manufacturers make all EDSHE/P devices. Hee hee heeee.
Yesterday I collected all the EDSHR/P units I’d managed to amass over the years, tested each and was not surprised to hear — life through a culvert stuffed with polyester batting. No enhanced AM radio sound. Assuming all relevant batteries were as dead as Ptolemy’s theory of an Earth-centered universe, I spent a few days solving the standard digital device mystery of “where’s-the-battery-compartment?” and successfully removed dead and often leaking batteries from all but one unit (in which, oddly enough, I can see the battery but no option short of a saw or sharp axe for extracting it…)
It would seem obvious that dead batteries are the sole cause of SFLDD, but upon testing the removed batteries, two were found to be charged and functional. The EDSHR/P unit from which they were removed was not, further cementing SFLDD among the pantheon of natural laws.
So, dear practitioners of the Ballistic Arts, relax. The next time you clamp battery powered, digital shooting muffs over your ears, do not waste time playing with the volume control, searching for the battery location or deciphering how to access it. It doesn’t matter. SFLDD is going to get you every time. It’s the law.
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