Belgians are worldwide famous for their chocolate and their mussels obsession. Not everyone knows, though, that they have an extraordinary sense of humour, often hidden behind their genetic shyness and discretion. They actually have the sort of self-deprecating, vitriolic humour many East Coast movies are made of. I found the latest proof of it last Friday in my favorite organic shop. I was in the usual end-of-the-week rush, grabbing dried mangos, nuts and improbable healthy stuff when I found this jewel, next to the cash register.
The leaflet pictured above advertises a company called “Un mari pour une Heure”, or “A Husband for one Hour”. It promises any type of home works: renovation, repairs, electricity, plumbing, painting, gardening, furniture assembling (yes!!!!!they can deliver me of the Ikea nightmare), chauffeur service and even pet and house sitting. A very attractive man, slightly resembling a much younger George Clooney smiles at me, holding some unnameable tool in his skilled hands. It’s basically on the same tune of the 90s diet coke ad.
The upper right corner of the leaflet says “objective 100% clients satisfaction”. When I ran home holding it in my hands as the solution to all of my house related problems, The Husband looked down at it with some ill concealed skepticism. “They’re sort of ambiguous”, he said. “I mean, how many women do you think call them to actually get A Husband for One Hour?”, he added, his concern starting to show.
I like to think the company (which has a proper website, with another Diet Coke hunk on the homepage) is run by a very smart woman who spends her days casting young, strong and muscular unemployed men and to dispatch them around, to solve most of the annoying stuff very busy husbands don’t have the time to deal with and to let housewives dream for one hour.