05 June, 2008

Impractical

LSS announces he has just been cold-called by the Akela of the local Cub Scout group, asking if the Cubs can come and help out at the school summer fair which LSS accidentally found himself organising a couple of months ago when he blithely said at a PTA meeting that he wouldn’t mind making a list of parents who were interested in volunteering. It’s so cute! It’s like we’re members of a community or something!

Had to explain to the kids what an Akela was. I know things like Cubs and Scouts are not very fashionable nowadays, what with all the rampaging paedophiles lurking about, and I was never a Brownie or Girl Guide myself – to which I attribute my total ineptitude in all things practical – but I would be sorry to see the day when these organisations no longer exist.

I realise I am quite paranoid about my practical ineptitude. At the course I was on in Chicago, one of the sessions involved being a pretend pit crew on a Nascar car. They tried to make me one of the gunners, but I cried off because I was sure I would screw it up or staple someone to the ground or fire a bolt through someone’s forehead. Then LSS tried to sign me up to run the candyfloss stand at the aforementioned summerfair and I cried off that too because I envisaged candyfloss disasters – whole playground draped in wisps of candyfloss like a Barbie-pink Miss Havisham’s mansion, childish digits caught in the whirling machinery etc. And then today I was thinking of signing up to do various environmental-helping-out activities at some wildfowl sanctuary and I didn’t, because I thought I would invariably manage to screw up clearing the ragwort, cutting the reedbeds etc. I realise that having acquired the few practical skills necessary to function (eg driving a car, which I do as little possible; and cooking, which I actually quite enjoy), I have spent years and years not bothering to acquire any new skills. Shocking. This is a state of affairs I must rectify.

I have no interest in operating machinery and would not care if I lived and died without ever having operated a powerdrill. However, I have a list of practical things that I have always wanted to be able to do, including:

Gardening
Keeping chickens (I have tried and tried to get SMW to do this on my behalf, but she keeps on making feeble excuses about snakes and foxes)
Knitting

Can’t do much about the chickens, until we have a garden of our own, but I have today signed up for Food Up Front, so soon I plan to be growing my own rocket. Or rather, I plan to be eating my own rocket, which LSS will have grown. No! No! Bad accountant! Stop delegating! The whole point is to do it yourself! * Sigh* Old habits die hard.

The world grows more illiterate. I saw an ad on the telly yesterday for a car that promised “less emissions” and today, the photocopier told me that there were “less than 1200 pages left” on the toner cartridge. It’s FEWER. FEWER, people! Can’t you hear that it sounds wrong? What are you doing in the communication business (alright, maybe not the photocopier people, but certainly the ad agency) if you don’t know this?

10 Comments:

Blogger Icedink said...

Easy rule: fewer sounds wrong less often. In fact, it generally sounds right, especially at the M&S checkout: six items or fewer, less backchat from you illiterate people, of which there are many - or is it more?

12:00 am  
Blogger fumier said...

But isn't it all right?

fazrag

1:53 am  
Blogger L-K said...

I go by: fewer of that which I can count, less of that which I can't. Fewer dollars, less money.

4:31 am  
Blogger FBT said...

I use the what you can count rule as well - although you can't really count emissions, can you? Maybe it's that if it takes a plural, it's fewer.

5:55 am  
Blogger SMW said...

We had plans to build a bird box with Mo, Larry & Curly when you came to stay. Now I see we should have included you in on the job too.

6:42 am  
Blogger Ho said...

Can't you count emissions? How else to know which cars meet the standard?

11:40 am  
Blogger FBT said...

You can measure emissions, you just can't count them.

3:19 pm  
Blogger dgny said...

No to stray from this lovely grammatical interlude, but I thought I might point out that perhaps you lack practical skills because you simply don't want them. I call it strategic incompetence.

1:21 am  
Blogger Tiny said...

Knitting is fun!

4:31 pm  
Blogger ulaca said...

Gee! I could count the emissions the old biddy released in the lift this morning. Wasn't the worst I could do with 'em either.

3:49 am  

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