Sunday, 18 November 2012


If you are remotely competent with tools you are welcome to stay for the laughs but if reading about total ineptitude raises your blood pressure I would advise caution.

I have three tool kits. You're impressed I can tell.

The first I keep in the house. This contains the absolute basics such as screwdrivers, tape measure etc. 

The second is in the garage. This has larger items such as pliers, a Stanley knife and my magic hammer. I call it 'magic' because it usually finishes off the jobs which other tools cannot accomplish, at least when wielded by me.

The third is in the garage too - somewhere or other. It contains tools which I know neither the name nor the function of. It is there so that when someone skilled such as my stepson helps me out and asks whether I have a 'Circumgrade flange toggle' or whatever, I can say 'Probably - take a look in here' as I pass him the lot.

I recently had to fit a draught excluder to the bottom of the front door. I unwrapped it and tried the novel experience of reading the instructions. 'Screw to bottom of door using the four screws supplied' was the gist of it. I was slightly unnerved by the bit about cutting it to fit and crimping the ends of the brushes so they wouldn't unravel but pressed on.

Eureka! It fitted perfectly so no cutting or crimping would be necessary. My wife was going to be impressed on her return from the shops. Clearly this was only going to require tool kit number one. About half an hour later the draught excluder was still not attached. This was because after attempting to screw it in for the period of time forementioned, I had discovered that behind the innocent looking white paint on the door lurked a metal plate.

After a further ten minutes a brain cell awoke and informed me that I possessed a 60-piece rotary drill kit which I had bought about 15 years ago in case I needed it. Boy did I need it now. After only 20 more minutes searching, I found it and began to drill a small hole through the metal plate. At least I would have, except that the 'easily rechargeable' drill had inconveniently lost all its power at some stage over the last 15 years. I put it on charge and went off to practise my darts while I waited.

On my return half an hour later, I first checked the drill's instructions and found that charging took about 5 hours. Actually somewhat longer than that since although I was alone in the house, somebody had switched off the drill charger after I had carefully switched it on. I switched it back on and now had yet another Eureka moment when I found that it worked happily when plugged into the mains. Come to think of it, so do all the other rechargeable items which I possess. Thankful that there were no witnesses to my dimwittedness I began the drilling process. The quick task had taken about an hour and a half so far.

Next I soon found that my rotary drill kit was designed to drill any of 60 different types of hole into nothing more demanding than cheese. Though I suspect that a mature Cheddar would give it a strong challenge.

With a sigh, I went to fetch my magic hammer. I then used it to bang a masonry nail through the four clearly marked places. Just a couple of hours or so after I had started, there sat the draught excluder and in walked my wife. 'That's a neat job' she said with a note of undisguised  surprise. 'Was it
a tricky job?' 

'No problem at all' I replied.

Now you can see why I'm a Don't Do It Yourself enthusiast. 

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