Friday, April 30, 2010

Miss Ellen Bops w/o Direction, & No Wonder

My Toolbox
I needed a Wrench. Swear I used to have a whole darn set.
But that was before my Mom reorganized my tools Her Way. Her way is to get rid of the case that sorts drill bits by size, and throw them all in the Tupperware you usually use for celery sticks.

"You have plenty of Tupperware," she said. "Hmm. Let me try this one."
I don't have a lot of Tupperware. Furthermore, I don't want to buy any Tupperware.

She took socks and cut off the feet, then twisted them around to keep my extension cords nicely untangled..

"Mom, couldn't we just use a twist tie?"
"No, this will work. You'll see."
"That was a perfectly good sock, you know."

She does this for a living--use tools, I mean. She's actually really good--measure twice, cut once, careful on the job, everything. But I don't see how this works. It doesn't work for me.

Miss Ellen, Miss-Directed
So, I need a Wrench. Miss Ellen's handlebars are suddenly headed West when I want to go North. It is possible to steer like this, but only to Eventual Disaster.

Our HotWind Tax Dollars Are At Work, along with the Federal Re-Build America Act, re-doing the streets in my neighborhood. So far they have sliced a lot of pavement and laid down a lot of metal sheets on the road, then torn up the sidewalks and put in fancy brick stripes and granite curbing. They look great. When this project is done, no doubt I will be very pleased. But there's a lot of gravel and Pitfalls now, and every time Miss Ellen swerves to avoid one-----

-------her handlebars are suddenly headed SouthEast when I want to go West.

She was Always a loose cannon. Now she's a loose cannon with a loose nut, and I don't mean me.

I took Miss Ellen back to a place where direction is not so important, i.e. my living room. I tore up my closet for a nonexistent wrench. Finally I proceeded on half-finished state-of-the-art sidewalks to the neighborhood hardware store. I had a tracing of the nut and was measuring wrenches against it.

The guy behind the counter is a short, wiry caramel-colored man with a grey Afro hairstyle and a grey plaid flannel shirt. He's worked there forever.
"Why don't you get an adjustable wrench?"
"Sounds good."
"Right behind you," he points out. "Look up, above your eye level."

I pick a small one I can leave in my bag. "I've been needing a weapon, too," I tell the hardware guy.
He pokers up. "Need a bigger one then."
"I'm not going to hit anybody with it particularly," I tell him back. "I'm going to sling the bag."
"Yeah, that'll work," he says, still straight-faced. "Like David and Goliath. A course, I got a pipe wrench for $29.95 if you think about it." He hands me the receipt. "Come back anytime."

He probably thinks I am one of those candidates for a floral-print screwdriver. Hah! That is completely untrue.

Anyway, one of Miss Ellen's nuts is all right and tight. The other one still needs some adjustments.


Momma Fargo said...

You write so well. Thoroughly enjoyed all that! On a side note...Me and tools are like oil and water. LOL.

Unknown said...

My father made each of us (Ginger and I) a toolbox full of all the "important" cant live without tools when we first moved out. I still have it. =)

I'm glad miss ellen is all better!

The Bug said...

I was going to argue with you that you're not a nut - but, really, you are. In the nicest possbile way. :)

Ann T. said...

Dear Momma Fargo,
That is a compliment of the highest order! Thank you!
Tools are okay, but I am still a little afraid of Power Saws.

Ann T.

Dear peedee,
I got a toolbox when I left home too. I still have two of the six screwdrivers, but I have moved too dang many times.
Have a great weekend, lady,
Ann T.

Dear The Bug,
I have not been able to access my inner zanity for awhile, it's good to hear that it's back and that it's nice!
Have a good weekend, thank you!
Ann T.

The Observer said...

Ann T:
I love the hardware store! While it's a chain, Ace Hardware is a reasonable size and has good help. I found the fence hinges I was looking for there yesterday, not at Large Home Improvement Store (comes in orange and blue!). Sounds like your clerk was a winner.

As for tools, my house eats them. When I move/die, there will be found at least 3 sets of screwdrivers and 3 hammers.

Scariest power tool I own: My small electric chain saw. Makes me respect the tree guys, who run around with huge chain saws even more.

Could be a series: Adventures in Transportation Repair and Maintaince.

The Observer

Edith Bunker said...

I bought one of those cheap pressed wood cabinets for my office. I knew it was not going to be fancy but it was the only one I could find that had wheels. Well.
Putting that GD piece of s**t together was easily the most time consuming portion of my entire office move. Two trips to Ace were required because there were missing screws. Despite ANOTHER run for a smaller screwdriver I still couldn't get the stupid drawers to slide properly. And it was purchased by mail order, so I can't even look forward to the gratification of a huffy return.
I don't know what this has to do with your wrench, but I guess tools are involved.
Does that sock/extension cord thing work?

Ann T. said...

Dear Mrs. Bunker,
I also hate those g-d pieces of sh*t. Got rid of every blasted one.

Does this mean you are MOVED??? This is good news if true. I will send my Tuesday letter early, so that you may enjoy your NEW Office unimpeded.

The sock thing works. Of course the two pairs of socks became two mateless socks, talk about the sh*t word, but she is my MA.

Good luck with that freaking return, never fun, at all,
Ann T.

Ann T. said...

Dear The Observer,
I also love the hardware store. I never thought about the house eating tools--I thought it was MY fault!

I think a chain saw would scare me Completely. However, consider all that brush as thickets of injustice, laugh like a maniac, and TAKE THEM DOWN.

LOL,pretending works,
Ann T.

Bob G. said...

On my bicycle (let's name her after the maufacturer...MISS KABUKI), I have a behind the seat "pouch/sack/carry-all"...a whatever place to stash things.

In it, I always carry a spare inner tube ('cause we all know the TIRES never really blow out), and a small adjustable wrench, a valve tool, a small screwdriver, and above all, the bikers "best friend"...a little thing called a BONE WRENCH!
Add a patch kit and a frame-mounted pump, and there's NO PLACE you'll find yourself stranded...!

Semper Paratus!

Ann T. said...

Dear Bob,
So Miss Kabuki also has a go-bag! I am writing this down and going to the store.

Thank you! Miss Ellen says for me to hurry, the wench. She also says hello.

Ann T.