Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Livin' La Vida Lazy

If, like me, you are partial to a bit of inertia, there is no place that more warmly embraces this attitude than America. Well proficient in this most noble of ancient arts, I confess I always felt that life in England involved rather too much activity. Here, on the other hand, one is free to wallow about in one’s pyjamas all day, everyday. In fact, expending energy is just the sort of thing that would excite comment and raise eyebrows; ‘Look at that weirdo walking,’ some may guffaw ‘doesn’t she know there is such a thing as a car?’

If there is any way to do something with the least possible exertion or inconvenience to oneself, rest assured - the Americans are leaders in this field. Not only did they find ways to spell words by leaving out half the letters, but these innovators now give us drive-‘thru’ pharmacies, drive-‘thru’ ATMs and even drive-‘thru’ dry cleaners. This is a land where you can pick up your prescriptions, your laundry and your coffee – all without leaving the comfort of your car. You don’t even have to put your shopping in bags; your friendly grocer will do it for you - the last thing one should do is strain oneself with the struggles of daily life.

Giddy though I have become with my new-found torpidity, I feel there are still pastures unexplored; how about something that will do your ironing for you? Or will dress you in the mornings – all you have to do is stand there with arms outstretched, 'Wallace and Gromit'-style? Phew, I’d better go lie down now, lest I get carried away by this flurry of activity.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Problem of Choice

For us Brits, ordering food at restaurants is an activity fraught with danger. It’s no good just placing your order – oh no, that’s not the end of it; first there’s the obligatory request to repeat the order because the wait staff hasn’t got a clue what to make of the accent. Then come the decisions: do I want tomatoes, onions, skinny milk, soy milk, cinnamon, salad, sprinkles, ice cream, whipped cream, no cream with that?

The thing is, I’m just not used to choice. I order something from a menu and eat whatever is placed before me; a nice, simple procedure involving very little brainwork for all concerned. All this business of ordering food exactly according to my own taste just gives me palpitations and heart failure. I mean, I really have to think what I want and how it should be prepared. No, just give me what I ask for, and hold the questions. Otherwise, I’ll only have myself to blame if I don’t like it.