In last week’s column I shared with you my frustrations regarding putting together a piece of unassembled furniture. I have never been much of a handyman, which is why our last fix-it guy charged me $30 an hour — unless I helped him.
Then it was $50 an hour.
The nightstand I worked on, by the way, turned out a bit lopsided. When my alarm clock goes off, it not only rings and vibrates, but it slides off the table top and smacks me in the head. I’ll never be late to an appointment again.
Now that I’m semi-retired, I have decided to try a few projects that I would never have attempted even a few years ago. My first goal was to do some repair work in the guest bathroom. I told my wife about my plans.
“Mary Ellen, I have some exciting news about the toilet.”
“Don’t tell me. You’re going to start putting the seat down?”
I promised I would, but first I needed to find a replacement for the old one, so I headed for Menards.
“I’m looking for a toilet seat.”
“Back of the store, in the center, behind the appliance section. FYI, there’s no lock on the door.”
“No, I don’t want to use one. I want to buy a new seat.”
“Sorry, sir. What kind are you looking for — round or oblong?”
I tried to picture our guests, but they come in so many shapes and sizes, I wasn’t sure what to do. Plus, just thinking about it was making me feel a little creepy. I took a guess and bought an oblong seat, unpacked it as soon as I got home and got to work. I was struggling with getting the bolts tightened, so I called my buddy, John, who knows about stuff like this. (Last year he repaired our microwave oven in 30 seconds; the plug had come out of the wall.) I told John that when I sat down there was more jiggling than there used to be. He reminded me how old I was, so I can’t blame the jiggling on the toilet seat anymore.
When Mary Ellen got home, I bragged about the bathroom renovation, and told her that this week I was going to write my column on the new toilet seat.
“Don’t you think you’d be more comfortable sitting at the computer desk?” she asked.
I called my friend Bob and asked him to stop by so he would have a chance to see my handiwork. When he arrived, I offered him an ice cold beer. But he wasn’t biting ... or drinking.
“I’m way ahead of you, Dick. I ran into Mary Ellen at the drugstore yesterday and she told me you’d probably want me to come over to admire your accomplishment. Your aim is just to get me to use your new facilities, right?”
“Bob, just get in there and worry about your own aim.”
Then Bob — just to drive me crazy — finished his beer and quickly left to go home. I don’t know when anyone else is going to stop by our place. I guess I have to be patient … and will try to sit tight.