Here I Come To Save the Day
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
Loved the video! It was just what I needed. Even before I saw this, the first thing I thought of when I read your post was that it was a guy thing. Have a party and every woman there is trying to clean up, sometimes before people are done eating. Guys think the dishes can wait until tomorrow when the food has been cemented on.
Guys, teens, work or the government …it’s all the same. When the going gets tough, the tough get going and usually get ‘er done without any outside help. Glad the video tickled your funny bone. Our youngest daughter, Jenn, met Jeff Foxworthy and had her picture taken with him. He is the real deal … very gracious, personable and extremely funny.
Ha ha, I think that is a universal hubby trait 😀 And oh how I relate to your frustration with those service calls that require you to punch a dozen buttons, and wait interminably, to be told your problem cannot be solved after all! Technological advances ought to make life easier rather than have us running around in circles.
Madhu, I don’t mean to pick on the hubbies. This “helpfulness” gene is not exclusive to just the guys. And, thank you for letting me know I’m not alone out there at the mercy of the technological world. 😉
How about: ‘Great story you wrote here. You did split one infinitive down there in graph 167. I got it for you though.’ Just a little reporter/editor newsroom humor to brighten your day, Judy. Don’t tell Dave. Great post!
Thank you, Mark, for that save. Dave was just mortified to learn he’d missed one of my many style errors. He’s still searching for paragraph 167. 😆 Glad you liked the post.
One of the things I never managed to get my kids to understand was that after three hours of pushing the lawnmower, I wanted the satisfaction of finishing the last hundred square feet of grass. If you want to help, come out when I’m just starting.
That’s what I’m saying, Charles. All that heavy lifting – DONE! The easy part? “Help” materializes out of thin air.
My favorite “hubby helpful” is when Jim offers to load the dishwasher. Really, do they put things in wrong just to prove they can’t do it, so we’ll take over and not expect it again? Or, he’ll call from the refrigerator, asking where something is. I pause, just in case, but always when I go it, there the item is, right in view.
But our hubbies have so many other good qualities that we should just shrug and laugh off these foibles. At least they don’t work for the government and swoop in to ‘really’ help!
I can’t “unload” – pun intended – on my hubby’s dishwasher expertise. It’s one of many things he does to help around the house. I do have to laugh, though, at comediennes, like Roseann Barr, who complained about guys who thought women had an exclusive tracking device to find a lost sock.
The real headache is when the “help” is not helpful. Those “time-saving solutions” that aren’t … when the “work smarter, not harder” philosophy kicks in … Well, that’s when you want 9-1-1 on speed dial. 😆
When it comes to offering help, some people have impeccable timing. It’s almost as if they are watching from afar just waiting for the moment when there is very little left to do. Fun post, Judy!
This is the part where I should confess that I’m usually the one offering “help” at the last minute. (chuckle) Glad you liked it, Paprika.
“Your call is important to us, not important enough that we hire enough people to answer the phones though” 🙂
Exactly, Amy. A little bit of actual help would be nice. 😉
It’s crazy and annoying when airlines separate families because they fully booked their seats. Happened to me several times. I totally agree with your post. Let’s hope 2014 is a better year for us all.
Believe me, we were a little concerned about the seating for the flight. This happened when the grands were younger, too. The parents worked it out, but they didn’t get to sit together as a family. When you make reservations months ahead, you really don’t expect things like that. Hoping for an amazing 2014. 😉
Sometimes it’s hard to know if the help is worth it. Whenever my husband helps me cook dinner, the food is always better but the mess is always bigger.
I hear ya’, Lisa. Dave does do the dishes, though. So I better let sleeping dogs lie. 😉
Wow, I must be the atypical husband: I’m always starting and finishing the dishwasher loads, the laundry, the lawn, taking out the trash, etc.
Woops, love to comment longer, but I think my wife’s calling for my help and I need to quickly fake like I’m napping! Later, Judy. LOL
Try not to snore, Mike. 😉 Thanks to you, my hubby, and all guys who help out for being so good-natured about the ribbing.
You know we’re always there for you! 😉
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