And it came about that there was a certain man who lived in the northwest part of the country, who when the springtime came looked about him and saw that he owned many things that were broken. He wished not to have broken things in his house, but things that worked properly, but he had not time to repair even the simple things, nor knowledge how to go about repairing the things that were not simple. He did not even know where to take the broken things to get rid of them.
When the man looked about and saw this, his cry of lament went up to heaven, and he said,
“Wretch that I am! My house is full of broken things.
There are two lawnmowers in my garage that do not function
Yea, even three mowers that do not mow.
And of musical instruments that are missing parts have I two,
For my guitar has broken it’s A string
And one of the reeds in my concertina hath come loose and rattleth around inside.
Do not even speak to me about buttons, for my favorite baggies with the pleated front
And the cuffs
Those baggie pants that are neither too short nor too long
Have lost a button at the back pocket
And one of my nice cotton short-sleeved casual shirts misseth also a button from the front placket.
And how many broken turntables and tape decks doth one man need, when
The Analog Testament hath been superceded by the Digital Testament?
I cannot keep up with all the breaking, and my heart is heavy with woe.”
And it came to pass that after the man had lifted this lament unto Heaven, God looked favorably upon him in his trouble, and lo, God spake from the whirlwind saying,
“Discontinue thy doling, o man, and wipe thy nose,
For I have heard thy lament
And thou hast found favor in my sight.
Therefore I have decreed that there shall be set aside a day each year for fixing things that are broken.
Let all mankind pause in their feckless rushing here and there and their paperwork and their mass conspicuous consumption,
All of which addeth not a farthing to their life spans,
And let them come together with their broken musical instruments,
Yea with their harps and lyres and these other whatchamacallits, the squeezy thing you mentioned,
And let all bend their backs together in the work of fixing.
Let them convene in one of their neighbor’s houses — it matters not which house, you be the Deciders,
for I am the Decider in many things and am weary today of deciding —
Yea, let all bring their lawnmowers to the garage of the one who is handy with such things,
Likewise let one person host a button-sewing party, that all may bring their raiments which are
Not able to be fastened because of missing buttons, that the raiments may be repaired with great skill,
And let there be tea served,
And coffee — decaf for those who are forbidden to partake of caffeine —
And maybe some of those shortbread cookies with the little stripes of chocolate on top.
And let it be permissible, on this day, to take all those things that cannot be fixed and all those things
That have become obsolete, and put them in a football stadium, and let who may fix them take them
And let the rest be cast out into the outer darkness, where they shall be destroyed forever.
Now go, and tell your neighbors what you have heard, and proclaim it with thy mouth.”
And when the man heard this, he marvelled, and did as he was told. And a great sound of rejoicing rose up from all the land when it became known that the people would no longer be enslaved to the possession of things that did not function properly, or were missing parts, or could not be fastened because of missing buttons.
These things have been written down so that you will know them and remember.
Update 23 June 2010:
Cindy at Island Books wasted no time in finding a way to put my whining to good use, printing the above post on nice paper and standing it up amidst a table full of do-it-yourself and fix-it books. Usually, a sign like this is supposed to draw attention to the books, but I think in this case my lamentation will benefit from the natural allure of books about doing wonderful things with real materials. Nice work Cindy!