Tony Raven wrote:
Indeed. This is the only point to having a man about the house, isn't it? To
have one's own personal bike mechanic. Do they have any other uses?
Now if I said the only point in having a woman about the house is to clean,
cook and do the dishes I would be rightly criticised for being sexist.
The difference being that until comparatively recently many people (of
both sexes) sincerely believed this to be true. I don't think anyone
honestly believes that men's only use is repairing cycles.
I certainly don't consider Rob's only function to be that of an unpaid
bike mechanic and I doubt that Helen really looks on Vernon that way.
The humour is in the reversal of the stereotype, but if you don't find
it funny, fair enough.
Rob is considerably more dextrous and has much more "mechanical
sympathy" than I do, so it makes sense for him to do any complicated
mechanical work, because he'll make a much better job of it than I
would, in much less time. This being the case, I'm happy to be his
assistant, finding parts and tools, making tea and generally making the
job easier if possible. (Although he's Not Very Good at giving
Even with less complex stuff, like changing inner tubes, he'll be much
quicker than I am, so if he's not too busy, he doesn't mind doing them
for me, just as I don't mind dong things like checking spelling for him.
"I've given that viewpoint a lot of thought sir, and reached the
following conclusion: arseholes to the lot of 'em sir"
- Sam Vimes, _Feet of Clay_ by Terry Pratchett