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Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lazy Man's Load

Suppose you had to carry a certain number of cans of paint up from the basement. What we used to call a "lazy man's load" consists in trying to carry all of the burden at once rather than taking two trips up and down the stairs. The result might be objects broken, hazardous liquids spilled, or bodies injured. Taking more trips with a more comfortable load each time is much preferable.

Paradoxically, a lazy man's load is larger than recommended, not smaller.

The lazy way is not easier; it may be quicker, but it is more perilous. Laziness is not an avoidance of work, but rather a misguided sense of ease or efficiency, like trying to use a high gear to propel a bicycle up a hill, on the theory that your legs don't have to go around as many times.

1 comment:

ACoble said...

My mom used to call it a "lazy man's load" when my brother would carry all of the groceries in from the car in one trip, rather than go back a second time and carrying less weight. Sometimes a bottle would break or a container would come open and spill when too much was carried at once.