The Handyman can...
It runs in the family — being handy that is. My father, throughout his life, has been an engineer, carpenter, cabinetmaker and mechanic. My three brothers can lay claim to titles like carpenter, machinist, mechanic, welder and draftsman. They’re multi-talented.
I am the brother, son and grandson of skilled tradesmen and craftsmen. It’s in my blood — I think. But maybe I’m adopted, because I am the least handy person I know.
I’ve always said that God only gave me two talents: I can grow a nice beard and I make cute kids. That’s it. Well, maybe three things. I have an excellent sense of direction. I can’t remember where I parked the car, but when I’m in it, I never get lost.
So why did the handy gene skip me? It’s not like I haven’t tried. But making or repairing things eludes me. Just ask my kid about his pinewood derby car. He showed up with a partially sanded block of wood painted red. I told him it was a fire engine — without ladders. A pumper truck. Yeah, that’s it. A pumper truck.
I just don’t get it. I mean, my pinewood derby cars were cool. My dad would use his scroll saw to carve out the Smokey and the Bandit Camaro. At least I think it was a scroll saw. It might have been a jigsaw or a band saw. I’m not sure.
I took home ec instead of shop because there were 30 girls in the class and me. Not bad odds, even for the non-handy nerd. And we got to eat what we cooked.
While home ec did score me some sympathy dates, it never really taught me to fix a car, which is what I really needed — and still need. So no, I do not know how to fix a car. And to make matters worse, they keep breaking down. Take last week for example. And the week before that.
My little Geo blew up outside of Richfield. Thanks to Trooper Franco Aguilar, and a local towing service, I was able to get back into town.
Later, while attempting to climb Payson Canyon, my van overheated half a dozen times. Not a good day for a family reunion. But thanks to Cousin Mark and Cousin Brandon, we were able to enjoy the Dutch oven potatoes and corn on the cob. Also thanks to gravity for helping us coast back down the canyon without exploding. [Note: When trying to relieve the pressure from a superheated radiator, be careful. The disposable diaper did come in handy, but should only be used by a trained professional.]
When I was a child, I acted as a child. Now that I am a man … well, some things never change.
It’s a good thing that people still stop and laugh, I mean, help. I’m almost secure enough in my inability to take it.
So if you see me on the roadside, broken down and overheated, please don’t lecture me about fluid levels. It won’t help. Just roll your eyes, pat my head, and remember that God made me to help you feel smarter.