Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Not So Mr. Fix-it

Tony Morgan wrote about Walking on Water this morning. He had me roaring, nearly got coffee out the nose first thing this morning. What a good way to wake up! You should check it out.

I appreciate his feeling less than proficient at fixing things. Here’s how he describes it:
I never really learned how to fix anything. Instead, I learned how to pay the fix-it people to fix things.
I feel his pain.

Gorgeous will tell you I’m not much of a fixer-upper either. I have a few skills in that arena, but I hid them well. Fixing things, unless it involves electronics, really doesn’t interest me much.

In fact Gorgeous and I have remarkably similar approaches when it comes to repairing broken stuff. I’ll usually go at the broken item with a roll of duct tape, because after all duct tape is a man’s best friend, the universal repair tool. Gorgeous has a tendency to get out her hot glue gun. You’d be amazed what she can stick together with a little dab of hot glue.

Between my duct tape and her hot glue gun I think we could conquer the world.

One advantage I get by not being such a handy guy is that on those rare occasions that I actually do fix something (and it ends up actually working right and looking neat and tidy, those two things are key for some reason) I completely blow Gorgeous away. The look she gives me on those rare occasions is worth all the aggravation of the fixing. It’s kind of a “who are you and what did you do with my husband” look. Well worth the price of admission.

I got one of those looks after working on a ceiling fan last year. (Like I said, it doesn’t happen often.)

Our guest room had a ceiling fan that worked just fine. However the people who built our house had a big four poster bed in that room with a veil covering thingy on it so they left the light kit off the fan. We didn’t have an extra lamp to put in the room and really didn’t have the extra cash to go buy one before we had some company coming.

Fortunately for us the previous owners had left the light kit for the fan in the closet. All it needed was installation. According to the instructions it should have been fairly easy. Take the cover off, connect a wire and screw the light kit in place. Besides, I figured lights use electricity, that makes it almost electronic. Right?

Except the original installers didn’t connect the power to the light wire since they weren’t installing the lights. And that meant I had to basically disassemble the entire ceiling fan to get at the wire connection to make the whole thing actually work.

I could tell by her pacing around outside the guest room and the occasional nervous “how’s it going?” questions that Gorgeous had this impending doom feeling thing going on. Of course in her defense seeing ceiling fan parts strewn about the guest room with a gaping hole where the decorative fan used to be probably didn’t help much.

The steady grumbling coming out of the room wouldn’t have instilled confidence either, I guess. “Razzel, frazzle... Gaaah!... Heeeeehhhsh!... Grrrrrrr… Tchaaaahhh!” But hey, the ten minute job had turned into an ordeal.

Keep in mind we had company coming the next day. And the actual job time was being measured in hours, not the ten minutes I predicted.

Fortunately for us in the end I got everything back together. It all looked good and there weren’t even that many pieces left over. And now I have an idea what I’m doing if I ever have to tear apart another ceiling fan.

But on the whole I’d rather have the money to hire it done.


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HolyMama! said...

ok, that truly is impressive!

mike says to 'hire out' all that is not 'within your core genius.' he got that from some success book. he's always reading those, and coming up with little gems like that. so then he told me to get a maid, since cleaning was clearly not my core genius. huh.

Chris Cree said...

He sounds like a good man for not applying that theory selectively to his stuff.

And it's a good theory, if you have the cash to back it up. But like Yogi Berra said, "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."