Handy Man, Honey Dew
If you can’t be handsome, be handy. This is an old saying I heard many times during my early years. It seemed a very practical stratification theory for women, as they made difficult decisions for future husband material. What if you are neither?
The explosion of the “do it yourself” types in my neighbourhood has caused serious lineups at my local Home Depot. DIY has actually become an acceptable short form for this type of work. I see many men in tee shirts using large trolleys with large wheels hauling lumber and other large objects I do not recognize.
Clearly there is a financial benefit to building your own deck, finishing your basement or renovating every room in your home. There is also a sense of embarrassment for the rest of us, who chose geography over woodworking at school, anticipating knowing the capital city of Brazil, would really come in handy in later life.
I do possess a little self-awareness, knowing I am not the handiest of men. On Friday night when I replace a light bulb I tend to sit there for hours admiring my work and then I take the rest of the weekend off.
When my daughter watches “The Bachelorette”, I notice dry walling is never part of the challenges performed on their dates. I suspect the gypsum would get very damp in the hot tub.
It is not like I haven’t attempted to demonstrate my skill in this arena of handiness. As always, even with limited knowledge and skill, I like to help others whenever I can.
Replacing a Faucet
Use a screwdriver of a butter knife to remove those rusty screws that are keeping the cold and hot water handles from gently releasing. Find the washers and remove those to improve access to the taps. As the water gushes out all over the floor, run down to the basement a try to find the main water source and quickly turn that tap off. Call a plumber
Putting up a Shelf
Now the key part of this daunting task is using a level. If you do not possess a level, I find putting a marble on the shelf as a good way to discover, where the flaw in your sturdy structure is unbalanced. Wherever the marble rolls to, is the end that needs to be slightly adjusted. My limited experience suggests that nails or screws are much better fasteners than scotch tape. Surprisingly even very strong masking tape does not hold the shelf as well as it should.
Hanging up a Mirror
When your wife comes home from HomeSense, with a very large oval shaped mirror, understand that this will not be used as a floor mat for others to check the wear and tear of the soles of their shoes. No this antique looking reflector will be going up on a wall that is inaccessible without a ladder. If the mirror weighs five pounds use a nail. If the mirror weighs ten pounds use a screw. If the mirror weighs fifty pounds move.
Repainting a Wall
I carefully choose the word repainting here, as the wall you are being asked to paint, is in a familiar room that was painted a few weeks ago. The trouble is that those newly purchased throw pillows on the couch, no longer work with that wall colour. There are five essential pieces for a successful repainting job, paint, a roller, a brush, a wet cloth and a case of beer. Never, I mean always, I mean never allow anyone to watch you while you perform your artwork. I understand that Da Vinci, Michelangelo and The Group of Seven preferred a little privacy when their spouses asked them to paint. Once the work is complete, call everyone into the room and all will admire your masterpiece. Your spouse will echo the comments and quietly whisper “This looks terrific darling and it just needs one more coat of paint.”
Replacing a Light Switch with a Dimmer Switch
For the non-electricians out there, pay particular attention to the last sentence. You will notice there will be lots of colourful wires once you remove the fixture. You will also notice a strong tingly feeling as the electrical current flows effortlessly through your body, because you just like touching wires. When you regain consciousness run down to the basement and turn off the power. If you are performing this task on the same day you are replacing the faucet, wear rubber boots, as I have been told gushing water and open electricity do not mix well together.
Hanging up a Painting
Hanging up a painting might sound suspiciously similar to hanging up a mirror as you will default again, to thinking this is just another floor mat. Unless this is a painting of a floor mat, you are once again in error of where this painting will permanently reside. There are little devices known as picture hooks that are very helpful. The wire string at the back of the painting will attach itself to that hook on your fifty-seventh try. Remember to use that marble to ensure the painting is level.
During casual get togethers in the summer, healthier friends like to offer a fruit tray as an option for their guests. One of the fruits available on this tray of exotic fruit is Honey Dew. After a burger or three most men will try the fruit to let their spouses know they understand the importance of healthy eating.
After a glass of white wine or three, one of the wives will look at that Honey Dew and make the perfect pun of the eveinng. “Every Friday I post a ‘Honey Do’ list on the refrigerator and Bill usually has that list complete before noon on Saturday”
After years of displaying my own aptitude for fixing things around the house, my wife posts a “Honey Don’t” list! This seventeen page memo keeps getting longer but the last page is always the same, highlighting all the emergency phone numbers others will need when they find me semiconscious on the ground beside my extension ladder.
Cue the Blong: One of the very few songs I have written that mention painting or putting up a shelf.