MAD DOG: I'm Too Lazy To Come Up With a Title
Of all the Deadly Sins -- pride, greed, envy, anger, lust, gluttony, sloth, and wearing white after Labor Day -- only one is named after an animal, and that's sloth. Which came first, the sin or the animal, is a question better left to theologians, etymologists, and other people who spent years getting advanced degrees because they were too slothful to go out and get a job. Our concern today is why "human" isn't another word for laziness."Hey! Who's he calling lazy?" you're muttering to yourself, then calling out, "Honey, would you get me a pen and paper so I can write this guy a nasty letter? And while you're at it, can you grab me a beer, push this button on the remote, and pull my shirt down over my stomach?"Admit it: we're humans, therefore we're lazy. Why do you think one-third of adult American women are overweight, 14 percent of children are obese, and you can't fit into those pants you bought three months ago? You can tell me I'm crazy, that you work 14-hour days six days a week, but in your heart you know the only reason you're doing that is you're too lazy to find a job where they treat you decently.It's not just you. And it's not just me. It's all of us. Parents are too lazy to teach their kids responsibility. Kids are too lazy to pull out their fake ID to get into the movies so they buy tickets to Muppets From Space and sneak into South Park. Movie studios don't care, since they're so lazy they just keep recycling old movies and TV shows anyway. Hey, putting out something original would take work.Record companies, now they're lazy. They take good looking teenagers, hire studio musicians and professional songwriters, then teach the kids to dance and dress well because it's easier than searching out the real talent that's out there. And CNN. If they weren't so lazy they'd go out and dig up more real news rather than spending two days of airtime (48! Count em, 48 hours!) showing us the same tired JFK, Jr. footage over and over while everyone they could find who'd even heard of John, Jr. droned on about nothing.Then there's the government. Congress is too lazy to tackle real solutions so they pass legislation allowing the Ten Commandments to be posted in schools. The President is so lazy he can't be bothered walking upstairs to find Hillary, so he has interns make office visits. And the CIA! They're so lazy they didn't even bother to find out where the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade was located. Though I must say they certainly got motivated afterwards. Once they whoopsed the embassy into oblivion, they sent letters to 31 other embassies asking them to confirm their location. It's not their fault if fourteen came back marked, "Moved, left no forwarding address."A lot of our laziness is done in the name of saving time. I have news for you, time can't be saved. I've done plenty of things to save time. I've consolidated errands into one trip. I've checked my email while the printer's spitting out a letter. I've even worn my clothes in the shower so I could wash them and myself at the same time. But then when I tried to cash in all that time I saved it didn't do me any good. There were still only 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, and 24 hours in the day. So when do I get to use all that time I saved? We love ATMs, but do they save time? More often than not you're in line waiting to get to the ATM just like you would be inside the bank. The difference is you don't have to get out of your car and the teller doesn't have to wait on you. That's twice as much laziness. I mean, time saved.None of us like to think of ourselves as lazy. That's why we hide it behind a lot of excuses. We don't have time. We're too busy. Time is money. If this last one was really true don't you think Einstein would have come up with t=m instead of that e thing of his?Gas stations are in the forefront of trying to help us be lazy, or as they call it in self-help groups from AA to ZZ, enabling. First they switched to self-service (except in New Jersey and Oregon where it's still illegal to pump your own gas). True, self-serve is cheaper, but does it save any time or effort? We work harder, pumping our own gas while the attendant doesn't work at all. Then they installed pay-at-the-pump systems which should be Time's Invention of the Millennium since they save us from having to walk 20 whole feet to a booth to pay someone.Now, in their quest to make us all look like giant pears, Shell, Mobil, and BP Amoco are testing robots that find the gas tank, remove the special gas cap, fill the tank, screw the cap back on, and rub oil-stained rags on your windshield, all in two minutes and without your having to leave the comfort of your car. Does it get any lazier than this?In Pakistan it does. They're so lazy in the Khost province they don't even bother thinking up names anymore. Osama is now the number one name for baby boys. But since they can't get enough of a good thing they're also naming drug stores, clothing stores, and even a public school Osama. This might not be so bad except Osama is Osama bin Laden, the suspected terrorist who's on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List. Face it, if they were just a little less lazy they'd go out and find a decent role model.We have to break this cycle of laziness, but how? We could muster all our will power, but that would be a lot of work. We could buy self-help books, but only if we can order them from Amazon.com and have UPS deliver them to our door. We might consider joining a 12-step program like Laziness Anonymous but that would mean taking a shower, changing our clothes, driving our car, walking from the parking lot to the meeting place, and worse yet, having to make that long trek home afterwards. True, we could host the meetings at our house, but then we'd have to vacuum, buy refreshments, and even get up to answer the door god-knows-how-many times.I'm sure there's an answer here somewhere, but to tell the truth I'm not in the mood to think hard about this. I'd rather go lay down for a while. Would you mind bringing the couch over here so I don't have to walk all the way across the room?