Snapshots from Green Victoria (tedwords) wrote,
Snapshots from Green Victoria

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The tale of one good screw.

I may not have mentioned this before, but when I try to play the handyman around my house or apartment, I'm definitely swimming against the tide in my gene pool.

I don't know what it is. Perhaps it's our Greek heritage. Perhaps I'd have better luck crafting plaster of Paris busts of the Greek pantheon and then setting them up outside my house as a shrine to Athena. Maybe I'd be a natural when it comes to herding sheep. I'm certainly not in the league with the goddess Josie, who, in addition to having a mean reputation as the Cleaning Nazi, can also fix your plumbing, rework your electrical circuitry, and also kill a mouse at three o'clock in the morning with only a dustpan in her hand. And topless, to boot.

Whatever the reason, I can at least take some small comfort in knowing that I'm at least one level above the skill set of my father, a man for whom the term "manual dexterity" could just as well be a sexy Hispanic backup dancer in Celene Dion's Vegas show. I remember one time, when I was a kid, one of the pipes in the cellar sprung a leak. Dad's solution was to wrap masking tape around the pipe. He didn't turn the water off or anything else. He just...taped.

I remember the plumber coming in to fix the leak, and my Mom escorting him to the scene of the crime. He kind of smirked and said, "Gee, ma'am, your husband's a real Mr. Fix-It, isn't he?"

My aptitude around the house has really been put to the test with this move to the apartment, and while I'm trying my best, let me tell you...

It doesn't come naturally. There's probably no better example of this than the bed that I'm now sitting upon Indian style, as I type this entry. I can't tell you how excited I am that five minutes ago, I was able to leap onto the bed without a care in the world. Believe me, it's been a long time coming.

I purchased this bed in September from Warehouse Outlet. I had gone there a few times before to scope things out, and finally dragged Josie with me, to make certain that I was making the right choice. She liked it, and so I ordered the box spring mattress and the headboard. "That's all I need, right?" I asked the clerk behind the counter. She nodded and went back to ringing up my order.

It wasn't until I received the delivery the following week that I learned that the frame was not included in the purchase. What's a bed without a frame? I called the deliveryman back, suspecting that some mistake had been made. "No, no mistake," he replied, from a crackling cell phone. "That's what you ordered. Frames don't come with the purchase."

"I wish the girl at the counter had told me that!" I fumed. "I would have gladly paid the extra thirty dollars."

"Not my department, man" he replied. "You'll need to go back and talk to the manager."

Which I did, three days later. The manager was a nice enough guy, and after hearing my story, said he'd give me a frame at no extra cost. "However, we're all out right now," he said. "Can you come back Saturday?"

Well, I went back Monday night, and returned home later that evening with a frame. I moved my mattresses, which had been holding up the headboard, and eagerly started to put it together. It was easy, and probably took less than ten minutes, until I moved it up against the headboard and realized one thing.

There was no way to connect the two.

WTF? Nope, absolutely no way. I had been expected a hook and groove kind of construction, but this frame had less hooks and grooves in it than Pat Boone trying to sing James Brown.

Reluctantly, I made my way back to the store.

"The frame doesn't connect to the headboard," I explained. "Why don't you sell a frame that connects to the headboard?"

The sales clerk sighed, grabbed my hand, and walked me over to a bed that was similar to my own. She lifted up the sheets and pointed to the display headboard. "See?" she said. "With your headboard, you need to screw it in. Just go to any hardware store and buy some nuts and bolts, and you should be all set."

Which I did, on the way home. But when I arrived home, nut laden, I discovered, to my dismay, that the full size bed that I had purchased did not line up with the slots in the headboard. They were too wide. I would have to forage for a screw and then attach it to the headboard.

You'd think that would be an easy task, wouldn't you? Well, perhaps for the average guy, but me, I'm way above average, particularly when it comes to making the simple complex. Let me tell you, these past three weeks I've taken the mattresses off the bed at least four times, trying to get the right screw to fit snugly against the headboard. Each time, the screw was either too wide, or the head was not wide enough. Or I had forgotten to bring the screw gun to the apartment. In any event, during this entire time, that headboard has been resting against the frame, making a loud banging noise every time I sat on the bed, or moved around, or passed gas, or er, ah, um...whatever.

But not any more. Today, like Prince Charming finding Cinderella's foot to fit the glass slipper, I finally came across screws that were wide enough, but short enough, but thin enough, to screw into the headboard and still maintain their hold on the frame. And now, I am proud to report, I can jump onto my bed with all the force and abandon that I desire, without hearing things go bump in the night.

I tell you, I'm just a chip off the old block.

Anyone want me to build an addition?
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