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Muscle Over Motors

Posted Jun 24, 2023 by Ray Patrick

Imagine a leafblower so advanced that it harnesses the power of your abdomen and biceps, while sucking away your stored fat reserves. Yet it operates nearly silently and costs under 15 bucks …

Imagine a snowblower so supreme that it works a complementary set of muscles to the leafblower above: your shoulders and your lower back, as well as the hamstrings and portions of the gluteus. It also operates with silky silence, and it ALSO gets 100% of its power from the ultimate renewable resource – your beer belly.

You would assume this futuristic device would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, right? Wrong! This too is under fifteen bucks.

My next invention is an advanced motorcycle that weighs less than thirty pounds and costs less than three hundred dollars. Yet it has a range of over a hundred miles per day, and you never have to find a power outlet to plug it in, because its power source is – you guessed it – the cellulite stored in your ass which gets converted into muscles in your legs and calves as a side effect of the transportation!

I know I am blowing your mind with these inventions, but I actually have working prototypes right in my garden shed and garage.

Mr. Money Mustache is probably a little nuts, but he’s right about one thing: It’s almost always better to use manual tools over those that are electronic or motorized. (In case you didn’t notice, in the excerpt above, he was talking about a rake, a snow shovel, and a bicycle, in that order.)

Why go manual when there are so many time- and labor-saving options these days? Here are a few reasons:

  1. It’s healthier. Raking leaves and shoveling snow recruits your muscles and doesn’t damage your hearing. (For that matter, pulling weeds is a lot healthier than spraying poison everywhere, too.)
  2. It’s cheaper. You don’t need to buy gasoline or pay for electricity.
  3. It’s better for your mind. Peace, quiet, and a little hard work never made anybody worse off. In fact, these are some of the main selling points for some hobbies.

One of the best investments I ever made was an old-fashioned reel mower. It cost less than $100 when I bought it two years ago and ever since then it has cost me nothing: no gas, no oil, and no replacement parts.

A reel mower. I’m pretty sure this is the model I have.
A reel mower. I’m pretty sure this is the model I have.

I don’t have to wear earplugs when I use it, nor do I have to breathe engine exhaust. I don’t have to worry about accidentally slinging a rock at highway speeds towards my feet or through a window. In short, it’s an improvement on the gas mower in every way. Ever since the mid-20th century, Americans have been buying gas mowers and similar “improvements” to the tools they were already using. I’m no economist or sociologist, so I’m not the guy to ask why this happened. The growing of the middle class, the post-WWII world order being favorable to US industry, and the rise of ubiquitous in-home advertising through radio and especially television likely all had something to do with it. Ultimately, it allowed the indulgence of human laziness at scales never before seen.

I’m not saying to ditch your washing machine and use a tin basin and scrub board outdoors (although you should actually consider using a clothesline for drying when you can.) Nor am I saying to sell your car so you can ride a bike everywhere. (But if you can, I envy you.) Perhaps you own a sizeable plot of land and it would be impractical to keep the grass cut with anything less capable than a riding mower or even a bushhog. Everybody’s circumstances are different. Whatever your situation, I still think you’d be well served by taking a moment to consider some areas in which you could use muscle over motors. You won’t be sorry!

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Topics: health