My life took a sudden turn for the better when when I stumbled upon a guide to "Drones for Dummies".
Potty Training for Dummies and Existentialism for Dummies made me a better mother. I owe my robust health to Medical Dosage Calculations for Dummies.
My finances are considerably healthier too, thanks to Hedge Funds for Dummies, Exchange-Traded Funds for Dummies (Australia and NZ Edition) and Success as a Real Estate Agent for Dummies. And of course, I wouldn’t be the well-adjusted person I am today, without Borderline Personality Disorder for Dummies, and the Personal Development Box Set for Dummies.
Now that my daughter is completely self-toileting, I’m blemish-free and filthy rich through lucrative investment and real estate deals, I’ve found myself with a surprising amount of time on my hands. I consulted Making the Most of Retirement for Dummies and Dementia for Dummies on the matter. They suggested that I should take up a new hobby to fill the empty hours and give my life meaning. There was no shortage of options in the “For Dummies” back catalogue although I made a few misguided choices before I discovered the guide that would change everything. Become More Mindful in a Day for Dummies for example, only kept me busy for about 24 hours. Ditto Rugby Union Basics in a Day for Dummies.
I found it impossible to summon enthusiasm for crochet or coin-collecting. Depressingly, I even found star-gazing, beer-making, beehive building and bird-watching of little interest. I was about to burn my copy of Living Longer for Dummies when I stumbled upon Drones for Dummies and my life took a sudden turn for the better.
Real estate agents commonly use them to snap aerial pictures of houses for sale. Farmers use them to herd sheep. People like “Senior Futurist” Thomas Frey are busy investigating other “unique business opportunities” which drones present, especially when they are fitted with lights, sound, cameras, microphones, sensors and robotic arms.
Rather ominously, Frey warns that drones can be “your best friend or your worst enemy”. After I finished reading Drones for Dummies I decided to make drones my best friends... just as soon as I could lay my hands on one.
It turns out that it’s not very difficult to buy a drone. You don’t have to negotiate with some shady arms-dealer - you just walk into Jaycar Electronics in Hardy St and plunk down as little as $129. The two chaps in the Jaycar’s shop reacted with wild enthusiasm to my tentative enquiry about drones. They could hardly wait for the shop to empty of other customers before they launched a small drone for my edification.
The Hornet RC Quad with on-board video camera made more of a whirring than a droning sound as it swooped niftily between rows of shelves, flipped itself upside down and negotiated its way among advertising signs suspended from the ceiling. As it flitted over my head, ruffling my hair with its slipstream, I was overwhelmed with a rich sense of future possibility.
I set up my very first drone to handle the household chores I hate the most. Vacuuming obviously. Dish-washing, dusting, toilet cleaning of course. With moisture sensors installed, the drone brings in the washing at merest hint of rain, and then irons it - with a spritz of lavender water - before putting it away. I’ve even managed to get it to make a very passable cup of tea and serve it to me in bed. And speaking of bed, I don’t see any reason why I can’t get a drone to plump my pillows and read me a bedtime story.
Emboldened by this success on the domestic front I bought a slightly bigger drone to do outdoor work - weeding, watering the garden, putting out the rubbish - that kind of thing. I don’t think painting the roof or barbecuing will be beyond its capabilities if I can find a way to attach the appropriate ancillary tools.
As soon as the dog has grown used to the hovering and whirring, the drone will be able to take her for walks on cold winter mornings. And if a properly-equipped drone can vaporise a courtyard full of people in Yemen or Pakistan, I am confident that I’ll have no difficulty closing down boisterous neighbourhood parties with my drone.
Everything would be perfect except for the fact that since I’ve outsourced my entire life to my drone squad I have almost nothing to do and time is once again hanging heavily upon me. I’m hoping madly that there’s a “Dummies” book which can help me with this impasse. I’m just flicking through the “Dummies” catalogue now to see if they stock What to Do When There’s Nothing to Do for Dummies.