The list of accusations levelled at millennials grows daily now. We cannot afford to buy houses because we eat too many avocados. All that avocado eating is causing bloodshed in Mexico because, as demand for them has grown, the drug cartels want a piece of the action. We’re too chicken to answer a doorbell. We’re “the most prudish generation in history” (sorry, have you heard of the Victorians?) and having so little sex the human race may well die out. And on it goes. Endless slurs thrown at the impoverished, vitamin-depleted, sad and celibate millennial, to which we must now add another: we are no good at DIY.
Apparently, according to one of those surveys, we’re “scared” by the noise of tools such as power drills and “intimidated” by electric saws and nail guns, as if the normal approach to such equipment would be to ask them to hop into bed with us (if only we weren’t such prudes, eh?). Another line in this report that I like very much says 49 per cent of us are “completely baffled” by spirit levels, rather in the manner of those evacuee children during the war who were dispatched to the countryside and couldn’t recognise a cow. Ergo, no DIY for us.
I am happy to confirm this. I cannot fix shelves. I have little understanding about which nail goes into which surface. I once tried to return a packet of those plastic picture hooks with three prongs in them because I thought the prongs were facing the wrong way for the wall (reader, they were not facing the wrong way).
Recently, when two spotlights blew in my flat, I had to get a man over to change them for me. I did this via an app called TaskRabbit. Because as with everything else in our lives these days – taxis, takeaways, controlling our central heating, trying to meet members of the opposite sex so we don’t make ourselves extinct – there’s an app for DIY jobs.
I typed in the details – “Change two light bulbs in my ceiling” – selected the time when I wanted someone and, hey presto, along came a nice, if somewhat short, Italian chap who had to return to his van and get a stepladder that he then put on top of my mattress in order to reach the spotlights. Wobbling like a gymnast on a balance beam, he fiddled about while clouds of plaster and dust rained on my duvet. But after 20 minutes or so, the job was done and I was billed automatically for those minutes, not an hour like certain firms. And off he went with his stepladder to his next task.
Is this division of labour not more efficient than building up a stockpile of expensive power tools that you rarely use? Or which, when you do bring them out, you realise you need to charge for several hours before punching unnecessary holes in your walls and quite possibly yourself?
I cannot conceive of a situation where my life might depend on my ability to wield a spirit level and I am happy to entrust another with that responsibility. Does that make me a feeble, lily-livered sort who’ll be among the first to go when the Day of Judgment arrives? Nah, I’ll be all right. I’ve got a plan as cunning as any of Baldrick’s: I’ll just bribe my way out with a bowl of homemade guacamole.
Read Sophia Money-Coutts's latest column on telegraph.co.uk every Monday from 10am