LAST Friday night I had a spare ticket to a comedy gala night thingy. Included were food and drinks and on the bill were some top acts.
As a comedian, I don’t often get excited about seeing other comedians. Would you want to go into work on your day off, just to sit and watch your colleagues do whatever?
I was excited about this event though and not just because of the unlimited free drinks.
I ended up going alone, however, as it was short notice and my girlfriend couldn’t make it because she doesn’t exist.
So most of my friends had good reasons for being unavailable — either family or football, but from three of my friends, I heard the most horrendous excuse. Ever.
They couldn’t go out on Friday because they “just had to be up early on Saturday to get supplies and tools and that, so they could get stuck into a big weekend of renovating”.
Since when has renovating become something you “had” to do? Instead of fun?
Renovating is something you can employ others to do, because it’s work.
Nobody is going to pay you to spend a week on a beach, at a music festival, or to drive home from the races in a stolen golf cart.
Renovators argue that they save money by doing it themselves — an argument they make only before they’ve started and certainly not once they’re done and have realised how much time and money they’ve just wasted.
Speaking for myself, the hours that I’d waste doing something it would take a trained someone to do in about a quarter of the time would amount to tens of thousands of dollars in lost leisure time.
Investing in the future is another big reason I’ve heard people give for subjecting themselves to the horror of DIY. It’s the exact same reason many use for putting off holidays and adventures. Talk to anyone who’s retired and wasted a lifetime on that strategy. They regret it nearly as much as that first marriage before they were 30.
Then there’s nesting. Male birds often build intricate nests that include blue bits, borrowed bits and shiny bits.
It’s all done to attract a female and is very similar to what some human females need before they’ll walk down the aisle.
Like nest builders, many renovators waste their lives continually adding and improving. They put in a playground when there’s one around the corner, they add the dining room that’s used once a year or install a pool when 99 per cent of Australians live less than five minutes from a public pool or the beach.
The time spent adding all that stuff always exceeds the time you spend actually using any of it and the cost seldom improves the resale value of the property by the same amount.
Did you see The Block? Those properties were on TV and most still didn’t break even.
Instead of renovating, you’re better off investing in signed Ricky Ponting tops, playing the pokies or burying your money in the sand. At least that will give those idiots with metal detectors some joy.
Maybe you’re into DIY because you actually enjoy it? Well, did you want to come around and build me a house? I’ll even let you pay me for the privilege because you’re so into it, you freak.
Anyone who discusses a home project is another level of excruciating. Hearing about a holiday is boring, unless there was an injury, robbery, or natural disaster.
With renovations, they’re only worth hearing about if someone cut off the water or electricity to an entire suburb, or a limb, or something goes boom.
Each one of my three renovating friends called me over the weekend to ask how the night went. “Amazing,” I said.
Each one replied with, “I really miss having nights out like that”.
Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian.