Commy has been wondering about the logic of our education system and how it prepares young men for adulthood.
Why is it, he wonders, that we emerge from our school/college days clutching certificates that merely confirm our ability to repeat parrot-fashion a few basic laws of trigonometry, tourist-level French and the odd Shakespearean quote, yet without the basic life skills to knock up a passable omelette or put up a few shelves? Is this any preparation for the real world, he asks?
Why does no-one warn you that apart from all the emotional, sexual and financial choices that bear down on us in those few short years, there is another more tricky hurdle to overcome. The question that all men embarking on their first house-maintenance project will dread being asked by their expectant partners: which level of the DIY evolutionary scale do you aspire to?
- DIY Virgin – The innocents who wander fearlessly into the flat pack section of IKEA but without so much as the back-up of a phillips screwdriver or an understanding of the word rawlplug.
- DIY Kamikaze – Another (more dangerous version) of the above. In possession of a few rudimentary tools but with more bravado than brain. Normally to be spotted swathed in bandages in hospital waiting rooms up and down the country OR … the posthumous subject of a major Health & Safety Inquiry and/or litigation. Last words to be inscribed on headstones include, ‘how hard can it be?’
- DIY Probationers – Normally found wandering through DIY superstores during bank holiday weekends, testing their shiny new spring-back measuring tapes on anything that moves and holding forth on the thickness of their loft insulation.
- Let Them Eat Cake DIY’ers – Of the, ‘I have other life skills and anyway I can afford to pay an artisan to do this for me.’ variety.
- The Power-DIY’er – Need a specific tool for a specific job? This guy will have it … in fact he will have racks of them; colour/size and power graded. You will need to be suitably humble about being allowed to pay homage at this DIY shrine. But be warned, if at any time the Power-DIY’er straps on his gunslinger-type loopy, tool hanging belt, get out of there fast. You’re in the presence of a fanatic!
- DIY Street Walkers – The bastards who take advantage of any of the above’s shortcomings. The tradesmen and women who know that most DIY’ers are at their most vulnerable during Sundays/Bank Holidays and who charge accordingly. Who, when you can’t close the deal in cash, want your first born as collateral.
Commy in normal cussed style, refuses to conform to any of the above. Instead he proposes a new form of DIY. One that takes account of this new age of sexual equality and that acknowledges the great strides made by New Men everywhere.
He proposes that should any guys be presented with a list of ‘little jobs’ that need doing around the house, a polite refusal should be issued on the grounds that a new form of DIY (known as DIYFS) is being practised in most modern, forward thinking households.
If pressed for an explanation, it translates roughly as … DO IT YOUR FECKIN SELF! (For some reason this works best with an Irish accent!)