Random Thoughts – Home Depot and I Cannot Fix Anything
Ever been to Home Depot? Lowes? Ever notice that there is not a good parking space in the entire lot? You can put your car where ever you want but one side of the building is for entry and the other side is the exit. You may get a great spot by the entrance but then you are walking a country mile with all your stuff when you come out. Why do they do that? It’s annoying and stupid. Best to just park as close to the middle as you can. That way you’re equidistant from both doors but it also means you’re a screwed going in and coming out.
I cannot fix anything. I have zero “do-it-yourself” skills. I do have great intentions though. I love to think that I can build a giant deck covering pergola with fragrant purple Wisteria draped all over it but when it comes down to it, I can barely put in a new toilet valve. I do love the smell in Home Depot though. It, for some reason, gets my creative juices flowing. Most stores seem to have an inappropriate amount of influence over me. I am what marketing people would refer to as “a sucker.” Like if I go into a guitar store, I immediately think, that if I spend $700 on a guitar, that I’ll surely be the next Jimi Hendrix. I have two guitars that disprove this theory, by the way. Put me into a craft store and I am virtually on overload.
I once replaced a light switch in my bedroom and thought I had done everything by the book. Yet and still and in spite of shutting off the power, not just to this particular switch, I actually shut down the entire house, I still managed to electrocute myself, finding out later that the wire wasn’t grounded right or some shit like that. It’s hard for me to remember what my neighbor was saying as I came to. I do remember the word idiot being uttered though.
I want to put ceiling fans in a couple of the bedrooms in our house. I figure, how hard can that be? Just turn off the power, take out the old light and shove the ceiling fan into the hole. I proceed to Google and type, “How to install a ceiling fan,” and the first thing I hear is about this ceiling fan box mount. What the hell is a box mount? Mounting holes, brackets and braces? Without an afterthought, I am done. I know better. I can see this thing spinning around a few times then crashing down on my wife’s skull like an upside down helicopter. It wouldn’t hit me though. No, my particular brand of suffering would come from her complaining about her gashed open head for the next thirty years.
I believe that there is a concerted effort by some elite group of contractors, probably the Illuminati, who want to keep commoners like me from doing things around the house. They sit around in ceremonial aprons sacrificing animals and inventing intentionally scary words like bracket and box mount to intimidate me so they can hold on to their ceiling fan monopoly. They say things like, “hanging drywall is an art,” then laugh at people like me who suck.
There was another time when I decided that it would be nice to re-tile the bathroom. I mean, you just take off the old tile and glue the new stuff on. Easy, right? Getting the old stuff off was actually kind of fun, cathartic, if you will, but I found out during my demolition that the wall behind the tile in the shower was wet and rotting, something I would not have known if I had just left this alone in the first place. Too late now. I encountered intimidating words again. What the hell is sheet rock? My answer to the rotting shower wall incident was to not use that particular shower anymore. Voila! Problem solved. I did, however, move forward with my plan to re-tile the floor. I did every damn thing they told me to do, I mean, to a tee. Within a month, half of the tiles were loose and the grout was disintegrating so badly that it looked like a hillbilly dirt floor.
I think that some people are just born with the ability to be handy around the house. I see no other explanation for it, it simply cannot be taught. I do have a few success stories though. Once I installed, and I use the word “installed” in an overly impressive sounding way, a toilet seat. It wasn’t as much of a story of the glory of my handy work as it was a story of containing my germ phobia. I had to literally fight the urge to vomit the entire time as I was sure I could feel the poo viruses climbing up my arm headed straight for my nose and mouth with a determined vengeance. Once I was finished, I made my wife come and bask in the glory of my triumph, I still talk about it to this day.
I have also been known to change out a few malfunctioning toilet valves in my day though there is still a bit of handle wiggling required once I’m finished; I just can’t seem to get it quite right. Most of my fixing of things seems to revolve around the toilet for some reason, not sure why. I must be comfortable around it.
I do currently hold an impressive vomit streak, at this point having not thrown up since August of 1993, right before my daughter was born. My other two kids had the flu and I knew it was coming for me next so I downed an entire box of Whitman’s Samplers knowing that I would just expel it all before the calories kicked in. Sort of a viral induced bulimia. What this has to do with parking at Home Depot, I have no idea. I just felt that I need to defend my manhood somehow and aren’t extensive vomit streaks always apropos. Should someone make disparaging remarks about my lack of fix-it skills at least I can always fire back with, “yeah but at least I don’t throw-up, bitch.”