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Dear Lola,

I have always wanted to know why the buttons on a phone keypad are different from the buttons on a calculator. At first I wrote it off as two entirely different machines, the landline telephone and a detached calculating machine. However, once the smart phone was invented, why did they not correct this flaw? It seems absurd to not have the phone keypad and calculator use the same order for numbers.

A Button Basket Case 

Dear Lola

Dear Button Basket Case,

As you can see from the moniker I assigned to you, I truly feel how close to the edge of insanity this minor inconvenience has driven you. I completely understand. I myself have been known to lose it completely when my blankie is washed with too much fabric softener.

The little hiccups in life can quickly lead to mayhem.

There you are, frantically typing into a calculator during your monthly fiscal forecast, only to be momentarily blinded by an impressively high windfall. Somehow, even after paying the mortgage, there is money left over. A lot of money. For a brief moment, your eyes light up and you imagine all the things you will do with the leftover money.

Then you realize the numbers are backwards and you are, in fact, penniless.

Sadly, there seems to be no reason for this horrific bait and switch tactic. The best rationale I could come up with is that somewhere, a human is maniacally laughing while holding the strings of a billion puppets that dance to his tune. Instead of being one of the foolish people, I recommend you return to the days of the abacus. Not only will it do math for you, it’s a fun and colorful art piece for your desk at the office.


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