Wrong Tools and Wrong Places

19.25.00 - Mark


I'm pretty sure that even MacGyver couldn't get anything done at my household. We don't stock anything. I'm constantly looking for a close approximation to whatever it is I really need because 1) we don't have it and 2) if we do have it no one knows where the fuck it is and its going to take less time to find a close match that find the real thing (however not much less time, it kind of loops itself down to the point where I'll improvise with a block of wood, some paperclips and some function of my pocket knife - I wish I was joking about this)

Example 1 -

Despite central cooling everywhere else in the house my room lacks it so we've got a window unit in a fake wall with liquid dripping into a rusty coffee can. Except when we put it in we didn't close up the fireplace. So I can run it full bore and still not cool the room down. This was keeping me from getting a good night's sleep which is probably the best way to motivate me to solve just about any problem known to man. So I resolved to fix it, and my planned solution should have taken 50 minutes as most of the lumber was already the right size (but 25 minutes to cut it anyways) and about 20 minutes to drill 6 holes and screw in as many cement screws, and about 5 minutes to cut some insulation and put everything together.

At least one would think. In reality, thanks to the way things work in my family, it took the better part of 5 very long hours.

It took forever to find the right drill bits (had to go into concrete) so that ate up an hour, and when it broke it took another 30 minutes to find another one, 20 minutes to find the screws, a a good while more to find the drills, saws, hammer, pliers, utility knife, insulation, bubble level, tape measure, trash bag, and broom that the project eventually demanded. This of course is all on top of the time that it actually took to complete the project.

I went though the same mess while I was fixing the grill a little while ago. One of the legs was constantly falling off anytime the thing is moved so the nice, simple solution was drill three holes and put in three machine screws. Aside from going out and buying the machine screws (because while we have buckets of the things, it was a lot faster to spent half an hour going to the hardware store and paying the $.91 then spending an hour sorting though the buckets to find 3 that were a near match) this wasn't a problem. I had already found all of the drill bits I needed. This problem came up when I cut myself while tightening the screws. A small cut isn't supposed to be a major hassle, clean it up, stick on a small bandage, and go back to work. Again not here. Not only could I not find a bandage smaller than 3"x3" I couldn't even find some tape to improvise one. Even after looking for my first aid kit (which is usually squired away from the rest of the family so that it stays well stocked) someone had found it and hadn't simply used and replaced what they needed, they had left the trash in the with everything else.


Not that it mattered at that point - the bleeding had stopped.

Its impossible to explain how irritating this it, and complaining/talking about it is beyond pointless. All it will succeed in doing is ensuring that "small bandaids" is added to the list of crap to buy at walmart. What it needs to say is "decent first aid kit"


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