Rent-a-husband business boom


Anyone who has visited the Czech Republic before and after the Velvet Revolution will have noticed how much the country has changed. Although it was always hauntingly beautiful, Prague has now become a fast-paced, Western-style metropolis that offers both the locals and visitors everything they could possibly want. But more interesting are the changes within, which require a deeper knowledge of the Czech mentality and a discerning eye.

During the communist years Czechs prided themselves on their skills at DIY and improvisation. Czechs men were able to fix anything around the house, invent whatever gadget was not available on the market and literally turn an old washing machine into a functional lawn-mower. It was part of providing for one’s family. Now times have changed. People are spending more hours at work, they are better paid and are gradually recognizing the commonsense of letting professionals do the more complicated house maintenance tasks –such as fixing the plumbing, painting the house or changing the locks. In line with this new trend a new profession has emerged – the “husband-for-rent”. Of course, there is the locksmith, house-painter and plumber – but what if you need a little bit of each. In other words if you need a DIY whiz who will take care of it all in the course of one afternoon while your husband is out making piles of money and no longer has time for such things? Or, indeed, if you yourself are making piles of money and don’t want a husband. The “husband-for-rent” will take care of it all and you don’t even need to keep him supplied with cold beer. Although the first husband-for-rent who appeared on the Czech scene caused much hilarity and ribald jokes the rent-a-husband business is booming. Czech women are now renting husbands to hang a painting or mow the lawn. Husbands-for-rent are willing to work in the evenings and on weekends when the real husbands are away on business trips and their wives are faced with a problem. Of course, in Japan they are constructing robots for that kind of thing. But Czech women say this arrangement suits them beautifully. And evil tongues say the number of dripping taps and broken washing machines has doubled.