Tiresome business of taking it easy

Goof-ups when take-it-easy policy takes off on an expanded scale. 

Jerome K Jerome observed that he had to work hard to keep himself in the idleness he was accustomed to, as all the tasks he’d postponed had to be neatly stored and regularly dusted so as to provide him a reliable indicator of his indolence. Perhaps it was with such thoughts in mind that the Colombian city of Itaqui, which has a population of 200,000, recently observed ‘World Laziness Day’, a literal non-event which has been on the official municipal calendar since 1988 and is meant to help overstressed workers work off job fatigue. However, a consequence — unintended or otherwise — of such regulatory relaxation is that it has given rise to inverse activity in the production of recliners, hammocks, and other aids to taking things lying down in the true sense of the term. 

Inertia, enforced or voluntary, can be the mother of invention, as testified to by Bengal’s much-vaunted adda-baji culture, which devised the ‘double-half’, a shared cuppa that ensures that shirk expands to fill the time available. In the quest for rest, where there’s a will, there’s a won’t, as shown by the case of the insomniac who, advised to count sheep to induce sleep, reported failure, as he kept getting nudged awake by the pocket calculator which he’d kept at hand to free himself of the chore of keeping a mental tally. Time for a new phone app, perhaps? 


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