A Helpful Device


I came up with the little item pictured above a while ago, and it’s something I really wish I possessed in a form more operable than a drawing… It’s The Serenotron (trademarked and patent pending, just in case), capable of monitoring and displaying the overall stress level in a person’s life, 24/7, if desired. It lets you know how close to – or far from – achieving true Serenity you are at any moment of the day or night. (Hmmm… Suddenly, even that idea is sounding a little stressful… Thus underscoring the very reason I need it!)

The Serenotron is basically absolutely silent, glowing with a soft ambient light, but is also capable of playing appropriate music, when so directed – everything from Philip Glass on the left, to Buddhist chants on the right. It is fully manufactured and operable without consuming any fossil fuels; assembled and packaged by reasonably-paid individuals over the age of eighteen, working in well-ventilated, comfortable establishments with their own employee lounges, fitness centers, and free, locally-sourced, organic cafeterias; work days no longer than six hours; and a work week no longer than four days, with two weeks’ paid vacation to start. The unit is offered at a modest price, and available at no charge to those struggling in financial straits – who probably need Serenity most of all. (I like to at least try to think globally and responsibly…)

The various categories on each unit are custom-tailored to each purchaser’s individual specifications, based on responses to a detailed questionnaire. (Sadly, the completion of that questionnaire, in itself, often eliminates the need for purchase of the unit, but I’m willing to suffer those consequences, for the greater good.) It’s apparent here that there are some highly personal categories of my own on the unit pictured above – but I know exactly what they are – and you would know yours equally well.

The unit is not operable from your laptop, tablet, cell phone, or other mobile device. In fact, any time the Serenotron senses any of those devices in operation within ten feet of its location, its needle begins to move inexorably toward the left… This movement takes place no matter what the specific nature of the activity being pursued on said device – checking Facebook will result in exactly the same amount of movement as working on your dissertation. (We thank the inventor’s creative wisdom for the inclusion of this particular feature. In the world of The Serenotron, there is no “good stress” or “bad stress.” There is only Stress…)

It should be noted that the Serenotron does not, and cannot, register any of the following: The weather; the time of the month; any upcoming holidays and/or relatives; anything anyone else just said or did to you; the receipt of any robocall; “news” from any source; the course or result of any political campaign; any knock on the door; or any physical anomaly, of any magnitude, occurring at any time in your body, among many other things. The Serenotron is oblivious to outside events; its only focus is YOU. That’s the whole point.

I need this little device, since I am so often totally unaware of those moments when my needle begins to move inexorably toward the left, until the unit – and I – are both already well on our way out of “Iffy,” and heading for “Bad”… And then, so often, beyond…

We’ve become accustomed to our little devices that remind us of all our appointments, all our phone numbers and email addresses, tell us where we are (so to speak), and inform us of every single thing that someone thinks is happening in the Universe – from a meteor’s striking Siberia to the ongoing debate as to whether or not the currently pregnant Kim Kardashian is getting fat. It seems to me that we could all use some little reminders, from time to time, to PAY ATTENTION to what’s going on within ourselves. The Serenotron is designed to measure just one thing, and one thing only: Its owner’s current spiritual location anywhere between “Really Bad” and “Buddha World.” And that’s why I need it – because where I am on that scale is the only thing that really matters.


Leave a comment


  1. Bruce G (OB)

     /  March 29, 2013

    Now this happens to be a marvelous idea. I might suggest (unsolicited of course) that the colors used on the Buddha end be more soothing, like a blueish green or green, while the opposite end of the scale, the side that gets me into troublesome circular thinking be red. Otherwise I love it!! Brilliant!!

  2. Paul

     /  March 29, 2013

    Where can I purchase one. Sounds more useful than a Swiss Army Knife.

  3. Leif T Hojem

     /  March 29, 2013

    I love the idea of music and its healing properties, and thought of another device as well,
    I would call it “The Stratavaraserenotron”. just abit of a variation on your theme.
    You have a great mind Carol, these bits of wisdom and creative spirit, brighten my life.

  4. dcg

     /  March 29, 2013

    Sounds like a knockoff of a blood pressure machine.

    If there is no such thing as “good stress” or “bad stress,” why does the meter show good and bad?

    And finally, what if someone prefers to live in a stressful environment? Does she still need a serenotron? Does this mean life is bad?

    I don’t think Yahoo is going to pay anyone 30 million bucks for this contraption.

    Enough. I can feel some stress coming on.


    • Hi, dcg, oh provocative one! The “good” and “bad” categories refer, not to types of stress, but varying levels of Serenity, with the assumption that the average purchaser of a “Serenotron” would be likely to consider less stress “good,” and more stress “bad.” (This is, after all, not The Stressotron!) BTW, The Serenotron is also IDEAL for those preferring a stress-filled life, as well! Should you see that needle moving toward the RIGHT, you need merely to glance at the categories you’ve placed on the LEFT of the dial, and incorporate one or two of those into your agenda. Easy as pie!

      No judgements are suggested, implied, or endorsed by The Serenotron about what constitutes a “good” or “bad” life. We assume that each purchaser has already decided how he or she would make that definition.

      I’m delighted that you’ve already been able to “use” even a description of the device to introduce some apparently much-desired stress into your treacherously serene life. See how well it works…?


  5. Terry Waggle

     /  March 29, 2013

    I don’t know what sounds better – having this device or working in the plant that makes them. For the latter I don’t think I’d need one if you also have comp housing thrown in for when I’m not working. Although there’s the rub I’d probably revert to my old ways of finding ways to stress over anything and everything during my off time. – Terry

  6. waialeale

     /  March 30, 2013

    Hi Carol/Gato,

    Good idea!

    But….but…..but……NORTH KOREA IS ABOUT TO NUKE US ANY MINUTE NOW!!!. Swish goes the needle to the far left on your Serenotron.

    Never mind. Once I’m vaporized, I won’t have to be concerned about cleaning the bathrooms before the Health Department shows up to condemn them. Swish, the needle is resting comfortably all the way to the right on the Serenotron. The bathrooms will be vaporized too so no one will ever know just how bad the were.

    Aloha! 🙂 Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  7. Jc

     /  March 30, 2013

    Hi Gato, I’ve missed you! Think I see you check in on Juanita now and then. Was hoping you had not just chucked the whole writing thing!

    My husband called me “Passover girl” last night as he was serving dinner. A testament to my celebrating the Triduum of Easter as best I can, and a fun little dig, I think. Renewal is the theme of the season.

    I hope your poor state is recovering from all the adverse events of the last several months. Seems silly to even mention it, but the soil will be warming and soon you will get to play in your garden. By the time you are in full Spring we will be into Summer here!

    Gardening is good for the spirit. Check your seed packets today, and for real fun visit Smokeys daylilies online! Or Suttons Iris farms. Just LOOKING at all those beautiful lilies makes me anticipate the season, even if I have to go online! Maybe you have catalogs instead….
    Ciao, glad you posted 🙂 JC

  8. Ooooo – I want one! Pretty please?

  9. This is so awesome! If you keep adding activities that move you in either direction you can then willfully choose which way to travel! A brilliant consciousness “structure” created by a brilliant, conscious woman!

  10. LOL LOL love it Gato… I think we all could benefit from this device, especially while perusing the Internet and encounter a troll. 😉


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