The Write Way
Friday 12 August 2011
Now There's a Thought!
As often happens, the Love of My Life and I fell to contemplating the Swinging Doors Syndrome on one of our early morning walks last week. We pondered what might have happened had we not taken the paths we did in our careers, and that led the LoML to propose an undiscovered business niche ...
"You know," he began, "how there are lots of things people don't like doing or don't have time to do?"
"Like mowing lawns and washing windows?" I suggested.
"Yes, exactly!" he said, and from there we got side-tracked onto the topic of people who say they can't get a job when there's so much work out there, and as a public spirited couple, here are some suggestions we came up with ...
Mowing lawns is something that many people like to outsource (to use one of those horrid, jaded expressions), and it's a real growth industry ... (pregnant pause for you to marvel at the pun). So there's a great demand for people to step in and relieve those who lack the time, gear and/or inclination to mow their own lawns. Admittedly, you do need to outlay a considerable amount of money to set yourself up, but once you do, you have an assured source of income.
You'll need a vehicle to transport yourself and your assorted mowers, whipper-snippers, rakes, clippers, rubbish bags etc. Then you'll need fuel for your vehicle and gadgets, but after that, it's simply a matter of doing a good job so word spreads about your talents!
We actually have had someone doing our lawns (after decades of doing our own) for the past year, so we can choof off in our van whenever the mood takes us ... I tell you, this every-day-is-Sunday lifestyle is t'riffic!
We have an average sized lawn on our 880 square-metre block, but it only takes the couple who do it (both in their 40s) a maximum of 20 minutes to do all the edges, mow, collect the clippings and sweep the paths ... They're dynamos!
So ... there's a job for anyone who says there's no work.
"Too expensive!" I hear you exclaim.
All right then, what about window cleaning?
When the L0ML had his business on the Southern Highlands of NSW, we had a shopfront that had a large, full-length glass panel and glass doors opening onto the footpath. There was a chap who used to come once a week to clean our windows and those of the other shops around us. He carried two plastic buckets -- one contained warm water with a proprietary cleaner in it (although a cup of vinegar in a bucket of water works the same), and the other had his squigee and soft clean rags.
He'd dunk the squigee in the bucket of water, swish it (brush side down) over the window, turn it over to the rubber side and wipe off the excess water, then give the whole thing a quick polish with one of his rags, which he bought for a song at the local Salvation Army shop.
But everyone knows about these options for self-employment, what you may not have considered is the niche we came upon during our walk. Read on, dear reader, and be amazed ...
To re-cap ... we're looking at tasks that the harried have neither the time nor the inclination to perform themselves, and what these tasks have in common is that they're all quite essential.
So-o-o, what's another aspect of modern life that's considered to be essential and that many people never seem to be able to find time to do?
And that's where we come in ... We love walking and exercising, so we're thinking of offering our walking services for busy people. You pay us and we'll walk for you!
Now is that or is that not a brilliant business concept?
And I just bet if we set up a business online, we'd get hundreds of people paying us to do it ...
So next time you hear someone yammering on about not having a job, you can share this idea with them!
Yes, I love that word, too. It really sounds like what it means, doesn't it?
Dictionary.com explains that it comes from a Middle English word, yameren, which came from Middle Dutch jammeren, which came from the Old English gēomrian meaning 'to complain," which is a derivative of gēomor meaning 'sad,' which is from the German jammer meaning 'lamentation.'
Phew! What a roundabout voyage that word took to get to us.
The least you can do is try to use it this weekend, and if you do come up with a perfect usage, tell us about it here.
And now for something completely different ...
We've just had our five-yearly night of fun Down Under ... it was Census Night! And, as we all know, these days everything must have a musical accompaniment, so here are some of the tunes we found that you may care to file away until it's time to trot them out for your census night ...
There's John Denver's classic, "You fill up my census ... (like a night in the forest ...)"
The Eagles,' "Why don't you come to your census ... (You been out ridin' fences ...)"
And who could forget Alice Cooper's, "I want to hold you but my census tell me to stop ...(I want to kiss you but I want it too much...)"
OK ... you get the picture ... If you have any others that fit the bill, share them around here.
Five year old Jane answered the door when the Census taker came by. She told the Census taker that her daddy was a doctor and wasn't home, because he was performing an appendectomy.
"My," said the census taker, "that sure is a big word for such a little girl. Do you know what it means?"
"Sure," said Jane, "fifteen hundred bucks, and that doesn't even include the anaesthesiologist!"
This week's quiz:
Here are some words you'll need to know if you're going to hire us as Professional Walkers:
muscle, aerobic, isometrics, cholesterol, metabolism, obese, cardiovascular, insulin, catabolism, gluteals
1. most common type of steroid in the body; a critically important molecule
2. whole range of biochemical processes that occur within an organism; commonly used to refer specifically to the breakdown of food and its transformation into energy
3. being 20 percent over the ideal weight that takes into account the person's height, age, sex and build
4. breakdown of lean muscles mass, normally as a result of injury, immobilisation and poor dieting technique
5. exercise that requires the heart and lungs to work harder to meet the body's increased oxygen demand
6. gluteus maximus, medius and minimus; the buttock muscles
7. the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power
8. natural hormone made by the pancreas that controls the level of the sugar glucose in the blood; permits cells to use glucose for energy; cells cannot utilise glucose without it
9. muscular contraction where muscle maintains a constant length and joints do not move; usually performed against a wall or other immovable object
10. circulatory system comprising the heart and blood vessels which carries nutrients and oxygen to the tissues of the body and removes carbon dioxide and other wastes from them
Speaking of exercise naturally suggests dieting, so here are a couple of new diets for those of you looking for something new to try:
The Garlic Diet:
Introducing: L I
And finally, some bad news ... Being part of the human race does not count as exercise.
Last week's quiz:
Some more great definitions from Ambrose Bierce ... see if you and he think alike:
bigot, understanding, barometer, love, dentist, Bacchus, zoology, bore, geographer, neighbour
1. A person who talks when you wish him to listen - BORE
2. prestidigitator who, putting metal into your mouth, pulls coins out of your pocket - DENTIST
3. the science and history of the animal kingdom, including its king, the House Fly (Musca maledicta); the father of this science was Aristotle, as is universally conceded, but the name of its mother has not come down to us -ZOOLOGY
4. a chap who can tell you offhand the difference between the outside of the world and the inside - GEOGRAPHER
5. cerebral secretion that enables one having it to know a house from a horse by the roof on the house. Its nature and laws have been exhaustively expounded by Locke, who rode a house, and Kant, who lived in a horse - UNDERSTANDING
6. one who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain - BIGOT
7. an ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are having - BAROMETER
8. one whom we are commanded to love as ourselves, and who does all he knows how to make us disobedient - NEIGHBOUR
9. convenient deity invented by the ancients as an excuse for getting drunk - BACCHUS
10. temporary insanity curable by marriage or by removal of the patient from the influences under which he incurred the disorder; this disease, like caries and many other ailments, is prevalent only among civilized races living under artificial conditions; barbarous nations breathing pure air and eating simple food enjoy immunity from its ravages; it is sometimes fatal, but more frequently to the physician than to the patient - LOVE
And one final piece of advice for those with an adventurous nature ...
You don't need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
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A Little Something Extra
Not familiar with the squigee? Then prepare to be impressed... here
And if you don't want to employ us to walk for you (Spoilsport!), maybe these 150 exercises might prompt you to do it yourself here
Oxymoron of the week: simple diet
Word of the week: Callipygian (adj) having beautifully proportioned buttocks. This word comes from the Greek kalli (beautiful) and puge (buttocks) ... but use it wisely, because it sounds as if it should mean something like "big bum" rather than its actual meaning.
This week's Latin phrase is one you may (or may not) choose to use this weekend ...
Nonne aliquantulum pinguescis?
[NOH-nay ah-lee-kwahn-TOO-loom peen-GWAY-skees]
(Put on a little weight, haven't you?)
Did you know that you can have your very own Latin reminders? How about undies proclaiming, Bene est rex esse? (It's good to be king) Or a shopping bag that warns, Emptrix nata sum (Born to shop)? Click here for these and more: http://www.cafepress.com/write101
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Copyright Jennifer Stewart 2011
Individual articles copyrighted by their authors.
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