Monday, June 28, 2010

Maintenence, Mantenance (for Maintenance)

High maintenance is not usually considered a good thing in a woman. But a good maintenance man (who, of course, can sometimes be a woman) is often hard to find. These guys may move too quickly, or too slowly, cost too much, or not show up at all. (Maintenence shows up 16 times in OhioLINK, and Mantenance three.) Most maintenance workers are lovely and competent savers of the day, however—and some of them are pure genius. In 1974, Robert Pirsig wrote and sold over four million copies of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which the press called "the most widely read philosophy book, ever." Pirsig cautioned readers: "It should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It's not very factual on motorcycles, either."

(Picture of sign posted to Flickr and prompting the comment: "Couldn't we all use one! I hired a yard man and he avoids me just like my husband does when the hedges need to be trimmed.")

Carol Reid

1 comment:

casemusic said...

Now that you mention it, "high maintenance" does seem to get attached to women more than men. And even in Stendhal you can read about M. de Renal obtusely making a joke of his wife's delicate nature: "Les femmes, il y a toujours quelque chose a raccommoder a ces machines-la."