If you don’t want to do it, screw up badly ... once


Do people moan about doing things they hate? Don’t like washing up? Drop a few tea-cups or leave a couple of cornflakes welded to a plate. Hate spring cleaning? Dribble drops of eggshell enamel onto the dog’s head. My father, when asked to change his first nappy (and they were toweling ones back in the day) gagged at the smell then promptly flushed waste and nappy down the loo. He blocked the drains for an entire apartment block and was forbidden from ever changing my diapers again. Result! At school I found playing cricket matches a waste of four sunny afternoon hours. Dragooned into playing against another school because I was a half decent bowler, I swapped the ball for a tomato. Splat! Cricket whites covered in red spots. I was called to the housemaster, told I was a disgrace to the school and as punishment I would never be allowed to play cricket again. It took the acting skills of De Niro to look thoroughly upset, rather than punch the air for joy.

...and another thing

When watching some politicians perform, I wonder if the utter ineptitude displayed is actually a cover to try not to be asked to do the same thing again.

The trouble with that strategy is if no one else wants to do it, you get left to continue to screw up!

Seriously, take a close look at the current knotty problems. I don’t see anyone asking Theresa May to pass over the Brexit poison chalice, no matter how much she goofs. Obamacare was a nightmare, criticised by nearly everyone yet not even Trump is making a serious attempt at a replacement or dumb enough to re-open that can of worms.

Sometimes the job is so radioactive no one will do it. Oscar night presenter anyone? White House chief of staff seems to have been a merry-go-round and close advisor to Kim Jong Un carries the risk of becoming target practice for Ack-Ack guns.

...and another thing

And yet there are probably a bunch of things that we would initially shy away from that are in fact pretty cool. Did you know doormen at mega hotels have special long pockets in their coats to keep the tips in while opening taxi doors, so they don’t have to waste time emptying normal shallow ones! In Vegas you have to pay the hotel for the job! They can easily make six figures a year!

...and another thing

Unfortunately, not everything can be avoided by messing up. Equally, doing something right does not mean you get to do it again. Ask anyone who is happily married!

Jury duty is a case in point. If we are honest, most of us try and wiggle out of it if called. If you cannot be excused by saying you have been abducted by an alien or are suffering from bubonic plague, you do it one time only. It’s a thankless task and unless you are at some trial involving the Kardashians or possibly Harvey Weinstein, no one gives a fig.

My wife and I have come to an understanding about moving house. The first time I was in New York. Another I had pneumonia. We are about to move again and in the interests of staying married we have agreed that it would be better if I was absent. The reason is during one move I came back halfway through the unpacking. My wife was surrounded by enough cardboard packing cases to replicate a section of the Great Wall of China.

I could not resist trying to find one item and so ransacked twenty boxes to find it and then became overwhelmed by the mess and had to walk away. Whereas my beloved wife goes through one box at a time. So now I am exiled, never to be allowed either to pack or unpack. My Dad would be proud of me!

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