Monday, September 02, 2013

How To Turn Your Spare Bedroom Into A Walk-In Closet, in 437 Easy Steps (PART FOUR!)

Part 1 is herepart 2 is right here. AND part 3 is right HERE

INTERLUDE: Q&A WITH THE WRITER/SHELF-BUILDER:

I want to assure you, the reader, that there IS, in fact, a Walk-In Closet at the end of this story. I HOPE. I am about 1/3 done with the project, which I work on only on Sundays because there are only so many days I'm willing to jab myself in the thumb with a Phillips-head screwdriver for Sweetie.

But there IS a Walk-In closet there, and it's neither a metaphorical closet ("The closet was in you all along!") nor a cop-out like that time that Grover was all worried that there was a monster at the end of the book and he did everything he could to keep me, the reader, from getting to the end of the book, even building a brick wall across the page only to have me, a little boy!, pull the wall completely down with a casual flick of my wrist as I turned the page!

Yes, Grover, I did know that I was very strong.

This story did not originally start out as a lengthy multipart epic involving ERs and a blueberry pie thta I baked yesterday after we had to run to the store to get more paint, at which point we decided that the shelves would not all be blue, but at least one would be red because Mr Bunches wanted to get red paint and one would be orange because I said that Mr F got to pick a color, too, and when I asked him what color he wanted to paint a shelf, Mr F didn't respond, so Mr Bunches answered "orange" for him.

That is how democracy works.

But as an entremet, which is a new word I just looked up and it's French for between courses, I decided to do a little Q&A with you, the reader, featuring questions that I imagine people would ask me about this project if anyone ever asked me any questions about this project.  Which people probably have but if they did I missed it in the comments, because that is how the Internet works:

A.  Someone, maybe even me!, writes a post about something, like, say, a dream we had where we were searching for a kid who might have been a terrorist but the government was trying to stop us from getting to the waterpark, I don't know, it's hazy now but I liked the story as it was developing and was sad to wake up.

B.  Someone -- possibly you!-- takes that post and draws out a side comment, like how in the dream maybe I saw a person cooking french fries, and in your comments you mention that you used to like french fries but now have a heart condition.  If you do! Don't lie in the comments, please. That's rude.

C.  Someone -- hopefully me -- then reads your comment and leaves a response that was intended to redirect you to the point of the post, only that someone gets distracted and begins to talk about this one time he was raking the leaves.

D.  A spambot tells us all to buy hair conditioner and porn.

Luckily for me, my mind moves in random circles: as Liz pointed out yesterday, I am the King of the Tangents, a title I have always taken very seriously even though I only learned I'd been given it yesterday.  And luckily for you, I'm more than able to make up fictional questions about this project and answer them, giving ACTUAL TIPS FOR YOU, THE HOME CRAFTSMAN in the process.

Let's get to those questions!

Q: Didn't you mean home craftsPERSON? Women can do projects, you know.

A:  Recently, Dinosaur Comics did a whole strip on what would be a way better way to end words than with "-ter" or "-tress".  I cannot find that comic strip this morning, and I spent an entire 10 seconds searching through the archive of that comic, so I'm sorry I let you down, society.

Q: What tools do you actually have in your toolbox/workbench area of your garage?

A:  That is a difficult question to answer, in that my "system" for keeping my tools places has several different objectives, and also it is not a "system" in any of the accepted meanings of that word.

GOAL ONE of my tool system is to keep the boys from getting to the more dangerous ones, which is all tools.  I have tools that include a soldering iron, several box cutters (SO TABOO NOW), a saw, and many many little drill bits from an electric drill that I never use because it's never charged up and which I never charge because when charged it is actually less efficient than when it is simply a dead piece of metal.  To keep those various dangerous tools out of the boys' hands, no matter what, I put them as high up in storage as I can.  So at any time, you will find tools about 3' above head height in our house.  We keep screwdrivers and pliers and this really awesome thing I have that's sort of a pliers/shears/hammer -- honestly, it looks lethal -- up on top of cabinets or up on the metal storage container that came with the house.

GOAL TWO is not to have to take my tools back after I use them.  Did you ever have to use a screwdriver for something because a butter knife was not getting the job done, and you went looking around atop the kitchen cabinets and the metal box and the workbench and your bedroom dresser and your car's glove compartment until you finally found the screwdriver in your lunchbox, and then you used it for whatever you were going to use it for (killing a spider) and then you had to take it all the way back to where it belongs, which is downstairs, which is far away and your pizza is getting cold?  So you put the screwdriver 'away', meaning 'someplace I can't see it right now.'

That is my system.

To answer your question: I own four Phillips-head screwdrivers, three of which I bought last week at the Dollar Store and only one of which I use; I own a flathead screwdriver which is practically useless. NOBODY makes flathead screws anymore.  I own a hammer.  I actually own two hammers but cannot find one.  I own a saw, which we use in yardwork.  I own a toolbox that is also a combination stepladder.  I own a tile-cutter because once I put in tile in our bathroom.  There are probably other tools hidden behind the box of Christmas decorations on the workbench but if so I'm not going to find them because who knows what else is back there?  Maybe raccoons.  Don't tell Sweetie.

Q:  Are you seriously not going to show a picture of that tool?  "Worth a thousand words, etc."

A: FINE.  But it is all the way downstairs, were you not paying attention to that last part?





Q: That is awesome.

A:  Yes. It is.  It is the only tool you would need after an apocalypse.  Which makes it more of an investment, really.

Q:  I couldn't help but noticing that you have a zebra bandage on that thumb.  So you weren't kidding about that injury?

A:  No.  Funny story!  Yesterday, working on shelves 3 and 4 -- all  of them are fully assembled as I write this and merely awaiting painting before being installed next week -- I was screwing one of the braces together and the screwdriver slipped and jabbed right into my thumb right by the nail, REALLY HARD.  It bled quite a bit, actually, but did I stop working? No, probably because I was delirious from blood loss.

It wasn't until later, when I was done with the assembly, that I got the bandage on, and that was only because Mr Bunches saw my injury as I helped him assemble an airplane from his Trio (TM!) blocks.  He went and got me a Band-Aid (TM!) so I (to quote him) "Won't have to go to the hospital," which wasn't really an option because they'd just do an EKG, tell me I'm fat, and send me home.  But I let him bandage it up, and then an hour later, I let Mr F take the bandage off because Mr F does not approve of changing our appearances, even slightly, and about two hours after that I let Mr Bunches put a new one on because Mr Bunches is serious about me not going to the hospital.

Q:  How is that a 'funny' story?

A:  I am using 'funny' in the sense of 'incredibly painful and when did I last get a tetanus shot, does blood come out of jean shorts?'

Q:  Have you gotten any other injuries while doing this project?

A:  No, but Mr Bunches has.  He was playing with the hammer last week, on Sunday One of the project, and I heard him say "Ow!" and I looked up and he was holding his eye with one hand and the hammer with the other, and the first thing I thought was OH MY GOD HE CLAWED OUT HIS EYE because I have seen too many horror movies, and I rushed over there and made him put the hammer down and looked at his eye and saw no blood or bruises or anything so I asked him what happened and he said "Hammer," and then said "I hit my eye," and then pointed at the rock, and eventually I decided that he had been hammering a decorative (?) rock in our yard, and that he'd been leaning in close to it, and that the hammer had rebounded and hit his eye.  When I asked him which part of the hammer had hit his eye, he pointed to the wooden handle, so I made him watch my finger while I moved it around to see if his eye would move around, and I made him count the number of fingers I was holding up, both of which are probably tests for concussions and not eye injuries.

"Are you okay?" I asked him, then and he nodded.

"I will go on playing," he said, in a brave, but quavery-sort-of-crying voice, so I gave him a hug and said he could go on playing and didn't have to go inside where Mr F and Mommy were not working on tools, and he went and threw the hammer in the yard, correctly blaming the tool, not the craftsman.

Later on, he decided that he would hammer some nails into a board, if I got the nails started, and he did that all right.

That's it for this time!  

Q: Didn't you promise 'ACTUAL TIPS FOR...'

A: Get her out of here.


5 comments:

Andrew Leon said...

I got in trouble several times for laughing while reading this post. The last time, my wife said, "What? Briane?" But I was laughing too hard and could only nod.

I, also, do not have the required number of tools for a middle-aged male in our society.
I'm okay with that.

You have won a sort of prize. Except it's not really a prize and has no monetary value.

Liz A. said...

I've never had a problem with the term "craftsman". Remember, woman ends with M-A-N, so I consider myself part of that, even though the only crafts I can claim to do have yarn somewhere in them.

Maurice Mitchell said...

"The closet was in you all along!" ROFL I don't think anyone really has a "system" for organizing tools that works, but as long as you know where it is, it works for you.

Briane P said...

Andrew: More chocolates! I miss them.

Liz: There is a word for knitters: "Tricoteuse." Although it specifically applied to women who knit through executions at the guillotine. (Presumably they were not the ones being executed.)

Maurice: Actually, it doesn't work so much for me, but being more organized requires investment in the NOW. Present Me prefers to make Future Me pay that price. And Future Me can never get back at Present Me, can he? Not until time travel is invented. When we get around to perfecting that, forget changing history: we will all be too busy going back to ask out that girl in high school and/or telling our Past Selves not to be so stupid and lazy and go ahead and invent a computer or something, because our Future Selves want Ferraris.

Andrew Leon said...

You never told me how you liked the other ones after you got over the spicy one.
But chocolates are not your prize. :P
This time.