In which two minor home-repair projects end with the now-traditional spraying of some blood

Go ahead. Just stick your hand in there. Get that lemon. Stop being such a crybaby.

GateHouse — Things I have learned over the July 4 holiday break, which I mostly dedicated to doing various Household Chores, because if I know anything it’s how to rock the face right off of a three-day weekend.

Guess what happens when you use your index finger to quickly crease a sheet of sandpaper because you’re an idiot? If your answer included the words “hopping around the backyard like someone replaced your shoes with screaming balls of flame” and/or the phrase “geysers of blood,” you would be largely correct.

The high probability of geysers of blood is usually the main reason I stay award from woodworking, as well as most major home repair projects, Arkansas and Wimbledon, and I have to be honest that I was not expecting such a delightful fiesta of gore to quite so directly emerge from the currently useless object where my index finger used to be — and yes, if you are wondering, it smarts like the dickens every time I type a word with any of these annoying mid-keyboard letters in it, so pretty soon you may start to notice my sentences getting pretty low on Js, Hs, Us and Ys.

The sandpapering was being done, incidentally, on the bottom of a closet door, which needed to be shortened up just a touch to get over a bump in the floor where the hardwood is uneven or the ground is settling or the undead residents of mass Indian burial ground on which my home sits are starting to get restless. Needless to say, the sandpapering not only didn’t work, but in the midst of my getting it to not-work, I managed to misplace the metal piece inside the structure of the door itself. I hear it rattling in there. I think it’s staying in there to avoid being bled on.

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• Show of hands: Who out there spent late Saturday night fixing the several inch-wide caterpillar-like hork of glop which was preventing proper drainage on your  garbage disposal? No? Just me? HELL YES JUST ME. WHO’S A PLUMBER?

I have a theory that if your kitchen pipes knew in advance the consistency and color of the collective meaty, hairy objects that can get stuck in them, the pipes would pack up and move to Italy to live a life of leisure and contentment in a village (a village that would have, it goes without saying, excellent drainage). Because some part of you knows your pipes (I will pause here to let the 18-34 male readership demographic enjoy some good long giggling), some part of you remembers seeing them, some part of you remembers making a mental note of a circumference and thinking, “There’s no way a flank steak can fit through that, no matter how clumpy,” and then that part of you vacations to a village in Italy when you are cleaning up plates full of flank steak leftovers and you go, “Eh, the sink HAS TOTALLY GOT THIS.” (I am biased, however, in this regard, as the disposal in my college apartment once successfully liquefied a shot glass and I am of the opinion that they are capable of demolishing anything other than diamonds and Michelle Bachmann.)

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Related, sort of

• I WILL SEE YOU IN HELL, GARBAGE DISPOSAL

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Anyway, after three or four months of feeding a garbage disposal fruit peels and old food horns and flank steaks, you can hardly blame the disposal for turning into kind of a jerk and taking a few hours or days off.

Yet still you need draining, and since it was on a Saturday and plumbers can be expensive and malodorous, and since I think I had a bunch of wine at dinner, I thought, “You know what I’VE TOTALLY GOT THIS,” went into the room where I had my toolbox buried underneath like a box of G.I. Joe comic books from 1986 for some reason, got some tools, and went to work.

And I don’t want to gloat or make you other guys feel inadequate or whatever, but I TOTALLY FIXED THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL, and by that I mean I took off like two pipes and used like three separate objects to remove what appeared to be a drowned hamster from 1952 out of the pipes but whatever, I’m counting it. In fact, I’m counting it so much that after reattaching the pipes and running the sink to make sure nothing burst into flame (you laugh, it’s happened), I IMMEDIATELY BEGAN GLOATING TO EVERYONE I COULD THINK OF, because where I come from, achieving minor home-repair feats that 85% of other primary-male-figures-in-the-house could do in their sleep is worthy of trumpeting on Facebook in between learning who is your inner circle is really stoked about “Transformers.” I’m celebrating, of course, by immediately going out to Wal-Mart, to buy Band-Aids for this stupid finger.

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About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official BruceSpringsteen.net, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

5 responses to “In which two minor home-repair projects end with the now-traditional spraying of some blood

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