Len Robbins


We've all heard this refrain of marital woe.

"My husband just won't do anything around the house," the women folk say. "All he wants to do all weekend is lay on that couch."

For the more foul-mouthed of females, add a curse word or two after "lay on that."

But it doesn't have to be that way.

My wife seems to have hit upon an idea that will revolutionize marriages throughout the world, make husbands domesticated, fun-loving manservants, rid the continent of scurvy, and bring peace, tranquility, and more peace to households everywhere — perfectly timed for football season.

Her epiphany came last weekend, as she was busily immersed in some type of hectic activity, and I lay on the couch, embroiled in the morning "College GameDay" on ESPN.

She had asked me numerous times if I would "mold the vowels and lean on the hoslet." At least, that's what it sounded like. Figuring her to be the recent recipient of a sloppy root canal, I ignored her frontier gibberish and began to count the Frito crumbs on my chest.

Finally, she got within shouting distance with a basket of clothes in tow.

"Will you fold these? You won't even have to leave the couch."

Hmmm. Sure, it's work, I thought to myself. But I won't have to leave the couch. Okay, I'll give it a try.

"Sure, I'd be glad to, honey," I responded gleefully, although she had left the room two minutes earlier. "Hey, what's a hoslet anyway?"

For the rest of the afternoon, I kept my place on the couch, switching back and forth between some great college football games (Ole Miss vs. Arkansas, Georgia vs. Auburn, Iowa vs. Penn State, and Alabama vs. Texas A&M), the E! true Hollywood story of the "Diff'rent Strokes" cast, "Wedding Crashers," and that infomercial where Dick Butkus goes bonkers over a grill that uses newspapers. (I had no idea that burned newspapers smell like wood.)

Unbeknownst to me, as I was ensconced in my couchified Xanadu, I folded hundreds of clothes, did some sewing, reprogrammed the remote control, changed the oil on my lawnmower, knitted a stocking cap, and made a paper-mache statue of Burt Reynolds.

I did all that in just about 12 hours. It usually takes me at least 12 days to make a decent paper-mache statue of Burt Reynolds.

Because I was able to do all those chores without ever leaving the luxurious confines of my couch, I was totally unaware I was getting anything done. Yet, I ended the afternoon with a roster of household chores completed.

I was happy. My wife was happy. The house was happy (which usually corresponds with the wife being happy). And Georgia won, and Alabama lost. It was a masterpiece of a day.

Next week, my projects include adding a refrigerator, bathroom facilities and possibly a sauna to the couch.

Bring on the household chores! And the rest of football season!

LEN ROBBINS publishes a syndicated newspaper column in more than 20 newspapers in the South. He and his wife and three children live in Homerville, Georgia (population 2,890), next to the Okefenokee Swamp.

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