January 8, 2012

Handy Man or Handi-Man?

I don't know the difference between a converter valve and an electrical outlet.  I can barely change a light bulb. I don't know how to rewire the house, put up drywall or change the alternator in my car.  I know that my house has studs, and to find one, I look in the mirror...but the wooden ones I bang around on the wall trying to look like I know what I'm talking about.

I do know that my house has walls, a ceiling and a floor.  When I turn on the faucets, hopefully water comes out and every time I move the light switch I pray that the lights go on or off.  If there is a problem, I can't fix it.  I get out my trusty phone, expecting it to work but I don't know how, and call someone to make my problem go away. 

And every single handyman, bar none, will tell me how to fix the problem.  They will go through step by step on how they will fix the broken item.  They will tell me in great detail about every nuance, every step no matter how insignificant.

"You see, Bill, you got the rotor...right there...it's shaped like a pear and a cup of coffee...which reminds, I'm gonna need my coffee, now if you put the 1/4 inch steel..."  
And I'm out.  You already lost me and now you are adding math words to the equation.  That is not fair.  Just fix it.  I don't care.  I'm NOT fixing things for a reason.  My brain doesn't work that way.

Does it make me less of a man?  Probably.  But, when I tell you a story.  I just tell it.  I don't start it out with, "You see, Sal, in the story I am the protagonist and the antagonist is the spider cricket.  I will be doing it in the first person...now you see first person..."  You don't care.  You just listen to the story, right?  I have a beginning, an end and hopefully a decent payoff.

That was just the intro.   The next part of the story will be the content.  I will try to use sarcasm, it's a tool I use to poke fun at myself or others.  I will also be using a lot of exaggerations to drive home my points.  I will use adjectives, nouns, and verbs to put the story together.  This story is how I broke something and shockingly fixed it.  It kinda works now.  Well, at least it serves its purpose.

The family and I like to play games.  Board games.  Video games.  All kinds of Games.  One fine night, Shannon asked the kids, "which game do you guys want to play tonight?"  The answer came back with an excited, "HIDE AND SEEK!"
And Hide and Seek we played.  We have some major rules when playing it.
1.) No outside.
2.) No basement.
3.) No attic crawlspaces.
4.) No behind the toilets.
Oh yeah!  No hiding at the top of Mommy and Daddy's closet.  We have a large closet with wire metal shelves.  The shelves bend a little when we put towels on them, so when our son tries to hide up there - disaster is moments away.  So, the top of the closet is OFF LIMITS!

But, as you may know, I am too cool for rules.  They weren't my rules anyway...Shannon made them up.  I know of some great spots to hide in the crawlspaces, down in the basement and outside.  Plus, what is so wrong with burying my head and body behind a toilet?  I don't make the rules.  I break them.  I'm Daddy James Dean, baby.  A rebel, if there ever was one.

It was Shannon's turn to count, and my daughter decided to count with her.  That was okay, it was the boys turn to hide.  My son went and hid in the living room.  I chose my bedroom.  The closet.  The top of the closet.  I tore down the warning sign and ignored the no trespassing notice.  I started my climb.  I was nimble.  I was agile.  I was stupid.

Towels and extra blankets went tumbling below as I made my way to the top.  I could hear them counting and like a monkey I swung up to the forbidden land of hiding places.  Their counting continued.
I adjusted my position among the spare blankets and pillow cases.

Then from the other room:  "Ready, or not, here we come!" Their voices bellowed through the quiet house.  My heart was pounding in my chest.  They stormed the living room and quickly found my son.  "Where is Daddy?" my daughter said, beginning the interrogation of my son.  He would crack under the pressure, I knew it.  He would fold and I would be scolded.
"I don't know," he pleaded.  "I was too busy hiding."
Now, the three of them began to look for me.  My heart was racing and I was doing my best to hold my breath.  It was just me and Anne Frank, up there.  I was not going to found.

Shannon and the kids heard the scream, the crashing and the too quick response of "I'm in the closet!" being yelled from the bottom of the closet.  My fat butt had done some quick work of taking down the shelf in the closet, along with the shirts, pants, towels, blankets, pillowcases, shoes and the ironing board.  I had also done a project of opening up my back.  They opened the door, to see my handy work and me sprawled out among the closet's items.  

They were looking at me in horror.  I tried my best to act natural, like it had been something that I had been planning on doing, but it was to no avail.  I made my way to the bathroom, the gash on back hurt a little and my pride hurt more.  I was wearing my Phillies shirt and the tear in it hurt the worst.

"You're going to fix it!"  I heard. 
I was not going to be allowed to make any calls.  I was going to have to put my big boy Macho Mr. Fixit pants on and do it myself.  
That night as I hung up the shelf, alone.  I had a new respect for the Handy Man.  I went out and told Shannon how I had fixed it.  Leaving no rock unturned.  I told how I hammered the metal back in place and how I had screwed it back into the wall.
Thank you Mr. Fixits.  Now, I have some projects that need tackling, can you tell me how to lay some piping?  I need details.

Your Handy Man Bill?