Why I'm Not Allowed to Have Tools

"Why I'm Not Allowed to Have Tools"

Tools have never been  a strong point for me.  Ever.  My dad wasn't handy around the house, and he effectively passed that trait on to me.  Dad's few tools were kept down in the basement, on his tool bench.  There weren't many, and most were terribly rusted.  Tools are nothing but weapons, disguised as something helpful.  I will attempt to prove this point of view...  

When I was young I remember doing yard work with a friend.  One of us left the pitchfork that we were using to spread mulch, tines up - in the grass.  One of us may have been chasing the other.  Pitchfork through the foot....  That hurt a lot...  

When Maria and I purchased our first house, we had a fireplace.  I had a fair amount of logs that needed to be split.  I had set up a "log splitting station" on the side of the house.  There was one nice big log that was the base.  Each log that needed to be split was put on this base.  I would then tap a wedge into the log and then try my best to swing a sledgehammer over my head and hit the wedge.  Sounds easy right?  I was not good at this.  As a matter of fact, I was so bad at this that the neighbor who lived across the street used to set up a lawn chair just to watch me work.  I thought I had set the wedge well enough in the log and took a good swing.  I swear I can still see this in slow motion....
When I hit that wedge (a good-sized chunk of iron with a fairly sharp edge) I must have mis-hit it in such a way that the wedge went up in the air, did a half gainer, and then went straight down impaling the front of my sneaker.  I'm not sure whether or not the neighbor saw this or not, but I slowly cleaned up the tools and went back into the house as if nothing was wrong.  Maria yelled at me for not wearing boots since I almost cut off my toes. 

Maria bought her father a Swiss Army Knife for Christmas one year.  Before she wrapped it, I wanted to see what all the little doodads were that a part of the knife.  Within 2 minutes I had cut the tip of my finger off.  We rushed to the emergency room that night.  What fun.  I ended up with a finger bandaged like a mummy and told to keep the throbbing thing above my heart and soak it in Betadine three times a day.  That finger is still a bit flat at the end (which really is fine for typing).  It was weeks before I recovered from that one.

But the piece de resistance happened when I was working with my Rotary Club, repairing a home for a low-income family here in town.  I knew my limits, and it was well established that I wasn't allowed to use any tools.  I was given one of the easiest jobs at the house:  sand the new plywood subfloor that a real man had already installed.  Seems easy, right?  Can't get hurt doing that!  


Five minutes into the job I was sanding away, and really getting some work done.  I didn't have the sandpaper on a block or anything, just pressing down hard with my bare hand.  All of a sudden I felt an enormous amount of pain as a huge sliver from the plywood rammed itself deep into the palm of my hand, in that nice big muscle that moves the thumb.  I drove myself to the emergency room and enjoyed a four-hour stay there while people with serious ailments were handled.  I finally got sent to the "wussy boy" clinic at the hospital to have the hand anesthetized and then have a doctor make an incision so that he could find and remove that sliver. I returned to the worksite just as everyone was cleaning up and going home.  I received two special "awards" at the Rotary Club's annual dinner;  a pair of thick, industrial-strength rubber gloves and the "Horse's Ass" award which still sits proudly on my desk.

So when it comes to "handyman" jobs around the house - the only tool that Maria will let me use is ....
the telephone.  Tools = Weapons - case closed!   

I wish you a wonderful, joyful, productive, and prosperous week.     


Till Next Week!