Have you ever heard that men don’t like to read instructions? It’s like asking for directions, it seems they don’t like to do that either. It’s odd I know, but one particularly ridiculous event comes to mind that supports this theory.
I had recently moved into my current home, where the garden is a fraction of the size of my previous garden. Deciding that I wanted to make things easier for my gardener, I decided to buy a Flymo lawnmower. Not the hover one mind, but a little electric one with a cuttings bin on the back.
That particular morning, I went out shopping for whatever it is that you shop for when you’ve just moved, and left my gardener and my university-going son at home to put the mower together and cut the grass. Simple enough you would think.
I first realised something was not quite right when my son called to say that I would have to take the lawnmower back as it didn’t work.
“What do you mean it doesn’t work? I asked, while thinking it must be working, it’s brand new, straight out of the box. I mean, this was a lawnmower after all. You set it up, plug it in and Bob’s your uncle. What could possibly go wrong?
I turned the car around, abandoned my plans for shopping and headed back home. Once there I found the two of them, heads together, muttering over the ‘broken’ machine, which was now on its way back into the box.
Calmly, I asked what the problem seemed to be.
“Well,” said my son, scratching his head, “for some reason, when we push it, the motor doesn’t come on.”
Odd, I thought, that would imply the power supply wasn’t working. Suggesting that we take it back out of the box to try again, I asked where the power cable was. There was no reply. Looking up I saw the two of them looking somewhat perplexed. Then began what I can only describe as an inane conversation.
“What power cable?” asked my son.
“The one for the lawnmower,” I answered while wondering why he was asking such a daft question.
“There’s no cable,” he replied.
“Well, which cable did you use when you tried it out?” I said, thinking he was being particularly obtuse.
“Well, we didn’t have a power cable.”
What on earth was he talking about, I wondered, asking him how he tried it out without a power cable.
“We just pushed it,” he replied, demonstrating a little shove forward, “and nothing happened.”
I was now really confused. “Do you mean you expected it to work without plugging it in?” I asked disbelievingly.
“Well,” he said, “isn’t that how a Flymo works? It looks like that on tv.”
Closing my gaping mouth, I located the power cable and not surprisingly, the mower worked just fine once it had a power supply, as was intended.
It’s like the boss I had once who thought his fax machine would be powered through his telephone… but that’s a story for another day.
So, it seems it’s right. Some men just don’t like to read instructions, just like some of them just don’t like to ask for directions, but at least they now have Google Maps!