I was given a shed by Speight's recently. More accurately I was given a pile of wood and stuff that needed to be nailed together to become a shed.
As I looked down at the bits I realised something. I have no idea how to build anything. I'm not a man like my Dad is a man. My hammering skills are only slightly above the Prime Minister's.
Like many dudes my age I never learned how to do anything practical.
My parents tried. As a kid I was often forced off the couch to go out and help my Dad round the farm. But I never really helped. Instead I would piss him off by sitting nearby playing video games and listening to music on my headphones. He dug dozens of post holes, ran thousands of metres of wire, knocked up gates, dragged and burned acres of gorse. I did bugger all.
We spent most of one summer bonding on the roof of the house. He scoured, primed and painted the whole thing. I did nothing but lie in the sun listening to Plunket Shield Cricket, Guns N' Roses, The Cure and audio of Blackadder Goes Forth taped off the TV.
My Dad is amazing. He works with skill and precision. Never complaining. Never having to ask for help or consult a manual. It's impressive to sit back and watch.
Years later I'm paying the price for my laziness. Like so many of my generation I have no idea how to do anything that doesn't involve technology. We're amazing with a computer, console or remote control flying device. Crap with anything practical. The only structures I've built in the past 10 years are my sons' Lego At-At walker, Ninjago Nindroid MechDragon and the Clash of Clans village on my phone.
This shed would take my Dad two hours to knock up. I spent two minutes staring at the bits before I gave up and recruited a bunch of skilled mates to do it for me.
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Traditionally people like me are expected to feel bad about our lack of interest in DIY. Shame that as children we were useless sons who threw shitties whenever we were asked to help. Many of us spend our lives beating ourselves up for letting our parents and country down.
But something changed in me this week as I watched others build my Speight's shed.
I had an epiphany. The path of laziness I and nearly all my friends have chosen to follow is a righteous path. I realised that I and the thousands of useless men like me are the real heroes in this economy.
There are the do it yourself, buy the bits, do the job, get it done kind of guys and then there are the useless, lazy, get-someone-round- to-do-it types.
The domestic economy needs a lot of the second kind of guy. Pampered, inner-city dudes with soft hands who've never done a hard day's work in their lives. From people ironing our shirts, cleaning our houses, mowing our lawns all the way up to building new bits of our houses. Our hiring of others to do our handiwork is great for the economy.
It's not about being rich. I'm not. It just makes sense to put in more time at what you're good at and flick that money to people who are good at what they do.
For me talking crap on the radio for an extra few hours a day will get me a shed built. Writing half-baked opinions may finally get the door handle to the bathroom fixed.
If it wasn't for men like me thousands of good, honest, hard-working people in this country would lose their jobs.
So useless, lazy men of New Zealand, don't feel shame that you have no interest in helping out around the house.
Don't feel guilty that doing hard work in the cold bores the crap out of you. Instead fire up the console and celebrate yourself as a job creator.
As I sit in my Speight's shed writing this I feel so proud I was too useless and lazy to build it myself.