Thursday, January 7, 2010

Friday Fiction for January 8, 2010

This first Friday Fiction of 2010 is hosted by Sara (or “Sawa”, as many call her) on her Fiction Fusion blog. If you weren’t there first, make sure you go there next!

This week’s submission is a little humorous piece I wrote back around this time in 2001. I thought I had lost it, but recently found a print copy I made of it. Unfortunately, the print managed to cut-off the last few words of each line, so I needed to retype it, and reinsert the missing words based on context. Looking at it now, I can see some problems with the writing mechanics, though the first person monologue style tends to make those more acceptable. The point, however, is to just sit back and enjoy. I had fun writing it, and most of those who read it way back when had fun reading it. I hope you do as well.

Home Improvement

Well, gang, I don’t know how all of you spent your holiday break, but I spent quite a bit of mine working on remodeling the kitchen. I’ve only been planning on doing so since we moved into this place something like five years ago. This year, I finally broke down, bit the bullet, and got to work on it.

The tough part about things like this is that, even if the kitchen is ugly and ancient, if it’s working, you don’t want to mess with things. However, there is something about doing jobs like this that we guys secretly anticipate – going to the home improvement store. In our case, Home Depot.

Now, for most women, going to Home Depot is about as exciting as watching grass grow. Sure, they like it if they’re going along to pick out paint colors, or tile patterns, or something like that, but generally, for them it’s like clothes shopping for us guys. “Let’s get in, get what we need, and get out.” Home Depot is different for guys, though. It’s a giant toy warehouse just calling to us. We get the urge to grunt like Tim Allen as we drool over power tools and the potential projects we could tackle with them. Hoooo yah, grunt grunt grunt.

This is another difference between guys and gals. If you buy the lady in your life a more powerful vacuum cleaner, she is typically less than thrilled. She sees it as just something that she has to work with. But if she buys us a more powerful circular saw with the Piranha blade and super blade brake, we see it as a new toy that is just begging to be used. We look for the first available piece of wood that isn’t supporting the roof. Yeah, we’ll claim that we’re “working hard” with it. Still, ripping through a sheet of plywood with a screaming saw blade just speaks to something deep inside of us. Give us a toy that we can pretend to be working with, and you’ll likely believe us. Hoooo yah, workin’ hard out here, grunt grunt. Yep, more cuts to make.

But I digress. The problem with jobs like this, though, is that we do have to go to Home Depot, and for most of us, the budget does not support the desire for the toys that we will see there. As we wander around the store aimlessly, gathering the necessary supplies, we will be continually drawn to the tool section, where from one shoulder, a little “handyman” voice will tell us how much easier the job will be if we buy the new Sawzall with the variable speed motor. We will rationalize that the money spent will be recovered in time saved on this job, and the Sawzall will be very useful in future jobs. That little Handyman voice can be very persuasive.

On our other shoulder, though, sits the Accountant. He’s a dweeb – doesn’t know a Sawzall from a drill press, and would likely catch his tie in either one. The only thing he drools over is a new calculator, which is why it’s dangerous to go to the electronics department, too, because the Handyman will also agree, since the calculator can be used to figure out how much wood we’re going to need for that next big project. Anyway, the Accountant reminds us just how low the balance in the checkbook is at this very moment, and how we’ve only budgeted enough for this project’s materials, and NOT new tools. So, much to the chagrin of the Handyman, we reluctantly head for the check-out lanes without a new Sawzall (though we may need to make a few more strolls past the Sawzall display before we finally convince ourselves that the Accountant is right).

Once home again, we begin our task of tearing out fifty year old walls, disturbing dust that likely contains the remains of an Egyptian mummy, all while listening to the Handyman remind us of how much faster this project would go if we had a Sawzall. We wield the hammer, catsclaw, and circular saw in a fury of destructive power, all while our lady apologizes for causing us so much work. At this point, the Handyman suggests that this would be a great time to mention the Sawzall to her, and how much easier it would make all this work (that really feels like playing to us). The Accountant, fortunately, is coughing and gasping from the dust, and cannot really offer any objections.

Like any job, this one takes about three times longer than we figured from the start. Once you begin such a project, you find the little things you hadn’t counted on, which add a whole bunch of extra time to the job. Tomorrow, it’s back to the old Bomb Factory, but after work, it’s back to the kitchen.

And with any luck, that little Accountant guy will trip over the circular saw cord and drown in a can of paint.

You know, I could have saved him if I had a Sawzall…


Sara Harricharan said...

LOL!!!! I can relate to this--we've been fixing the house from some storms in the area (or will be, lol, at the rate we're taking 'our' time about it, I have no idea) the trips to Home Depot are exactly as you have described. ^_^ Hilarious tale--glad you found a hard copy and didn't lose this forever.

Catrina Bradley said...

I'm an odd-ball for a woman, I guess. I adore Home Depot. And just let me get my hands on that Sawsall...

I saw no problems, technical or otherwise. Enjoyed every minute. :)

BethL said...

I had to smile at the "giant toy warehouse" and the "powerful circular saw with the Piranha blade". Enjoyed you creativity here. (my daughter works at a Lowe's -- and loves it) :)