Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Value of Knowledge

Disaster. Lawn mower conked out today. Luckily, we have a builder named Dennis on site, converting a farm building into a house. Now Dennis is an unusual man, in that he can do anything. I never had the slightest doubt but that he would fix my mower. He looked at it for a couple of minutes, fiddled a bit, and then hit what he referred as the solenoid with a hammer. Problem fixed.

Reminded me of an anecdote. Plumber is called to fix a broken boiler and simply hits it with a hammer, which fixes the problem. He then charges £100 for the repair. The owner of the boiler protests, informing the plumber that he's not paying £100 for one strike with a hammer. "But sir" replied the plumber "I charged you only £1 for the strike with my hammer, but I did charge you £99 for knowing just where to hit it".

4 comments:

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Your enterprising day and the lawn mower "Alabaster incident" brought back memories. I never met my mother's great grandfather (I guess my great grandfather), Daniel Hutchinson. His father was an engineer who built bridges - moved from Scotland to Wales (lived in Bedwas where he met and married a Russian Jewess). Anyway, Daniel Hutchinson had a way with machines - my mother told me he could fix anything 'as much as look at it'. He worked as a winder at the local mine - an important job that had to be done even during a coal miners strike.
In his spare time he worked on a local farm and kept every tractor and farm machine running, my great great grandfather, Daniel Hutchinson, God Bless his cotton socks.

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alanindyfed said...

The power of knowledge...
the scarcity of wisdom.

Anonymous said...

Could Dennis fix 'my tractor'?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/08/uk_enl_1216918493/img/1.jpg