Profound Canadian philosopher, Red Green, once opined that it’s better for a man to be handy than handsome. The assumption is you cannot be both.
I don’t mean to suggest I’m hopeless. Show me a burnt-out lightbulb and I can extract it an insert a new one like nobody’s business. Wendy doesn’t need to hang off to one side, looking vaguely anxious and wanting to offer unsolicited advice when I am engaged in such a taxing task.
Likewise I am good at extracting the trash containers from the house and putting them out on the street on Tuesday mornings. And, I have been known to replace a washer.
I am, in a spirit of self-effacement (and just so you’ll think I’m amazingly handsome), actually exaggerating my ineptitude a little. There are a few fundamental household repair and installation tasks I’ve turned my hand to over the years. Some with even a reasonable amount of success.
Today I have to face just such a thing. I have to install new bathroom basin faucets.
Faucet installation I have done before, and the tricky thing about any plumbing task is that two basic immutable elements of the universe as we understand it are involved: water and gravity. Well, at least that’s better than any electrician work I might have involved me in. That involves a basic element known as the ability to kill you and then burn the house down. Except in a tsunami or hurricane, water is generally easier to deal with. It’s mainly wet.
So, it’s in, but not without a considerable number of Murphy’s Law interventions – much as I anticipated. If something in theory will go smoothly, it won’t. However, realist that I am, I didn’t anticipate smooth sailing. In that I was right, too.
In the first place, working in a cabinet up underneath the sink is not at all agreeable and is a situation evocative of considerable unfettered cursing. Secondly, it was dark as a mineshaft down there so I had to find a light. The big flashlight didn’t work as it has a tendency to detest being put on its end, so it refuses to operate. But, I found an old desk lamp and was able to put it in place once I’d scrambled for 20 minutes looking for an extension cord. Then I had to undo all the old fittings to get rid of the former ugly faucet and replace it with the lovely new burnished aluminum one. Easy, thought I. I have wondrous socket-wrench set. But, for socket-wrench sets to be most effective you have to have a socket that fits. None of mine did. I don’t know why. So, I had to rely on a crappy old adjustable spanner. I only grazed one knuckle, I am proud to say. So, eventually I got the old stuff off.
And now, to install the new spiffy faucets. They set in place most handsomely. Now to connect them. Of course, aaaaaaaaaaall of the connections were different from the old one, and the screw on pipe thingies that the water supply connects to didn’t go down as far as on the old one.” Why aren’t these goshdarn things standard?” I expressed, but not quite so delicately and I attributed certain sexual prowess to something that is gender neutral in my choice of adjectives.
But, they’re not standard. And that meant I had to head out to my local hardware to get new ones of sufficient length. Fortunately, they were relatively cheap. I got th4em home, and then it was just a matter of reconnecting and that would merely consist of threading the new pipes on. They should thread easily. They didn’t. More profane adjectives were applied, and that made them work. They recognize threats.
And now it’s done and I am feeling extremely handy.
And still not too hard on the eyes, despite my handiness.