So great is our passion for doing things for ourselves, that we are becoming increasingIy less dependent on specialized labour.
No one can plead ignorance of a subject any longer, for there are countless do-it-yourself publications. Armed with the right
tools and materials, newlyweds gaily embark on the task of decorating their own homes. Men, particularly, spend hours of their
leisure time installing their own fireplaces, laying out their own gardens; building garages and making furniture. Some really
keen enthusiasts go so far as to build their own computers. Shops cater for the do-it-yourself craze not only by running special
advisory services for novices, but by offering consumers bits and pieces which they can assemble at home. Such things provide
an excellent outlet for pent up creative energy, but unfortunately not all of us are born handymen.
Some wives tend to believe that their husbands are infinitely resourceful and can fix anything. Even men who can hardly drive a
nail in straight are supposed to be born electricians, carpenters, plumbers and mechanics. When lights fuse, furniture gets rickety,
pipes get clogged, or vacuum cleaners fail to operate, some women assume that their husbands will somehow put things right.
The worst thing about the do-it-yourself game is that sometimes even men live under the delusion that they can do anything, even
when they have repeatedly been proved wrong. It is a question of pride as much as anything else.
Last spring my wife suggested that I call in a man to look at our lawn mower. It had broken down the previous summer, and
though I promised to repair it, I had never got round to it. I would not hear of the suggestion and said that I would fix it myself.
One Saturday afternoon, I hauled the machine into the garden and had a close look at it. As far as I could see, it only needed a
minor adjustment: a turn of a screw here, a little tightening up there, a drop of oil and it would be as good as new. Inevitably the
repair job was not quite so simple. The mower firmly refused to mow, so I decided to dismantle it. The garden was soon littered
with chunks of metal which had once made up a lawn mower. But I was extremely pleased with myself. I had traced the cause of
the trouble. One of the links in the chain that drives the wheels had snapped. After buying a new chain I was faced with the
insurmountable task of putting the confusing jigsaw puzzle together again. I was not surprised to find that the machine still
refused to work after I had reassembled it, for the simple reason that I was left with several curiously shaped bits of metal which
did not seem to fit anywhere. I gave up in despair. The weeks passed and the grass grew. When my wife nagged me to do
something about it, I told her that either I would have to buy a new mower or let the grass grow. Needless to say our house is
now surrounded by a jungle. Buried somewhere in deep grass there is a rusting lawn-mower which I have prom-
ised to repair one day.
二、【New words and expressions】生词和短语
●plead v. 找（借口），辩解
●ignorance n. 无知，不懂
●publication n. 出版物
●newlyweds n. 新婚夫妇
●gaily adv. 愉快地，高兴地
●leisure n. 空闲
●keen adj. 热心的，渴望的
●advisory adj. 咨询的
●novice n. 新手
●consumer n. 消费者，顾客
●assemble v. 装配，组装
●outlet n. 出路
●creative adj. 创造性的