The Best of Andy Rooney

You can buy a new one, but you can't get the old one fixed. That's the crisis in America.

If your car needs a new engine, they'll do that for you, but if the window on the passenger's side is sticking, forget it.

You can get a plumber to install a new sink, but don't ask one to come out to fix a leaky faucet.

If you want your kitchen torn out and done over, there are contractors who'll do that, but forget trying to have the toaster fixed.

The whole world is looking for help with the little things and can't get it. We need someone who specializes in fixing things that are too small to bother with.

For years, we paid a man to cut our lawn. If he saw a beer can in the bushes, he'd pick it up. If a low branch on a tree needed trimming, he'd trim it. No longer. In fact, he doesn't even cut the grass anymore. He's hired a crew. They sweep in once a week, unload their machinery, give the grass a quick trim and they're out in 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, the hedge needs clipping, there are leaves to be raked and that beer can stays in the bushes until Saturday, when I get out there and pick it up.

The catch on my briefcase is broken; the upstairs toilet keeps running if you don't jiggle the handle; the pane in one of the cellar windows is cracked; the "s" on my typewriter is sticking.

There are enough little jobs to be done that would keep every unemployed person in the world busy, but we don't seem to know how to get the jobs that need to be done together with the people who need work.

We can't even get anyone to repair the minor things wrong with us. You can find a doctor to do a heart bypass, but if you have a bad cold or the flu, learn to live with it. What we need is a group of doctors who specialize in ordinary illnesses.

(This classic Andy Rooney column was originally published April 11, 1985.)

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