Saturday, July 14, 2012

New York Dolls 'Return Of The New York Dolls: Live From Royal Festival Hall, 2004'

For a few days last week, I was had an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment. I wasn’t rewarded or awarded anything because of a professional achievement. I wasn’t nominated for anything. My friends and coworkers didn’t give me any pats on the back for something well done.


I had finally crossed over into the land of Manliness by purchasing my first power tool!

It was a quasi-landmark achievement in my 45 years of taking up space on this planet. Never in my personal history have I even purchased a tool, powered or not. Not even a screwdriver!

For the record, I like my screwdrivers heavy on the vodka with little to no ice.

But I do know the difference between a Phillips head and a flat head screwdriver. I’m not that inept when it comes to being “handy”.

Jamie has been on my back lately because the bushes in front of the house have grown past an acceptable and tolerable height and attractiveness. Granted, she had every right to bug me day and night about those overgrown plants… I had gotten lazy about tending to the only outdoor duty that is required of me. But it has been way too hot for me to venture outdoors for more than 30 minutes. The thought of having to work outside on a day with temperatures hovering around 100 degrees makes me want to scream and claw at someone like Damien Thorn on his way to church.

If the temperatures are higher than 85 degrees, my skin starts putting out a soupy mixture of sweat that I simply cannot abide. If I have to be outside during those types of extremes for my employer or recreation, I will tough it out. I can easily reason out waiting another day or even a week if it’s an outside household chore.

The thought of getting out a pair of manual hedge clippers, attacking bushes, and sweating like Meat Loaf during a performance isn’t at all appealing to me.

Now don’t get me wrong. There’s a part of me that likes shaping and forming the shrubbery. I suppose that’s my creative side. But the mostly indoor side of me has no desire to sweat right through my clothes in order to knock landscaping off my to-do list.

Some folks like to sweat and get as slick as a seal. That’s cool. It’s just not my thing unless sex or drinking is involved.

The boxwood in front of the kitchen window had gone Charlie Sheen on us. It had seriously gotten out of hand. The growth hadn’t been tempered since late last summer. We could no longer spy upon the neighbors while washing the dishes without feeling like a sniper peering through a massive thicket. Something had to be done or I would get some hard feelings from someone with a knife to my throat in the middle of the night.

I got online and started looking at some electric hedge trimmers. The tool may not keep me from sweating in the ungodly summer heat, but it sure as hell would keep the peace around the house. And a power tool like that will make it a breeze cutting and snipping those bushes back into a reasonable shape to accentuate the home.

After a little online searching, I found a device priced just right with excellent reviews. Jams and I wasted no time getting to the car and rushed out to Lowe’s to purchase my very first power tool.

You see… I’ve never had any desire to be handy. My father is very handy and that always seems to take up his spare time. He’s always running around fixing something or taking care of someone’s little issue. I’ve never had an interest in repairing mechanical things, lawn care, woodworking, or plumbing. It has always seemed like too much work and an annoyance for me. And when those activities don’t work out properly, there’s great aggravation, cursing, violence, and frustration. When I experience a few setbacks that result in those kinds of things I just described, I usually end up throwing my tormentor against a wall or across a yard.

I fear that the hedge trimmer will become a “gateway” tool for me. Soon I’ll be dropping in at hardware stores or looking at tools that aren’t on the way home. I may start fantasizing about power drills, power saws, Bobcat excavators, electric hammers, or some such machines.

I’ve also learned that great power tools come with great responsibilities. By that I mean vast to-do lists created by other people. That’s the real fear. Being handy and known for it.

I haven’t even had the power tool a week before someone asked to borrow it.

What’s up with that?

Not even seven days have passed before a Homer Simpson tried to pull a “Hey Flanders… Can I borrow this?”


  1. Eugene Scissorhands?

  2. Hello, my name is Eugene... I see it coming. PTA, and not Parent Teacher Association kind

    1. Anonymous12:50 PM

      I don't understand what you're talking about, Tim.