Life's journeys: Language, culture, communication

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Of tools and men

Seriously, what is the deal with men and their tools? What is the bond of virility that connects them? Give a man a (preferably loud and useless) tool, and it’s like a shot of Viagra. Oftentimes have I wished I were a big red button, a pair of pliers or a screwdriver – these babies get a lot of action.  Not to mention how much care men take of their precious tools. My husband never once offered to drive me to the beauty salon or the hairdresser’s, but if as much as a petal falls on his beloved car, he obsesses for weeks and just HAS to have it washed.


Take today for instance. The first sunny day with temperatures above freezing of what has so wrongfully been dubbed “summer” this year, and no shortage of men hard at work with their demonic instruments. After two of the most deplorable, bleak weeks of May ever recorded (I’m pretty sure the razor blade industry had a small boom this year – and it wasn’t for shaving, if you know what I mean), you’d think people would be desperate to just soak up as much light and warmth as they can (the prognosis for the following days isn’t great either). There’s always time to cut the grass, right? Wrong. It just HAS to be cut during the most beautiful lunch hour. I am having soup, but it feels like I’m constantly swallowing larger-than-life meatballs. The frigging noise. Sounds like they’re tearing down the building across the street. Oh, no, wait,  it’s just the lawn-mower!

You’re trying to have a pleasant healthy stroll with your children for the first time in weeks, or play nicely outside to give your skin the chance to remember what it was created for, and the garden crew from hell arrives. Every square meter of hedge has to be trimmed with engines that could easily propel a Boeing 747, patches of grass no larger than your comforter are being run over by lawn-mowers the size of a small tractor. The louder the better. Oh, and let’s not forget the futility of all futilities: the leaf-blower. I just love that machine. Good results, too, last for about 3 minutes, until the next gust of wind. But, it’s probably procedure. No way around it. No way. I used to think the Germans work so hard because there’s nothing else fun to do, with it raining the whole time and all. But now it appears they can’t enjoy a sunny day either. Duty calls.  If tomorrow were the end of the world, most of the Germans would be toiling fervently away to leave everything preppy behind them. And it takes heavy machinery. A man’s job, you see, is to let engines work for him.

Has anyone even heard of good old sweeping anymore? I am pretty sure I can handle a broom faster than that guy pulls the cable on his leaf-blower.  And ride one, too! 😉

PS. I tip my hat to the Ukrainian construction worker who still has time to bawl Italian operas up high on my neighbor’s roof. At least he is still taking it slowly and enjoying himself.


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