Thursday, April 2, 2015

Not-So-Handy Man

                 Two Saturdays ago, I replaced a toilet for what seems to be the 50th time in our marriage.  For sure, I’ve done a lot of them.  The day before, I had been greeted at the door with not a, “hi honey” or “my day sucked, how about yours?”  Nope, I was greeted with, “The toilet in our bathroom is leaking.”  If there are any single guys out there, that is code for, “You don’t get food or are not allowed to sit down or even to speak to me until that toilet stops leaking.”

                Since it was Friday and we have two toilets and we are empty-nesters, I walked in to our bathroom and shut off the water to the toilet.  Seconds later, I walked back into the living room dressed in my standard after work shorts.  “No more leak,” I proudly exclaimed.

                “What did you do?”

                “I shut off the water.  We can use the other toilet tonight.  I will go get another toilet in the morning.  The porcelain is cracked at the base so it needs to be replaced.”

                She seemed satisfied with that, so I was allowed supper and everything went well until the next day.  When we first got married 34 years ago, I never did fix-it things around the house.  Never.  I didn’t know and didn’t want to.  I would just simply pick up the phone and call someone and have them do it.  Then, over the years, I began to try things on my own.  That comes from kids and being poor.  You either do it yourself or it just doesn’t get done.  I bought books on how to do things before the internet.  I used to cuss a lot.  I used to throw things a lot.  Lana used to stay in another room from where I was working.  I wasn’t good at it.  Not-so-handyman.

                I got better.  I took on everything.  I have replaced my own deck.  I dug out and made a new walkway to the deck.  I did all the landscaping in our front and back yards with 1,100 large retaining blocks.  I am also the guy that used to have a smoker many years ago.  I remember smoking a turkey in it using a lot of charcoal.  The next day I dumped the charcoal into a trash bag with other trash and set it on the curb.  It was trash day.  Minutes later my trash was on fire.  The charcoal was still hot.  Nice going, Keith.  I received some very nice gag gifts at Christmas over that one.

                There was also the time I tuned up my lawn mower for the first time.  I didn’t know what I was doing.  I replaced everything that needed to be replaced, including the blade.  The problem was, I put the blade on upside down.  Trust me, that is hard to do.  There are even little holes for morons like me to keep from doing that.  You would not believe the sound that thing made.  It also beat the crap out of the grass.  Again, more nice gag gifts for Christmas.  I really should stop announcing when I screw up.

                So, as I head out to go toilet hunting, I give Lana a kiss and she says, “Don’t get the cheapest and don’t get the most expensive either.”

                “Uh huh.”

                Minutes later, I am standing in the crapper aisle at Lowes, looking at 27 toilets, with her comment in my head.  I don’t know why her comment is in my head for one thing and I have no idea what she meant anyway.  They have toilets from $99 to ones that will cook breakfast and wipe for you.  Many hundreds of dollars.  Then I see it on the box.  The magical phrase that seals the deal.  Oh man, and it is in the middle of the price range too.

                There on the box it says, “GUARANTEED NOT TO CLOG”

                I find a cart and take this baby home.  I am just the guy to test this.

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