Wednesday, June 16, 2010
So: Hardware Store. Enter: the Geek.
One of the regulars is waiting patiently in his reading glasses at the front counter. I stride right up, dig in my computer bag, and pull out the bolt. It does have screwdriver scratch marks on it, which always make me squirm. The screwdriver, to this lefty, is like Waterloo.
"I think the bolt is stripped, so I'd like two like this one."
He looks at it and carefully not at me. "No, see, it's a locking bolt." He shows me that there's nothing wrong with it, and the cap keeps it from screwing down all the way. He's using the voice of the Patient Teacher.
"Well, darn," I say. "I'm not bitter about this, but I did tip the guy so he would do it right."
He looks at me with soulful eyes and shakes his head. "Even after a tip." Then he pauses a minute over the outrage of it all.
"What you need is a wrench and a screwdriver. You hold one and turn the other."
I had done this before, but obviously not well--with a pliers and a tiny flathead screwdriver.
"Okay, I have a wrench. I bought it here. I know just what you mean."
But no, he takes a wrench out of the package. He takes the price tag off of the universal screwdriver so it will fit flat-head side out. Then he demonstrates. He looks at me expectantly.
"Okay, I can do that," I said. "I need a new screwdriver though. I can't find my bigger flathead one."
He shakes his head. I get the Soulful Look again.
"You know what will happen if you buy one."
I look at him. "I'll find the old one, right."
He nods, sympathetically. 'It's just the way of the world."
I ask, and the screwdriver is $5.99. He gives me a warning look.
"Be sure and take the price tag off like I did, or the shaft won't fit in the socket."
"Okay, I'll do that."
I hand the onlooking cashier my debit card. But it's self-swipe. The cashier hands it back to me.
"Don't worry, just read the screen," he says. "It has all the instructions you need."
The last time I wrote about the hardware store, I was gently patted on the head while buying the aforementioned wrench. I thought it was so funny that I wrote about it here.
Now maybe you think, as a person who believes in equal opportunity for women, that I would be offended by these condescensions. I figure it's a win-win. We enjoyed the encounter. He sold a screwdriver, and my bedframe is all right and tight. I also got a lesson on how to plaster an outside corner. Ah, owing to many sculpture lessons, I know how to do that too. I just don't know which plaster to get.
Everything's good. Miss Ellen and I even had an hour of quality time.
Refs: This t-shirt art is from teepay.com, which looks closed. My shirt was from threadless.com They're sold out. I may be the last Geek in the Universe with a t-shirt to prove it.