Nicodemus (nicodemusrat) wrote,

Blast from the Past meme

LJ, about one year ago, I talked about getting involved in car rallyes. That's still true... In fact, Chez Lunatiques is now working on writing our own rallye for the club. Next weekend, we'll be helping at the next rallye.

On my site, about a year and a half ago, I wrote a piece inspired by homeownership titled "Handimanliness" which I still rather like. I'll copy it here.

It was kind of obvious that it was broken, but you had been sucessfully ignoring it until it was pointed out to you directly. And, of course, you said you'd fix it. As a guy, this is part of your job.

After all, who else was going to do it? You're the handyman of the house! If you didn't volunteer, it'd just mean having to hire an overpriced professional who'd probably just screw it up worse. Why pay for that when you can do it yourself?

And so you had to try to fix it then and there. Of course you didn't know what you were doing. You like to appear that you know how to fix these things, but you don't.

And so you botched it. You broke it. You're fairly sure that your explanation that "it's a special frangible joint -- it's supposed to do that" wasn't convincing, but now you've been left alone to fix the problem.

And let's be honest: you don't know how to fix it. Sure, you've almost convinced yourself that you do, but you don't. So what can you do? You cannot admit defeat! Fortunately, I've got the answer for you.

Take a trip to Home Depot for "parts". It's irrelevant whether you actually need parts. If pressed for details as you depart, name plausible yet possibly fictitious items, such as "I need to grab a lagged anchor bolt for the naffle clip".

Now, safely unobserved, prowl around Home Depot, seeking out the one really experienced staffer. There's usually one per shift; you know, that guy that looks like he lives in the store and could probably assemble a house from individual parts. Find him, grab him, and pump him for information! Describe your problem in detail. Admit that you don't know what to do. This is no time for hubris! You're safely anonymous in the manly Home Depot aisles.

Listen to him. Memorize any instructions or details he offers. Learn to parrot any technical jargon. Follow him around the store, buying any tools he points at, up to and including a full-size zamboni. Eventually you will either finally know enough to go home and fix things or he will go off shift and you can't follow him into the employees only area.

Buy everything with cash. As soon as you're out of the store, toss the receipt in a garbage can. You do not want a paper trail which might be discovered! You do not want anyone to know how much cheaper it would've been to hire a contractor or, even, to hire the Home Depot guy to rebuild the house from scratch.

Now go home with your newfound handyman knowledge and fix the problem. This might not be easy, given what you've already done to it, but dive into it full force and you can do it.

It's fixed! You're a hero! You knew what you were doing after all! Your handymanliness reputation has been restored. And we'll just keep this little Home Depot trip a secret between us, okay?

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