For years I have decided to wage a war, one comedic journalist on a crusade to fight the good fight against “doing it yourself.” I have noticed a rising trend of having to do things yourself and still paying for it. Take for example the self-serve yogurt shops that seemed to pop up overnight. It is a fact that yogurt shops are one of the fastest growing small business industries in the United States. They are a simple business to run. You simply have to purchase the frozen yogurt machines, run down to Costco (or drive, it’s your choice) to pick-up 30lbs of assorted toppings, pick up a scale and then find some teenager that looks annoyed and say to him/her, “How would you like to look pissed while earning minimum wage?”. As a consumer, if you are not careful you could easily spend twelve dollars on one cup, and all because I put honey on the bottom of the cup to brag to everyone that I am a genius influenced by Winnie the Pooh! Who knew that all of the toppings are that expensive? We should have a price break just because we have to do it ourselves. Isn’t that why we walked out of our caves and stopped hunting and gathering our own food? We got tired of doing it ourselves. Imagine all of those countless hours looking at the ground asking ourselves, “Can I eat this?”
This trend has extended to checking things out on your own at the store. At my local grocery store there is a bright sign that says “Speedy Self-Check Out”. There is nothing speedy about doing something that I have never had any training or experience on. I don’t know the code for onions, half the time I barely know my pin. I am thankful that I was decent at the matching game as a child or else I would end up just standing there sobbing uncontrollably holding up the line and waiting for the attendant to help me. I could see it now, as I wait to cry on the clerk’s shoulder I bellow, “I just don’t know!!!!” There is also a sense of fear that sparks in me when I use the self-checkout machine. That fear is that I am stealing something; I have had this fear ever since I was a little kid and was caught stealing a Ninja Turtle motor cycle at a Chinese restaurant with my parents and my best friend’s parents talked about learning a life lesson. Still though, evil cheap Don sometimes whispers in my ear, “Go ahead, punch in the code for regular strawberries, they won’t know they are the expensive organic kind. Its only $1.79 more in price, no jury in the world would convict us. If you get caught just tell them that you are not good at matching.”
“An attendant has been notified to assist you.” What am I supposed to say? “Sorry I didn’t put the pack of hot dogs on the scale fast enough and now you have been notified. I feel bad.”? Then here there is the big issue of how much can I fit in the bag? Now this is a real-life Tetris situation. What about the weight capacity of the bags? I want to only take three trips to the car from the kitchen when I get home. I am not shopping to burn calories people!
One product that has me baffled is the make-your-own soda machine. I like soda; I just don’t want to make it. The reason that soda is so good is because they have the recipe down to a science. Plus walking into a supermarket and asking the clerk, “Hey, where is the phosphoric acid at?” could give homeland security a reason to knock on your door. I can only imagine the look on the urban assault team member’s faces when you tell them that you were only making soda. These are fears that we as a nation and a society are going to face once we start doing things ourselves. Like any good conservative libertarian can see, it all started when we invented drops to flavor our water. Yes, it was the drop that broke the camel’s back, sending us back to the dark do-it-yourself ages. What next, I have to make my own water?
To sum this up, for millions of years we have survived the clutches of nature and hundreds of years ago we threw our hairy hands in the air and shouted as one species, “Me mad as hell, me not do it myself anymore!” We enjoy the soft hug of convenience and we need to stand upright, as the species we are, and look the corporations in the bar code and say, “I will hunt your products, but I will not gather them to make the completed product.”