So it turns out I’m not “handy” – get your minds out of the gutter people, I’m talking about using power tools here (I SAID get your minds out of the gutter). So, while I’ve had inklings over the years that I’m not…handily inclined, the full extent of my incompetence became shockingly obvious over the weekend.
You see, I recently got around to having a Van Gogh print I’d bought when I was in Europe framed (I love Van Gogh). It looked great – and it should have considering how much it costs to have something professionally framed nowadays (what a rip-off). Anyway, about 2 weeks ago I finally hung the little fucker up; no problem so far. Then, on Sunday, I learned the hard way that I must have done something wrong in the hanging (admittedly not a complicated thing to do – for most people). Horribly, horribly wrong.
This truth became clear to me when the whole kit and caboodle came crashing down. For no discernible reason (besides my obvious incompetence that is). Glass everywhere. Loud noise – check. Nice new scar on my wooden floor – check. $150 framing cost down the drain – check. Another example of my inability to do any home repair work effectively – check. I…am…useless.
Want some other examples of why I should not be allowed near any tools (power or otherwise)? Okay, let’s go back to my Ikea experience after graduating from college. Like a lot of people, when I graduated from college and got my first non-furnished apartment, I made a trip to Ikea. Ikea means cheap furniture that (fuck) you have to assemble yourself. BUT, my mother was helping me put everything together – she loves doing shit like that; it would have been nice if she’d passed that particular gene onto me – so I was feeling pretty confident. She was in charge of putting together my dresser, my entertainment center, and my bookshelves. All I had to do was put together my little nightstand. Good plan, right? Wrong.
In the time it took my mother to put together all the aforementioned furniture (correctly), I put together my nightstand (incorrectly – several times). Long story short I tried to put the door for the nightstand on backwards. When it didn’t seem to fit, I got out some nails and just tried to make it fit – but then the door wouldn’t open (surprise, surprise). So I had to tear all the nails out and start again. After a few more tries I finally ended up with a nightstand that looked like it had been through a war – holes everywhere, torn wood everywhere, and more than a few dents from my (erratic) hammering. BUT, I still have the little fucker – I let my cat sharpen her nails on it (it looks like crap anyway) – and I’m damn proud of it (since I did it all by myself), so shut up.
Or what about this story – it really is the piece de resistance (spelling?) of my tales of destruction anyway (we can’t spend time going through all of them after all – think of this post as a cliff notes version if you will): Picture this – I’m in college. In a moment of complete lunacy, I decided (during my senior year – I was way ahead on credits but didn’t want to graduate early) to take a set-building class for the theater department. I guess I thought it would a) be fun, and b) be a good way for me to learn how to use power tools (yeah, I AM a moron).
Anyway, one day I was in class – goofing around as per usual – when I hit the button on the power screwdriver thingamabob I was holding. And…I guess I had forgotten to pull my hair back before class that day. Now for those of you who don’t know me (basically everyone here), I have REALLY long hair. And…um…some of it got caught in the twisty thing on the screwdriver. Like, a huge chunk of the right side of my hair (right above and behind the ear – a very sensitive area I don’t mind telling you).
Now I tried to remain calm once I realized what happened. Huh, I thought. Maybe if I hit the reverse button it will just unwind and release my hair. Good plan. So, I hit the button.
Bad plan. Bad, bad plan. My hair WAS NOT being released. Repeat: My hair was NOT being released. It was still being sucked in. Power tool near my face and skull. Trying not to panic. Trying to remain calm. In rather significant pain.
In that moment I knew I was well and truly fucked, and that the time had come to alert the instructor (oh, the shame) to my predicament. So I called him over, made him aware of the situation, and waited for him to work his magic. His magic (as it turned out), involved him first trying to pry my hair out of the machine one strand at a time. Hell, I could have tried that.
Unfortunately, after a few minutes it became clear that this was a futile task. So, he broke the news to me: He was going to have to cut my hair out of the screwdriver. Oh fuck no, I thought. And in a moment of panic, I hit the power button again. And as I struggled to keep the power tool away from my face, I TORE ALL THE HAIR THAT WAS CAUGHT right out of my head. I honestly think I saw stars at that point. It was…fucking horrible! Never have I felt anything like it. The closest I can come to describing it is to say that it was like getting a bikini wax – in hell.
Everyone (we’d drawn a crowd at that point) stood there for a moment in silence, just staring at the hunk of hair and scalp (yes, scalp) now hanging from the freed screwdriver. Finally the instructor collected himself enough to clear his throat (kind of looking like he was going to throw up), and say, “Well, this is why we ask that everyone with long hair please pull it back before coming to class.”
After that I had to deal with having a bald spot for like a month. I also became the most half-assed student the set-building class had ever seen, and I haven’t used an automatic power tool since (they certainly didn’t let me use one in class after that, that’s for sure – not that I wanted to). Anyway…bygones. So, anyone else have any good stories to add here? I have to run out and see if I can get my Van Gogh reframed – hell, I’m fired, might as well start spending my severance.