Men, Don't Do Stupid Things Like Wiring Your Own House

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On Tuesday, British publication The Telegraph ran a story on James May, presenter on the show Top Gear. May thinks British men are becoming incompetent:

The decline of practical skills, some of them very day-to-day, among a generation of British men is very worrying. They can't put up a shelf, wire a plug, countersink a screw, iron a shirt. They believe it's endearing and cute to be useless, whereas I think it's boring and everyone's getting sick of it.

That same day, The Telegraph also ran an editorial. Though the newspaper thinks it's all very well that May's father installed central heating in his family's house, The Telegraph wants to establish that, for many men, this may not be the best idea. Clarification, Telegraph-style: "to sharpen a penknife oil a cricket bat or bait a fish-hook are tasks in which the sapiency of the top hominid are well engaged."* Meddling with plugs that could shock and kill you, on the other hand, is stupid.

*Wire disclosure: none of the five male and two female hominids currently in the office have any idea how to sharpen a penknife. We have, however, engaged our sapiency in procuring and consuming 1 lb of discount Halloween candy between us before lunch, as well as raiding our former editor-at-large's office for shelves and furniture we don't know how to build. Practical skills of another sort.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.