It was early Saturday afternoon. I was lying on the living-room floor at my girlfriend’s house, watching a movie.
Or at least that’s what I was trying to do. But a few moments earlier, my girlfriend, Joanne, had appeared in the doorway and asked me to mow the backyard lawn.
“I don’t want to mow the lawn,” I said, whining like a little kid. It was a weak play, but it was my last resort. I was running out of believable excuses not to help out with the housework.
“It shouldn’t be a big deal for you!” Joanne exclaimed. “You mow lawns for a living!”
“That’s the point,” I said. “I mow lawns all week long, and today is my day off. I need a break from yard work once in a while.”
“So you’ll mow lawns for a bunch of strangers, but you won’t mow mine?” Joanne asked.
“Mowing lawns is what I do professionally,” I said. “This is my off-time.”
“I don’t get it,” Joanne said. “What difference does it make to mow one more lawn?”
“OK,” I said. I took a deep breath to make what I knew would be a profound point. “Think about it like this: Me mowing the lawn would be like a gynecologist giving his wife a pap smear on his day off. Right? That just doesn’t happen. Gynecologists spend their weekends golfing. They don’t stay at home performing complimentary pelvic exams.”
Joanne glowered. “That’s really the argument you’re going to use? You’re going to compare yourself to a medical professional?”
I shrugged. “If it gets me out of mowing the lawn, then yeah.”
Joanne’s eyes narrowed to slits. “Peter, go mow the lawn,” she said, her voice eerily quiet. “Right now.”
I leapt to my feet. “You keep the mower in the shed, right?”