The other night, son Will, the high-school-junior-to-be, was assisting me with a handyman project. We had to hang two new blinds in our living room windows, after removing the hardware for the old, broken ones. Those with engineering degrees need not apply.
We got this.
One of the blind brackets needed to go in the inside far right corner of the window box, which was problematic because it caused me to use my cordless drill with my left hand, and I am not left-handed, (though Will is. Next time, he gets up on the barstool!) Add in the fact that I had to get the elongated screwdriver drill bit up through a hole in the bottom of the bracket, and it was a hassle, and I was having little success.
So I did what I usually do in such situations, which is to devise a plan ‘B’ on the fly.
In this case, that meant a (seemingly) convoluted maneuver of using a regular screw driver and a dry wall screw to start an extra pilot hole to hold the bracket in place for a moment, then holding it in place with a regular screwdriver. Add in the fact that I was doing this while standing on a bar stool and not a step-ladder, using a sectional couch for occasional balancing purposes…
I glanced back and down at Will and saw his quizzical look as I asked him to hold the drill for a moment. Hence, as I turned back to futz with the new blind bracket,the following conversation.
“Yeah, this little set up probably has my junior high shop teacher rolling over in his grave.”
“You said that about him last fall when we were working on my I.R.P. project.“
“Well, he probably still is.”
“I hope he’s had a chance to stop spinning for a while, get a break.” replied number-one-son, quite dryly.
“Yeah, well, one can hope. Hand me the drill.”
Mr. Clark was my junior high shop teacher, circa 1975; a stereotypical former Marine with a barrel chest and buzz cut and an ‘inside voice’ that could overpower a running band saw. He usually carried a slim, steel ruler with which he was known to whack perceived miscreants on the rear end with – but never while a piece of equipment was running. Safety first, dontchaknow.
As you might presume, Mr. Clark was also a stickler for details and doing things the ‘right’ way. I am quite certain using a barstool instead of a step-ladder would not have been okey-dokey protocol with him. I figure I’ve spun Mr. Clark around enough the past couple of decades that he has permanently scared away all the local moles.
“So do you think he is still spinning, or spinning again?” asked Will, ever-so-chipper, as I exchanged the drill for the second bracket to position, scooting to my left, pivoting on the barstool, and balancing one foot on the back of the other sectional couch.
“I think I have given Mr. Clark enough opportunities that by now he has bored his way out of his grave and is probably encroaching on the neighboring plot. Buzz cut acts like a drill bit.”
“Think he’ll get much farther?” Will said dryly, his implication perfectly clear.
“Nice, dad. Really nice.” Will deadpanned with cocked eyebrow as he passed me the drill.
Okay, that may have been a little excessive, even by my standards. I suppose before I go making pronouncements such as this I should clarify one thing above all others.
Is Mr. Clark even dead?