I am the handy man in our house. Here are some of the axioms I use when faced with a repair job. I always begin with this litany of action steps. It is truly amazing how many repairs can be accomplished using this as the launching pad. (1) Replace the battery, (2) Replace the bulb, (3) Check the fuse box and replace or reset as needed, (4) Fill the tank, (5) Turn the switch to on, (6) Plug it in, (7) Paint over it, (8) Think about it for a couple of days and try again.
I often need a screwdriver and one is not readily available so I use a dime or a knife. That is why there are many bent dimes in the country. Also when the knife blade breaks it can be used for many other uses: getting that last bit of jelly out of the jar and scraping mold off the cheese and the corner of the meat and cheese drawer of the refrigerator.
When I was working my day job and needed a document it was impossible for me to locate it with people watching. So I would ask them to leave and before they got two feet down the hall the document would secretly move into my hand. I can't explain it but if people watched I never found it. So I gently ask the audience to leave me alone when the heat is on to repair.
Two avenues of assistance open if I am working alone: praying and cursing. Success comes marching down the road when they are used judiciously. They both help in their own way. Don't ask me to explain it.
For some reason I have my best success if I work in the kitchen. I can easily grab a knife for a screwdriver or a spoon to dip sealant. It is usually warm and dry in there. The water fountain is there and don't forget the refrigerator. I have spent some of my most effective thinking and troubled shooting while eating a baloney/cheese/peanut butter/jelly sandwich with a glass of milk.
Don't overlook this most important axiom: If it is electronic and has a mother board and is run by batteries, get a new one. I don't even pretend that I have any clue about how to fix it. Sometimes I open it up and look studious with corduroy brow, chin on my hand and then announce, "It cannot be repaired." At least I tried or looked as if I tried.
Blame the wife. Sometimes BW will ask me to fix something and in reality I am incapable. Not willing to lose face I ask, "What did you do to this whimmy diddle?" "I don't know; it just quit working. I was using it a few minutes ago, now nothing." This is my opening; opportunity thunders in; "Well, I don't know what you did to it but it can't be fixed." Works every time.
Golden Rule of Repairmen everywhere: "If it can be put off until tomorrow, do it."
My website Larryvandeventer.com - Read about my books, buy them, and my columns. Larry Vandeventer grew up North of Calvertville on a farm and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State U. -- four times. He can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or 317-839-7656.