When you think about your daily routine, the list of things you do in order to qualify as a responsible member of society is kind of mind-boggling. It may be tempting to think of these tasks in broad strokes, but in reality, most of them consist of many smaller tasks. For example, “take a shower” is probably on the list of daily tasks you perform. But showering isn’t just one task, it’s a bunch of tasks masquerading as one.
Showering involves, in some order or another, taking your clothes off, turning the water on, getting in, washing your hair with Rogaine regular shampoo, rinsing your hair, washing your body, rinsing your body, turning the water off, getting out of the shower, drying off, and putting your clothes back on.
(Tangent: Because one develops one’s showering technique in total isolation, one doesn’t learn to shower in the same way one learns everything else, i.e. by watching others. This has caused me to wonder if there are people out there who shower in really strange ways, and it has also caused me to worry that I am one of these people. I always figured I’d be able to resolve this question when I got married, but I ended up marrying someone who has courageously opted out of mindless conformity to Western norms of hygiene.)
Anyway, a day in the life of anybody is filled with a staggering list of small, mundane tasks, and as I look at mine, I realize that I really enjoy some while absolutely hating others. I think the best way to separate the two is this: If you suddenly came into $1 billion dollars, what are the tasks that you would pay someone else to do for you, and what are the ones you’d keep doing yourself?
Now, Serious Susan over there is reading this and thinking things like, “I would give all that money to orphans,” or “I believe there is intrinsic value in doing things for myself.” Susan will probably say, “Don’t you remember how depressing the humans in Wall-E were, cruising around on those chairs with robots waiting on them hand and foot?” Umm, Susan, I hate to break this to you, but the only thing depressing about Wall-E was the ending. The humans were super happy in their robot chairs and then some rogue robots got out of hand and forced them to live a life of toil and heartache. It’s one of the saddest movies I’ve ever seen.
Things I would pay someone else to do for me if I had $1 billion dollars:
Take my dog out in the morning to go potty. Actually, I would pay someone to take her out to go potty all the time, not just the morning. Actually, I would pay someone to just take her out. As in murder her.
Go to the elevator, press the button, wait for it to come, and then call me when it’s ready. I don’t know why, but I hate waiting for the elevator. I kind of figured Melissa would do this for me when we got married, but it hasn’t worked out that way, which has been a really hard thing for me to deal with in our marriage.
Riding the subway. I don’t ride the subway much because I usually take my scooter everywhere. But when it’s cold and icy, I end up taking the subway, which I hate. If I were a billionaire, I’d hire someone to demolish the subway with explosives. Now, Serious Susan is saying, “Why don’t you just not take it, and leave it alone so other people can take it?” Well, Susan, I don’t like even thinking about the subway, and if it’s not there, I won’t think about it. In destroying it I’m just trying to find myself a little happiness and peace of mind, same as everybody else.
Things I would still do for myself if I had $1 billion dollars:
Tying my shoes. I really like tying my shoes. It’s a satisfying task, especially in dress shoes, when you can pull them really tight. Plus tying my own shoes will buy me a lot of goodwill with the commoners. “That guy is worth $1 billion, and he still ties his own shoes!!”
Vacuuming: I looooove to vacuum. It’s a task where you can see clear, tangible results from your efforts. While I wouldn’t be opposed to using my new wealth to buy a sweet riding vacuum cleaner, I would definitely be the one riding it around.
Riding my scooter: Many billionaires would be tempted to hire a scooter chauffeur. Not this guy. Cruising around the city on my Vespa is one of my favorite things to do, and I wouldn’t turn that over to anybody. I would, of course, outfit my scooter with small Hellfire missiles and a mounted machine gun for traffic jams and the inevitable uprising of the commoners.
So, tell me: if you came into $1 billion dollars, which everyday tasks would you pay someone else to do, and which ones would you keep for yourself?