Nailing it


By Marla Boone

Contributing columnist

When I bought this house, I thought I was just getting a house. An unexpected bonus was the terrific neighbors that came with it. One of my neighbors is an ace mechanic. Not only does he know how to fix his stuff, but he is also always willing to help me fix my stuff. Once I tried for about an hour to put an unwieldy part on an engine. It was heavy, it was awkward, and I was about snookered not to mention dotted with engine oil. He must have heard the swearing because he sort of strolled over and asked if I needed help. I very gratefully handed over the part and he had it in place in less than ten minutes. Plus he fashioned a tool to make it easier next time. And he didn’t get one speck of grease on himself. This makes him godlike in my estimation but still, couldn’t he have pretended to struggle for just a bit to make me feel a little better about myself? Another neighbor has a garden trailer I borrow all the time. He stores it, he puts new tires on it, and I use it. Win, win, win. Down the road lives a man who can repair any electrical device. He actually knows which wire goes where and puts them together without getting shocked or blowing circuits. Just a little farther down is another enormously talented guy. He has tackled home improvements that really are, you know, improvements. He, too, is very generous with his time. One of the best things about him, though, is the comic relief he provides.

Because he is so handy with projects, he set out to insulate and finish his workshop. The guy likes his music so he always has his phone nearby, playing his favorites. So there he is, up on the ladder, nail gun in hand, the phone safely below him, (don’t want to drop it off the ladder, you know….it’s smart to keep it on the ground. Maybe.) and he is getting into the rhythm of his work. Hold up some wood, nail it, hold up some more wood, nail it, humming right along. There must have been a hitch in the music because the smooth rhythmic sequence became discordant and by discordant I mean he nailed when he should have held and the nail went right through his hand into the stud. His reaction to this unfortunate event has not been recorded but I am willing to bet it was something similar to what I said when I couldn’t get the big heavy part on the big oily engine.

His wife is not home. His dog Bodey, while adorable, is not remotely Lassie-like and cannot go fetch the farmer to haul Timmy out of the well yet again. Being cool under pressure, he realizes both his kids are in the house and they can come rescue dear old dad. All the coolness in the world cannot help him conceive how he is going to get those kids’ attention. The doors are all closed so it does no good at all to yell. Wait! His kids both have phones with them. Ha ha. This is just a little journalistic humor. Of course those kids have phones with them. They’re teenagers. They’re exceptionally nice teenagers, but they’re teenagers. Today’s teenagers have been issued cell phones at birth. All he has to do is call his kids and they will come running. This is the good news. The bad news is, his phone is on the floor and he is on the ladder leaning against the wall. To be more precise, his phone is on the floor and he is on the ladder leaning against the wall to which he is now skewered.

If nothing else, this man is a realist. He is going to have to save himself. He takes a big deep breath and pulls his hand off the nail. You winced right along with me, didn’t you?

The workshop looks great, the hand has healed, the bloodstains have faded off the wood. He now listens to music with the phone firmly in his pocket and is trading Bodey in on a Lassie. Just in case.

Marla Boone resides in Covington and writes for Miami Valley Today

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