|Why, yes, blow-up dolls are on aisle 5.|
I love the hardware store.
It is there where I am at one with my guyness. Blissfully adrift amongst pressure treated lumber, parquet flooring, and stainless steel widgets, I feel much more at home than at, say, Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
It’s impossible for me to emerge empty-handed from one of these do-it-yourself nirvanas. Sure, it may be an item I’ll only use once (like that PVC saw...which I only used...once) or a “you never know” purchase like that 4X4 sheet of fiberglass-reinforced sheetrock, but I feel it’s my solemn duty to contribute to the local economy...and to the myth that I actually know what I’m doing.
|That bastard, Bob, stole my idea for velcro!|
While I’m not the Inspector Clouseau of Handymen, I’m not exactly Bob Vila, either (or, for that matter, Lou Vila, who lives in a box under the overpass).
Through painful trial and error, I’ve learned that water conducts electricity, pipes freeze in the winter, it’s not a good idea to “slide” a console TV down a flight of stairs, and it ain’t real smart to burn plastic wood in the fireplace.
I guess you could say that my motto is, “If it’s still smoking after you turn the power on, get the hell out of the house!”
Since we live in the country, you can imagine how out of control our crime rate is. After all, those rabbits can’t possibly be up to any good, the owls give me the creeps, and I just don’t trust those damn crickets.
|I said extra cheese!|
Still, Mrs. Penwasser thought it would be a swell idea to get a motion detector. If only to prevent raccoons from stealing our empty pizza boxes or the gophers from hot-wiring the cars.
Well, since any excuse to go to Home Depot (or Lowes, in a pinch) is a good one, off I went in search of one of those modern marvels of home security.
Three hours later, I returned with a wood-burning set, an extension ladder, a rubber mallet, the “Family Pack” bungee cord set (incidentally, what kind of “family” shops for bungee cords-the Mansons?), six cans of Fix-A-Flat, a gallon of Gorilla Glue, and 20 rolls of electrical tape.
And a motion detector.
Minutes later, its contents were spread out all over my kitchen table. I meticulously cross-checked the master inventory: four 2” metal screw thingies-check, three plastic wire nut whoozits-check, one metal plate gizfotchy-check, one rubber gasket thingamajig-check, two lamp holders-uh, oh...
Back to the store.
|Also a favorite among proctologists|
Two hours later, I returned with the parts I needed. And some anti-freeze, Monkey Grip, and something called Crack Filler.
After pulling my new extension ladder out of the garage, up I went to start wiring in the motion detector.
Minutes later, after getting up from the ground, I went downstairs to pull the outdoor lighting circuit breaker.
After several hours of twisting this, wiring that, and filling the air with all sorts of Anglo-Saxon expressions of goodwill, I finally achieved success.
Restoring power, I ran back and forth under its sensor, making chipmunk sounds for effect. After noticing the light coming on when called for, I pronounced it a job well done.
To be continued...
Next: Job well done is relative.