My Friends Have Tools
A friend of mine was giving away some fancy power tool the other day. To be honest, I don’t even remember what it was other than some type of saw. I think the word “bench” was in the name as well, but I could be mistaken. I usually am when it comes to tools. Anyway, I was about to say I’d take it, when the thought made even me laugh and I just kept my mouth shut. What would I ever need it for? I don’t build things and for the safety of my family I try never to repair anything, either. When something needs fixed, I call my friends.
Now, I have a few tools; don’t think me totally un-manlike. I even know what most of them are, such as a hammer, flathead screwdriver, and a pair of pliers. I even have needle-nosed pliers, although I have no idea why. I have a broken socket wrench and a wide assortment of sockets with some extensions for those hard to reach places I never try to reach anyway. Those are all tossed into the top of a rusty toolbox along with all of those Allen wrenches you receive whenever you purchase a bookshelf that has to be put together, which by the way, Char assembles for us. I also have a skill saw that my father-in-law bought me for my birthday twenty-four years ago that I have used twice without success. Furthermore, I have a jigsaw that got dropped into a bucket of water and abandoned until a few months later and now it’s covered with algae or mildew or something. I’m not sure which it is, but it’s green and hairy.
Most men I know would have noticed the tool missing and probably had a conniption when they found it. They would have had to take it apart and clean every tiny piece and component. I, on the other hand, just tossed it back on the shelf and left it, which is probably why it resembles a Muppet now.
Tools seem to be one of the many things men enjoy; other men, that is. They know what blades cut what materials and what saws make which cuts. A trip to Home Depot is like watching a porno for them, which explains the concrete floors instead of carpet. It’s easier to clean. My bother-in-law devoted an entire room inside of his home for his tools. He even painted outlines on pegboards so each tool would be returned to its proper home. The Tool Room was cleaner and more organized than my office.
I remember my first set of tools. It was a light blue wooden toolbox with a sampling of basic hardware items. It even had a metal clamp, for which I pinned many bad action figures to the wall with. The tools were also wooden, at least the handles were. They were blue tipped with brown bases and I lost almost all of them the first month I had them. I still have the clamp, ironically enough. I’m not sure what I used them for, but I am sure my dad had high hopes that I would figure them out. Sadly, he was disappointed in the tool department, just like sports with me.
I started out with good intentions, buying tools and placing them neatly in my heavy duty toolbox, but the boys eventually found them. There are several yards now littered with screwdrivers and sockets. The sad part is that I didn’t miss any of them for months, and even then it wasn’t until a friend was helping me do something and asked for a specific tool. If the boys hadn’t lost the tool, then it was rusted over from disuse and neglect. I’m lousy at taking care of the tools I do have. My friends clean theirs after every use. I just toss them haphazardly back in the toolbox, which is just a jumbled mess of miscellaneous survivors.
Luckily my friends have tools, as well as knowledge, or my car would never stay running or ceiling fans get replaced. They even help me hang cabinets on my concrete back porch. Apparently, anchors aren’t just for boats. Who knew?
I really don’t mind lacking in the tool department. It leaves me more room for books and my file folders. My friends supply the tools; I supply the steaks. It seems like an even trade to me. Besides, I wouldn’t know what tools were needed. I do, however, know what a good steak looks like.
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