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Monday, May 18, 2009

The DIY Revolution

The DIY Revolution has come. And it officially suckles my balls.

Thanks, Bob Villa, Norm, and all you other smug, competent, flannel-shirt-wearing bastards.

Stores like Home Depot rejoice in the regained American pride of doing tasks and chores with nothing but a little of your own ingenuity, time, and elbow grease. Lowes sling its arms around our shoulders in a very chummy, cloying way and say, "Let's build something together." Hmm... let's not. Lowes, why don't you go build something with my independent general contractor?

I want to be all DIY-y, but I'm just not sure I'm cut out for that kind of lifestyle. Most toolbelts just don't stay up around my pointy hips.

You see, you never know what kind of a homeowner you're going to be until you are one. When you're a tenant, you call the landlord for every little thing that goes wrong, because that's what your ridiculous rent entitles you to do. That's what you, as a tenant, are programmed to do. You had that motherfucker on speed-dial, back when there was such a thing. You called him when the faucet leaked, or it didn't. You called him when the windows were too tight to close, or open. You called him when the lock was busted or the mold poked through the paint. You called him when you found the mouse floating face-down in the toilet and when you found the pencil drawing of a slightly deformed male genitalia on the closet wall.

You called him, and it was good.

Now that you own a house, there is no landlord. There is just a big, ookie bank. And they won't come fix your clogged drains, even if you call them and ask nicely.

This weekend, I DIY'd our hedges, and, less successfully, replaced a missing piece of wood cabinetry in our kitchen. Halfway through the cabinetry debacle, almost in tears, I pined ruefully for almost any one of the landlords from my younger, more carefree days.

"It's a poor carpenter who blames his tools," someone said to me, on a totally unrelated subject.

"Hey! I just did that this weekend," I replied, entertained by the coincidence.

He looked at me with disapproval.

"Well, there you go."

See? He knows I'm basically good for nothing. And he doesn't even know the half of it.

I tried to replace that piece of wood in the kitchen for almost an hour-and-a-half. I was up on the counter, on my knees, flakes and shards of wood falling in my hair and in my eyes, crouched like a melting pretzel, my back up against the double oven fidgeting with screws that were getting stripped, switching back and forth between a screw gun and a drill bit-- both of which I blamed for my abysmal failure.

I guess my friend who made that comment about blaming your tools is right. I mean, don't guys who can't get it up blame their tools?

My DIY misery really approximated impotence. I was so angry at myself for not being able to perform a simple rudimentary task that people have been doing for eons (screwing fucking brackets into pieces of wood). I mean, I realize that being Jewish is a distinct handicap in these situations-- we as a people haven't assembled anything ourselves since the pyramids-- but I wanted desperately to rise above the stereotypes and the genetic disposition to succeed, mostly so my wife wouldn't think she was married to the human equivalent of a cup of Jell-o.

I ultimately gave up. The piece of wood, instead of being held together with 16 screws and four brackets is now gingerly and tenuously clinging to its base by two brackets and five screws, two of them half in.

Like most things I do in life, it's good enough.

The hedges, though... The hedges look fucking great.


  1. Sucks for you. Know what you need? Boobs. Yep, I said it. I don't have to nail stuff or work on wood cabinet things, or even DIY my hedges (ooh- wait. i am responsible for one and only one hedge, and as long as i have some talcum powder and aloe aftershave lotion for sensitive skin, i can DIY all day long), or even change light bulbs! Why? Boobs. That's why.

    Because even if I *should* have to DIY? I stretch, put my hands up over my head and say "pretty please"....

    Boobs. Gotta love em.

  2. Yeah....

    Unlike most typically-developing American families these days, where the husband has a sweet set of bitchtits to call his own, Mrs. Apron wears the ta-tas in our relationship.

  3. Oh Mr. Apron, way to bring the lols.

    "Like most things I do in life, it's good enough."

    Is it terribly sad that this is my life philosophy as well? No? Good.

    My DIY experience is to buy the books and materials, stare at them fondly for awhile, and then pack them away to find years down the road.

    I like to think I'm a crafty person, but the lack of crafts screams otherwise.

    Great blog, I guess I'll have to add you to the ol' Google Reader. :)

  4. Birdykins-- thanks for joining the mayhem. I'm glad you like to think of yourself as a crafty person, even though evidence suggests otherwise.

    I like to think of myself as incompetent, and there's ample proof, and wood shards, in my pudding.

  5. See? on days like this, I tell you, a beer would do you wonders.

    And given the amount of beer, you may have found yourself peeking at that wood the next day and seeing that your screw pattern eerily resembled a smiley face.

    Either a beer or a blunt. Your people have endured enough persecution. Its time to party.

  6. "...when you found the pencil drawing of a slightly deformed male genitalia on the closet wall."

    This sounds wayyy too specific to be made up.


    How were they deformed?

  7. At least the hedges look great...

    I'm totally the same way. Thank God The Mister knows what to do some of the time. Because I'd be a mess by myself.

  8. When you write stuff like this I want to pack up my tools and kids and drive the 6 hours it would take me to get to Philly and do it for you. and then call you a girl's name. repeatedly.


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