Somehow I’m often the person in the line who doesn’t step backwards when a volunteer to do a particular less than glamorous job is needed. Yep… just call me Muggins —it’s a whole lot nicer than a heap of other names I’ve been called over the years. And I’m not playing my tiny violin or trying to pump up my own tyres here, truly I’m not. What I’m actually trying to get at, and Part II of the Legend of Lawnmower Man, has to do with what I call applause jobs.
Any SAHM will understand what I’m trying to say, and working mums will get it entirely. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the trait I'm going to expose is connected to the Y-chromosome.
Yes, I will own that I’m being just a wee tad on the sexist side of politically correct here. OK. More than a wee tad. A shitload. But I’m not going to take it back. Not ever ever ever… So there… And you can’t make me. Because, with apologies to Jane,it is a truth universally acknowledged that even a man in possession of a good wife needs applause.
One of the reasons Dr Dad loves to mow the grass on his Yee-hah-check-me-out red ride-on lawnmower is that after he’s finished, everyone can tell what he’s been doing. He is rewarded with:
“Wow! That looks great.”
“Gee, how long does it take you?”
“Gosh, it must be hard to keep all of this in check.”
There’s no applause for any of these:
Nobody notices when all the invisible, crappy, repetitive, kill-me-now-I'm-dying-of-boredom, please-God-don't-make-me-do-it-all-again-tomorrow brain-atrophying jobs have been done. But you can bet your left tit that they'll all comment if they haven't been done. Somehow, all those who-died-and-left-me-in-charge-of-trivia tasks amount to zippedy-doo-dah. But cut the grass or dig a hole or burn a goddamn sausage on the bar-be-que grill and it's:
Truth be told, I actually quite enjoy spending a few sunny hours on the beastie cutting swathes through the waving tussocks myself. In fact, I have been known to slash the occasional obscenity across our tiny acreage as a kind of ride-on-mower created way of flipping the bird to those annoying helicopters that buzz over our block all summer. But nobody ever thanked me for that.
There's a theory that people who choose only to do the applause jobs are the ones who have never recovered from being a kid like this:
Because of course, as I've said before, EVERYTHING is ALWAYS the mother's fault.