Why does my Keurig coffee maker sound like the Adams Family’s foghorn-ish doorbell after it brews a cup of joe? I find myself saying ‘you rang’ every morning before I take my first sip.
Why is one burner on my stove get dramatically hotter than all the others? My wife and I refer to it as ‘death burner’ because anything briefly unattended on that spot instantly becomes charred black remains.
And while I’m wondering out loud (or in print) about kitchen stuff, I have absolutely no idea how a microwave oven works. It makes no sense that every time I’m zapping leftovers, I shouldn’t be wearing an x-ray style lead apron to prevent it from boiling my brain molecules like they were in a nuclear blender? I mean, if the only thing protecting my cells from popping like a bag of Orville Redenbacher is that little glass window on the door, why don’t the Japanese build a container out of the same stuff to put on top of that leaking nuclear power plant that has been turning people into sterile green phosphorescent glow-sticks wiggling around like those inflatable tube guys outside used car lots.
Look, I know I’m no brainiac ‘genus’ like Serge Eisenstein, Sir Fig Newton or Stevie Hawk’s Nest, but I don’t think I belong on the Golgafrincham Ark Fleet Ship B with the telephone sanitizers, tired TV producers and management consultants (too obscure?).
I’m realistic though. If the apocalypse hits tomorrow, I’m out of luck. I can’t hunt nor can I spot the difference between poisonous plants and basic berries yet I don’t have gold and canned goods stockpiled. I’m also not that great of a mechanic so I can’t MacGyver up modified tools for security and survival. I’m like a red shirt Star Trek away team member or that oblivious guy stupidly answering the door in the dark creepy house that gets his brains sucked out by a Hannibal Zombie Kruger Camp Counselor before the horror movie opening credits even start.
But none of this stops me from trying. Despite my wife’s apprehensive expression when I reach for the tool box, I actually can fix a lot of things and age has made me wise enough to not try repairs that are way over my head. Like I’ll change an electric switch or outlet but I’m not rewiring the fuse box. I can be shocking enough without 120 extra running through me.
My problem is inexperience and lack of patience causes me to make silly mistakes and since I am not embarrassed to admit to them, they stand out even more. Like when I refinished our bedroom furniture. It took several days of living out of boxes and the cars did not fit in the garage that week, but I carefully stripped off the old varnish, polished, sanded, treated and painted all the outer surfaces. I even replaced the drawer-pull hardware and cleanly patched the visible old holes. Everything came out great… except… I only painted the fronts of the drawers so when you open them, the occasional sloppy paint drip line shows. It’s been over seven years and I never had it in me to go back and finish the part I didn’t even realize I had to do.
So batten down the hatches, hide the children and keep the fire department’s number handy, because this weekend I’m planning on putting on my Mr. Fixit hat again and tackling a few minor projects around the house. I am aware of the golden rule of home repair, however long you initially think the project will take, assume it will actually last three times longer. So I plan on starting off easy with the kitchen drawer that sticks than almost falls out of its slot due to a busted sliding mechanism.
Now I have never done this particular repair before, so what I think will be easy could spiral into something ugly pretty fast. I have this mental image of the contents of all the kitchen cabinets scattered on every flat surface and me standing in the middle with a charred smoking head looking like Wyle E Coyote after one of his Acme bombs prematurely exploded in his own hands.
The truth is I don’t even know if the broken part is actually even called a ‘sliding mechanism’ but saying that with a confident authority in my voice sure makes it sound like I know what I’m talking about. That’s half the battle, right? It’s better than saying the slidey thingamabob under the drawer is disconnected from the whoosamawatz and might be completely busticated.
Luckily if this goes bad there are lots of educational fix-it yourself videos on-line and two hardware stores very close by. And if things go really REALLY bad, well…my wife has been dropping hints about wanting to change the cabinet fronts. So at least I have a backup plan.