More and more people are joining a gym. Why do we need to do that? To keep fit? To keep slim? Generations ago gyms were not heard of except occasionally in a school.
But nowadays, with little physical labour expected of us as we go though our day, to keep fit we are expected to go to the gym.
Walking past our local tennis courts, I see the coaches & their pupils taking turns in collecting the tennis balls that lie around the courts. Well, yes, they are exercising by playing tennis, but to pick up the balls they have a long tube which somehow just picks or sucks up the balls as one end is placed on it. No bending the knees or arm stretching needed.
The golf course in our neighbourhood is a-buzz with electric buggies carrying the ‘sports’ men & women chasing after the little white balls they have hit. I suppose there’s a bit of exercise needed in clambering on and off the buggy seat – and a small walk to the putting green but no longer the long walks of the old golf-playing days.
It gets worse:
Time and ‘labour saving’ items at home are becoming laughable.
Who buys ready-chopped onions?
Well, apparently a lot of people, as there are packets of them filling freezer compartment in supermarkets. Same goes for most vegetables: chopped up broccoli, carrots etc.
Then there’s the grated cheese. Too much like hard work to grab a grater and a block of cheese and use a bit of man-power?
And…was that true, the news I saw in social media the other day? Shops in USA (where else?) selling pre-peeled oranges! (Sealed in plastic containers, no less!) Oh, such a messy effort to remove the peel from an orange! How did we ever do that?
Then there are all those household appliances – including the TV: does anyone even remember having to actually get out of a chair to change channels or alter the volume? No way!
Even the kitchen sink, for heaven’s sake has a lever tap (no need to use the wrist and turn anything) not to mention a plug that sits waiting for a tiny push to set it in place. No more bending down to search under the cupboard to find the blessed plug. It’s there already.
In many homes both indoor and outdoor lights turn on when someone walks by or into a room.
Of course, washing machines and dishwashers do away with much physical labour. None of that old wrangling – not even a turning of a large knob – just a wave of a hand over some symbols. Some people actually use up energy and still lug out a basket of damp clothes to a washing line, but most seem to transfer washing directly into a dryer.
What about those robot vacuum cleaners. Do they really work? Stupid things!
The car is so automatic that it has ‘cruise control’, eliminating the need for foot movement on the accelerator – and headlights that turn themselves on when it becomes a little dull. AND even windscreen wipers that know when it’s raining!
So, these smart ‘self-driving’ cars we are hearing about cannot be too far away.
The garden hose has a trigger lever on the nozzle, therefore no running back and forth to the tap or wrestling with the hose in an attempt to bend it to stop the flow.
In the bad old days when people wanted to get rid of flies or mosquitoes they used up some energy by pumping away at the old tin poison dispenser. Then came the push button aerosol insect spray. Now it’s an automatic (poison) dispenser mounted on a wall (not on my wall, though!)
Sure, some old time routines did save people energy when grocers called and delivered orders and shop keepers used to fetch and carry, which is in contrast to now when we are expected to look for and select items and deal with them all the way until we lug them inside at home – including the check out (humph!) which is a different sort of progress, I suppose.
But, all in all, we are either a lazy lot or technology has simply altered our lives greatly. Whatever, it seems as if it’s the gym or go back to the past, which is possibly not a good move.
Did someone say ‘move’?
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.