Lesson 46 Do it yourself
Listen to the tape then answer the question below.
Did the writer repair his lawn mower in the end? Why/Why not?
So great is our passion for doing things for ourselves, that we are becoming increasingly less
dependent on specialized labour.
No one can plead ignorance of a subject any longer, for there are countless do-it-yourself
Armed with the right tools and materials, newlyweds gaily embark on the task of decorating their
Men, particularly, spend hours of their leisure time installing their own fireplaces, laying out their
building garages and making furniture. Some really keen enthusiasts go so far as to build their
Shops cater for the do-it-yourself craze not only by running special advisory services for novices,
but by offering consumers bits and pieces which they can assemble at home.
Such things provide an excellent outlet for pent up creative energy, but unfortunately not all of us
are born handymen.
Some wives tend to believe that their husbands are infinitely resourceful and can fix anything.
Even men who can hardly drive a nail in straight are supposed to be born electricians, carpenters,
plumbers and mechanics.
When lights fuse, furniture gets rickety, pipes get clogged, or vacuum cleaners fail to operate,
some woman assume that their husbands will somehow put things right.
The worst thing about the do-it-yourself game is that sometimes even men live under the
delusion that they can do anything, even when they have repeatedly been proved wrong.
It is a question of pride as much as anything else.
Last spring my wife suggested that I call in a man to look at our lawn mower.
It had broken down the previous summer, and though I promised to repair it, I had never got
round to it.
I would not hear of the suggestion and said that I would fix it myself.
One Saturday afternoon, I hauled the machine into the garden and had a close look at it.
As far as I could see, it needed only a minor adjustment:
a turn of a screw here, a little tightening up there, a drop of oil and it would be as good as new.
Inevitably the repair job was not quite so simple.
The mower firmly refused to mow, so I decided to dismantle it.
The garden was soon littered with chunks of metal which had once made up a lawn mower.
But I was extremely pleased with myself.
I had traced the cause of the trouble.
One of the links in the chain that drives the wheels had snapped.
After buying a new chain I was faced with the insurmountable task of putting the confusing
jigsaw puzzle together again.
I was not surprised to find that the machine still refused to work after I had reassembled it,
for the simple reason that I was left with several curiously shaped bits of metal which did not
seem to fit anywhere.
I gave up in despair.
The weeks passed and the grass grew.
When my wife nagged me to do something about it, I told her that either I would have to buy a
new mower or let the grass grow.
Needless to say our house is now surrounded by a jungle.
Buried somewhere in deep grass there is a rusting lawn mower which I have promised to repair