By Ken De Laat
"Screwdriver business just gets me confused
It takes me half an hour to change a fuse
And when I flicked the switch the lights all blew
I'm not your handyman"- Billy Bragg. Handyman Blues
Here at N3 World Headquarters & Seed-to-Garden Emporium we are in the midst of a dreaded Spring Redo Initiative where half of the team has found some incredibly inventive ways of avoiding the holding a paintbrush.
There are always stories and articles to write or look over of course and news items to follow up on. Other duties involving meetings outside of the house consume some hours here and there And of course the recent tourney run delivered ample time away since the games were played in distant arenas and being a cautious type it was not unusual to allow for a 2-3 hour cushion...just to be sure.
While certain what I describe is not likely to be seen as an attribute and readers may consider this as part of a larger character defect in reality it has consistently proved to be the best approach to anything resembling the need for one to be in any size, shape or form ‘handy’.
This is a tough one to share but anyone who knows me on any level beyond ‘that tall older guy who always looks kind of disheveled’ would be familiar with this deficiency. My long suffering LSC Lil is, of course, far more acutely aware than all others of this limitation. And, having come from a family that always knew how to ‘do things’ it seems reasonable that the legendary patience she has developed over the past several decades might have gotten traction from said limitation.
So when a room...say, a large bedroom with various angles, heavy furniture and many wall attached items...has been deemed in need of painting my reply is as predictable as the Tigers falling out of contention before Mothers Day.
“I can hire a painter or you can hire a painter or you can do it if you choose, but those are the only options.”
Now mind you, I have been more than willing to be supportive. To take full charge of chores we generally split, run any needed errands and be on call to help move this or that or even fetch hydration and sustenance when required.
But I have a history with painting and, alas, it's not a pretty one. I will 100% without a doubt mess it up and this is less excuse than it is a deep sense of self awareness.
In past years the propensity of my failure to heed the wisdom of Primum non nocere has led to many unfortunate results. You know I've found the process of aging, while not always a carnival ride, has its benefits if one pays a little attention to experiences. Efforts to go against the grain and learn how to ‘do things’ have been repeatedly made and while none were attempted with any level of commitment or enthusiasm (likely a huge part of the problem) the occasional stab at various fix-it type projects inevitably ended somewhere along a spectrum running from disappointing to disastrous.
So when I tell folks I own just 3 tools, a big hammer, duct tape and the phone?
I mean it.
And believe me the one I use the most is the phone.
Support local businesses, right?
"Tools are for people who have nothing better to do than think things through and make sensible plans.”- Laini Taylot, Muse of Nightmares
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