My drive to work is 32 miles each way and involves practically every freeway in the greater Los Angeles area. That wouldn’t be so bad if it lots of other people didn’t also drive on those freeways — but they do. I hate my commute, so when Amazon.com suggested I might be interested in the Acme EZ-Jump Personal Teleportation Device, I ordered it right away.
It arrived three days later via UPS (which seems like an odd way to ship a teleportation device, but whatever). The box contained the base unit (a plexiglass booth approximately the size of a refrigerator) and an instruction manual. The manual is 47 pages long: 3 pages of legal disclaimers in tiny print, 1 page of technical specifications, 37 pages of safety warnings in large print, 2 pages of operating instructions, a 1-page list of authorized service centers, and 3 pages of ads for EZ-Jump accessories (my favorites are the “Honk if you didn’t see me on the road today because I teleported” t-shirt and the “My other car is a teleportation device” bumper sticker). I skipped over most of the tech specs and safety warnings, which in retrospect may have been a mistake.
In theory, the initial setup is pretty simple: just move the base unit to an out-of-the-way corner, plug it into the wall, download the EZ-Jump app to your phone, then register with their online service, MyEZJump. But the base unit is unwieldy and difficult to move, and it turns out that the app is only available for iPhones and for Android versions 4.0 and later. My phone runs Android 3.2.2 and doesn’t support 4.0 yet, but I was eventually able to find a compatible, unofficial, user-contributed version on the Android app market.
The EZ-Jump’s maximum range is 50 miles; you can only teleport within a 50-mile radius of your base unit. Once you’ve set up the device, you can use the phone app to teleport from anywhere (within range) to your base unit; you can also teleport from your base unit to locations (within range) that are registered with MyEzJump. You can use the phone app to find publicly registered locations, although at this point, there aren’t many of them. Most are repair centers (and, really, what are the odds that you’d need a repair and still be able to teleport to the repair center?), and there aren’t any within range of my house. Fortunately, you can also register your own locations.
My next step was to register my office as a location. I drove to work, hit the “register this location” button on the app, and then drove home at the end of the day. The next morning, I left the car at home and teleported to work. Easy-peasy. Or so I thought. When I tried to teleport home, nothing happened. It turns out that the initial trip had overloaded an electrical circuit, which cut power to both the EZ-Jump and to my Crock-pot, ruining the stew I’d left simmering for dinner that night.
I upgraded my home electrical wiring, and it’s been mostly smooth sailing since then. The biggest adjustment for me has been that I can’t really run errands “on the way home” any more. Well, that and the thing with my left hand — the retractable claws are cool, but if I had it all to do over again, I probably wouldn’t teleport on Bring Your Cat To Work Day.