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A geezer's guide to household repairs

Posted Wednesday, July 25, 2012, at 3:26 PM

I have only been a member of one union. I am still a member. My union card is metallic and is worn on my left hand, third finger. In foot terms it would be the "One who had no roast beef." I have often wondered why a pig would be eating roast beef anyway. I have never heard of a beef cow eating pork? I call it agricultural courtesy.

Over the years that BW and I have sailed on the Good Ship Vandeventer on the seas of matrimony I have been called upon to be the one who fixes and repairs things. Sometimes my alacrity and sagacity are amazing. Other times the lack thereof is embarrassing. As a result of my prowess in handiness I have developed some guidelines and folded them into a Geezer Guide to household repairs.

First, if it can be put off until tomorrow, put it off. I have a degree from Pro Crastination Junior College. Sleep on it unless it is breakable or wet and sticky. The view tomorrow is often more clear than the one today.

Second, if it is electronic or technological "fuggedaboudit" don't even pick it up except with a flat point shovel. If you touch it with your hand a jolt of energy will impinge your nervous system and label you as a loser. Throw it away after recycling the guts. It is built with obsolescence in the plan.

Next, if it looks level it is level. BW and I have an ongoing disputation about what is level and what is plumb. Most of our arguments about those topics are held while I am holding a piece of furniture or an appliance that weighs six tons while she stands back trying to deduce if it is level or plumb. Hey, you hold this and I will look while gnoshing on a Twinkie.

Screwdrivers come in several configurations the most popular two being plus and minus or as some say regular and Phillips. For some reason I seldom have the correct one for the job at hand. So the first thing to do is use your thumb nail. If you notice a geezer with a Band-Aid on his thumb just know that he tried to turn a screw and broke his nail off in the quick. Now that hurts. Other options include a dime or a silverware knife. If the end of the blade breaks off it will be more effective next time you need a screw driver.

When a repair job rises up from the swamp of necessity and mocks me, I try to engage BW as my assistant or adjutant then if we fail I blame her. Well, if she had more skills the job would be completed quickly and effectively. Besides she always has a nail file or a paper clip to use as a screw driver.

Roofing problems are subjected to the Snuffy Smith philosophy in our house. Snuffy, the epitome of laziness, lived in the Ozarks with his wife Lowezzy and sons Jughead and Tater in cartoons. His philosophy on roof repair was, "If it is raining you can't fix the roof and if it isn't raining you don't need to."

I have much more to say on this topic. Stay tuned.

Larry grew up north of Calvertville on a farm and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State University. He can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or (317) 839-7656. He has published six books.

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