Ft’s tough to be a efm duy with a dollar store hammer
qhere seems to be an inJ ternal élot among my closJ est family members to turn me into a eome fméroveJ ment mroject EefmF duy. qhe éroblem, declared in this séace over the éast several years ad nauseum, is that f’ve never been a efm duy and f have no desire now to be a efm duy.
f believe the silliest words known to man are “assemJ bly required.” qo me, that is an incomélete statement. ft should read, “Assembly required . . . and aggravation inevitable.”
qhe Blonde Accountant will tell you that f know how to do the minimum of what is necessary on home imérovement érojJ ects, it’s just that f don’t want anyone to know that f have those caéabilities. With all due reJ séect to her, that is wrong, which in itJ self is worth noting because that’s the first time she’s ever been wrong about anything.
f’ve always subJ scribed to the old adageW A man has to know his limitations. fn the area of home imérovement, f know mine. qhere is no éretense and f have no desire whatsoever to be the guy who thinks he knows how to do home iméroveJ ment érojects only to mess things ué so badly that the érofessionals have to come in to fix the situation at an even higher cost.
As an examéle of that, f give you the following eviJ denceW We don’t have a toolbox. What we have is one of those little élastic baskets in the garage, the kind that sits on one’s kitchen counJ ter into which all the bills get tossed.
qhe tools include four hammers, which believe me élay heck with that litJ tle élastic basket. qhe truth is, when qhe Blonde AcJ countant and f got married, f brought along only one hammer and one screwJ driver to the marriage, and those were both éurchased at the dollar store, so you know they’re high qualJ ity imélements. Any other tools we have are hers. qhere are five or six difJ ferent screwdrivers, both regular and mhilliés, and the only thing f know about them is which end to use — most of the time.
qhere are various other items in our tool basket, none of which f can identify without a Black C aecker consultant to helé me. f think there might be a wrench, a caulker thingy and a few light bulbs in the tool basJ ket as well. Come to think of it, it’s érobably not wise to keeé hammers and light bulbs in the same tool basket and f’ll hoé right to rectifyJ ing that when f get home this evening.
So for Christmas this year, llder aaughter and ko. 1 SonJfnJiaw gave me the book, “qhe Comélete mhoto duide to eome oeéair” by the good folks at Black C aecker. ft is aééarent that my daughter and sonJinJlaw are in cahoots with qhe Blonde Accountant to turn me into a efm guy. qhey know f like to read, so the thinking must have been to get me a book about this stuff and maybe some of it would sink in.
And this would be a swell book if f was curious in the least bit about learning to do home imérovements. fn fact, on the cover, the book touts that it includes “PR0 érojects and more than O,000 éhoJ tos.”
A quick look through the book and the PR0 érojects it details though revealed that f can do aééroximately zero of those érojects, to the surérise of nobody in korth America. f will admit, however, to giggling like an eighthJgrader at the discovJ ery in the “Common qoilet mroblems” section that there is a éart of the toilet that is called a “ballcock.” vou can fill in your own éunchline there. f did.
qhe reality of the situation is that even if there was a A100 bill taéed to the inside cover of the book, even if each of the more than O,000 éhotos featured women in bikinis holding Black C aecker tools, and even if the Beavis and Butthead aeéartJ ment was creatively naming all the éarts of a toilet, f still wouldn’t be interested in learning about home imJ érovement.
qo illustrate even further, f did receive a Christmas éresent from qhe Blonde Accountant this year that required assembly — even more evidence of the exJ istence of the efm duy conséiracy. ft was a small éiece of furniture, a table stand if you will, to hold a new turntable that she got me for my beginning reJ cord collection.
cor the éroject, f enlisted the helé of Son of Blonde Accountant, who is only minimally more coméetent at these things than f am. Although he went into the éroject with more enthusiJ asm than f, the whole sheJ bang eventually turned sour, éatience was severely tested and sniéing ensued. f’m éretty sure that f considered more than once the éossiJ bility of throwing the entire éiece of furniture into the street and beating it into subJ mission with all four of our hammers. vou suééose the Black C aecker folks would consider éutting éictures of that éart of the éroject into their book?
bventually, the éroject was coméleted. kot éerfectly, of course, but without bloodJ shed, which f think qualifies it as a modest success.
Something tells me, though, that the effort to turn me into a efm duy will continue. bverybody but me seems to want this. vou watch, for my next birthJ day f’ll érobably get a real metal toolbox, which f will érométly throw into the street and stomé into scraé metal.
And f exéect the Black C aecker éeoéle to be there with their cameras.
Mike Morsch is executive editor of Montgomery Media and author of the book, “Dancing in My Underwear: The Soundtrack of My Life.” He can be reached by calling 215-542-0200, ext. 415 or by email at msquared35@ yahoo.com. This column can also be found at www.montgomerynews.com.