After years of attempting every variety of do-it-yourself project, I’ve come to a profound and life-changing realization: Almost everything I can do myself, someone else can do for me better and faster. And usually, if I consider my time is worth more than 47¢ an hour, considerably cheaper, as well. After decades of fanatically trying to learn every skill known to mankind, in order to become more enlightened and self-sufficient, I have begun to take the easy way out. My new motto is, “Let someone else do it.”
Visitors to my home have been quick to notice my changed behavior. When someone stops by, I am no longer wearing goggles and a breathing mask as I pound holes in the plaster walls of my living room, trying to install new electrical wiring and insulation. Random bits of exposed pipe aren’t sticking out of the bathroom walls, and I no longer ask guests to use the toilet before they visit. My second car isn’t on blocks in the driveway, serving as a day bed for the neighbor’s cat.
Gangs of workers needed to be mustered to complete all of my years of uncompleted projects, but now it is done! Everything is as I imagined it would be, except that I have no skinned knuckles, swollen thumbs, or singed eyebrows to chalk up to experience.
I am now carrying the mantra LET SOMEBODY ELSE DO IT to all parts of my life. I am at peace with the things in my life, and have no reason to swear at broken sinks, bicycles, or thermocouples. Instead, I’ve hired other people to do my swearing for me. But I’m not stopping there.
I’ve hired a gardener and housekeeper to keep up appearances, and a lawyer to fight for my rights. A money manager manages my money, a hairdresser dresses my hair, and an imagemaker makes me look my best, even in artificial light. Poor monks pray for me, while soldiers fight for me. Multinational corporations continue to exploit third world workers for my benefit.
What I haven’t hired people to do, I use machines for. Why waste my energy when I can use my SUV to get to the mall or the mailbox, and my golf cart to drive around the golf course. I don’t even chop my words by hand anymore. Now I use a word processor to do it.
I’m trying to lose weight so I’ve hired somebody else to eat for me. I still get all the pleasure of making reservations at a fine restaurant, ordering the food off the menu, watching the waiter present my meal, and savoring the aroma. But then I pass my plate to my designated eater, and have him polish it off, while I drink gassy water and make witty conversation with my guests.
I’ve given up playing my out-of-tune guitar, and bought all the latest hit CDs. I’ve stopped trying to heal myself with herbal remedies and joined an HMO where the doctors will remove whatever I’ve botched up, and replace it with something better. Banks lend me money someone else has earned so that my travel agent can arrange a package tour to get away from it all.
We thought about having another kid, but pregnancy’s not something my wife wanted to go through again, so we hired a surrogate mother. When the kid was’born, he looked just like the rest of his siblings, and acted just like them too, crying all night and spitting up all day. WeÕve already been through this routine several times, and immediately knew the solution: We found a full-time nanny. She brings him round occasionally to be admired by visiting relatives and then takes him back to the nursery to raise hell.
I’m sick of trying to be a good citizen and writing my congressman, which never seems to work, so I’ve retained a lobbyist to lobby for me. He hasn’t been able to change national policy yet, but the potholes on my street are gone, and if the $750 billion tax cut goes through, there’s a special clause that’ll let me write off most of my lobbyist’s salary.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve had more trouble sleeping, to the point where I’m hardly able to sleep at all. I’ve learned to live without sleep, but I do miss dreaming. So I’m funding a research project at the university, paying volunteers to sleep, and record their dreams, which the researchers e-mail to me each morning. Now I have so many dreams, I can’t even remember them all.
Life is good and can only get better now that I’ve decided to let somebody else do it.