By Judy Berman
Did you ever notice how eager folks are to offer help when you’re nearly done with the job?
The nine most terrifying words in the English language? President Ronald Reagan identified them as: “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”
This is true whether the message is from the government, your job or at home.
All the heavy lifting has been done, and someone swoops in like Mighty Mouse to save the day, and cheerfully offer to take the load off your shoulders. They then take the easiest part of what you have to do and leave you with … you guessed it … the most onerous part of the task.
Take, for example, one of the chores at home that you put off until you can’t any more.
You’ve sorted the clothes, pretreated the laundry, run the water, added the detergent and have nearly finished dumping the clothes in the washer. When, out of nowhere … well-meaning hubby enters the picture.
“Here, I’ll press the (starter) button. You go and rest now.”
You might feel as if you’ve been punked.
Remember Jeff Foxworthy’s comedy routine about cleaning up and ashtrays?
Foxworthy notes that women “still clean up about 99 percent of the things around the house.”
“A woman could be out repaving the driveway. Men have enough gall to run out in the yard and go: “Hey baby. Man, it’s hot as hell out here! Look, don’t worry about emptyin’ that ashtray in the den, I done got it, all right? Did it for you, sweet pea. I’m gonna take a nap now.” And Foxworthy makes his exit.
But the “real” helpfulness comes from the government and corporations.
When we were planning a family vacation, Dave made airline reservations months in advance. The airline decided on random seating for our family. The children would have been seated rows away from their parents.
How to solve this? Well, in the old days of customer service, an airline employee would correct this via one, quick phone call.
We called. An automated voice answered, “The next available representative will be available in 27 minutes. Please hold. Your call is important to us.”
Right! Twenty-seven minutes? Well, we had no alternative. We waited. When we finally got thru …. “bzzzzz.” We were disconnected.
Despite numerous calls, we still had not resolved this before we got to the airport.
Then, this caped crusader rushed up to us and quickly ushered us to the proper seats, and we were on our way.
Thanks for the help, buddy. If only all good intentions worked out this smoothly.
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Video: Jeff Foxworthy comedy routine, Redneck Comedy Roundup http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7qZIRtbFJ8
Main Photo – Mighty Mouse – cartoon – Still frame from the animated cartoon “Wolf! Wolf!” (1945). The film has fallen into the public domain, as its copyright has expired. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f8/Superraton.jpg
Photo: Push button – receive bacon – taken June 24, 2010 by jimmyweee (Note: “But wait, there’s more! New in this model, push the flap to receive bacon directly to your face!”) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/36/Push_button%2C_receive_bacon_%284731546246%29.jpg/640px-Push_button%2C_receive_bacon_%284731546246%29.jpg