There’s something very satisfying about a new tool. It’s a very Man thing, I know but a new tool elicits an urge to be constructive, to do useful things occasioning the adulation of wives, girlfriends and others hopelessly inept when it comes to fixing things.
If ever you are stuck for a gift idea for a man (or a woman who wears sensible shoes), nip down to Halfords and buy a tool, any tool, so long as it is heavy and can be fondled. If it has ‘Chrome Vanadium’ embossed along its length, so much the better, Chrome Vanadium is to men as Agarwood massage oil is to women. No man could resist owning a 10" Chrome Vanadium adjustable King Dick, and a lot of women are impressed with what a man can do with one.The shop boy tapped on the door the night before last (finally, he has learnt to fear the consequences of just walking in) and explained that the locals were upset because they had no water.
‘Tough’, I said and parked the door sharply back in its frame.
Marcia had been incensed to learn the locals had bust yet another tap, meaning we had to cut the power to the pump and, in so doing, cut our own water supply in order to avoid a flood. I had been all for fixing it immediately.‘Marcia, it’s not their fault,’ I said unexpectedly diseased with a very rare form of compassion, ‘the taps are made in China so are designed to be opened once in their lifetime and only closed again at the end of it. The tap the locals use must have been opened and closed hundreds of times a day, no wonder it failed!’ And off I went to fix it.
I had a brand new replacement tap, my plumber’s tape and a positive mental attitude. What I did not have was my 32mm open ended spanner. Nor could I find my monkey wrench, or even my pipe pliers. I trudged back to the house and asked Marcia if she knew where they might be.
‘I lent them to the plumber last time he was here to do a job on the cottages,’ she said and then, seeing my expression and confirming what I already suspected, ‘he hasn’t brought them back?’ I figured it was a rhetorical question. Of course he hadn’t brought them back, he’d just been paid by Marcia to do a job and had then helped himself to a bonus worth several times as much in the form of my tools.Well, bollocks, I thought, fuck the lot of you thieving bastards, you’re either thick, dishonest or generally both! Fuck the locals and their bleeding water, fuck plumbers, fuck carpenters, fuck bricklayers. I was still only thinking all this, you understand, I have given up reasoning with Marcia in this way, she just gets annoyed.
So that was why the water was still off when the shop boy came to pass on the disquiet of the locals and why I banged the door in his face. I could have done something to ensure a supply at least to the cottage but I was buggered if I should do the ‘African’ thing of never maintaining, never fixing, just waiting until something breaks and then bodging it. They nicked my tools or, in Marcia’s case, just gave them away so fuck 'em, let 'em go thirsty, and dirty. I don’t mind washing out of a bucket hauled from the well and I can survive days on jammy Swiss rolls (no pots to wash up afterwards). Besides, I dug the well, I put up the stand pipe, I replaced pumps as they burnt out and refitted countless new taps and not once has anyone lifted a finger to help.
This morning França interrupted my morning tea to tell me some locals wanted to see me about the water.‘If they want permission to haul water out of the well,’ I said, ‘tell ‘em to bugger off.’ Times like this I really wish I hadn’t trained Charlie not to bite.
‘No, they want to see you,’ he said.‘About water?’
‘Yes. You should come, they want to give you a papagaio.’‘They want to give me a parrot?’ I echoed.
While enjoying drafts of tea I had been splicing manila rope for Alex’s swing, an activity for which shirts are not de rigueur so I pulled a clean one on and followed the lad out to the shop.
An hour later I had the new tap fitted and once again, water flowed out of the desert.
|My present from the locals. They call it a 'parrot' here. |
I guess in this environment it is a little less politically incorrect than Monkey Wrench.
First to comment?ReplyDelete
Call that a comment?Delete
Is this the first time the locals have given you something for nothing? And do I remember you saying some while ago that Marcie reads your blog? I have been known to wield a tool in anger sometimes but believe that when it comes to things like plumbing and electrical works, it's best to get someone in.Delete
My wife asked for and got an electric drill for Christmas a couple of years ago. How could I dare refuse. Is your new wrench a branded item?
Yes; yes; well you are retired; does your wife wear sensible shoes? Yes, it is from the Won Kee Precysion Tool Company..Delete
Nor does she sit upstairs on the bus :)Delete
I then wrote the below!ReplyDelete
or even the above. Have we been passing the time by sneaking a few, by any chance?Delete
I wish. Pissed my self off by curbing a wheel half hour ago. Luckily I already have the car booked in to get all the wheels done tomorrow.Delete
For someone who seems to be taken advantage of on a very regular basis you are extremely accommodating and calm....what's your secret?ReplyDelete
I used to get a lot of help from William Grant and Sons, I guess now I am just inured to it.Delete
One wonders how long it will be before the local plumber gets his hands on your slender blue tool. Men should stick to their own tools instead of coveting other men's tools.ReplyDelete
Quite, being too free with mine has only brought me grief.Delete
Neither a borrower nor lender be. I just buy them all and then I won;t let anyone use them! Probably why I'm still on the same set of hand tools I started with, I did have to buy a new square last year as I think I left that in a roof somewhere.ReplyDelete
Where's this update on the big toys? My planer turned up this week but need a new electrical supply and I need to get it to here from my dads farm before I can play.
Just wait until my workshop is up. I am tempted to import a real hound, something really big, as big as a donkey and train it to savage anyone coming within ten paces of it!Delete
this post finally helped me figure my husband out....he is an 'afrikan'.ReplyDelete
That's not necessarily a bad thing, so long as you are getting what you want from him.Delete
From Man of the Year to Man of Last Year back to Man of the Year again. Phew, I'm exhausted! Let the Aqua Kwanza flow again.ReplyDelete
I'm too bloody irascible to be anyone's Man of the Year!Delete
I have one very similar; mine is called 'the red thing'. Can't you train one of those lazy b*stards to fix it?ReplyDelete
Oh they already know what tools are for and how to use them, that's the problem!Delete
You need a lock for your tool box !ReplyDelete
I had two tool boxes, guess what happened to them...Delete
Mexican speed wrench we call those around here. Yes you definitely need a lock on your tool box, a tool box heavy enough so it can't grow feet and walk away. One you can bolt to a concrete pad. http://www.zoro.com/i/G5288351/ReplyDelete
I was thinking of something made by Messrs. Smith and Wesson...Delete
You should start a handyman evening class, charge fees for the lessons and teach the locals to do it themselves. Make sure you chain your tools down first!ReplyDelete
Even if it was for free there'd be no takers the attitude being that if I am going to all that trouble, there must be something in it for me, something I would, or should, pay for...Delete