So today, I have a car full of tired kids, a screamy crying baby, a roll of carpet and a ton of groceries. (Rounded up to the nearest ton.) Easy enough to get the kids to go inside, with me walking behind them… slowly… at their annoyingly frustrating kid-pace of 1 foot per minute. After they are all inside, I go back to the car. I get the first few grocery bags, and walk back to the house. It’s a hot day today.
Then I saw the wheelbarrow. The empty wheelbarrow. I walked on. Put the bags inside the door, quickly, so the flies don’t come in. Then turned around and went back to the car for more.
It was on the way back to the car, that I again looked at the wheelbarrow.
I started thinking, man, it would be great if you could just use your wheelbarrow for all your groceries and the other stuff in the car… and I walked to the car.
And then I walked back to the wheelbarrow, and was like, I am totally doing this.
I filled that baby up. All the grocery bags, the carpet, my bag, my other bag, the baby bag, our lunch boxes, drink containers, discarded clothing, the works. Took it to the back door. Was about ready to unload the loot to just inside the back door. Stopped myself, and stood there for all of a quarter of a second before deciding that I was taking it all the way.
Wheeled the whole lot to the kitchen. I mean, if I unload at the back door, flies come in. Then I have to walk the individual bags all the way to the kitchen, and put them away.
I’m nothing if not lazy.
I will definitely be doing this again. No elbow pain from carrying too many heavy bags, no trekking back and forth in the heat. No danger of dropping things out of split bags.
Out of ten, I give it a score of Awesome.
This is awesome.
Sometimes norms get in the way. “This is how one should solve this problem”. They frustrate creativity, innovation and critical thinking. Here you have devised a perfectly good solution to a problem. Most of us wouldn’t think to use a wheelbarrow to cart the shopping inside. “Wheelbarrows are for dirt and outdoor use only”. But why? It shows how arbitrary norms can be and how we fail to reduce technologies to their sheer utility.
Greg Foyster mentions in “Changing Gears” how we tend to over-complicate needs. Take the shower. We make it out to be a more complicated affair than it needs to be. It’s gone well beyond a device that sprays water at us. At the end of the day, the need is to be clean due to XYZ reasons. If we can achieve that outcome with P rather than F then P is a perfectly legitimate option if F is unavailable or if we are bored and want to try something new – or for whatever other reason.
Hence, I often – to some people’s dismay – stir my coffee with a tablespoon – I know, shock horror! – when there are no teaspoons available.