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Monday, October 24, 2011

Cinder Man

Dear Dad,

               The ‘Honey do’ list is a document that I refer to regularly. Early in my marriage this infamous list of chores was often times full of things I wanted to do. There were Items on the list like, ‘Teach wife how to shoot pool‘, ‘Buy wife bigger television‘, or ‘Date night with wife’ and even ‘GET WIFE PREGNANT!’
               Somewhere along the way though the nature of the honey do’s dramatically changed. I didn’t notice it happening at the time. The slow graduation of tasks was artfully handled by a fiendish mastermind. Even my own masterful man skills couldn’t save me every weekend from the webs spun by the chore master. The fight wore on for some time but I am beginning to think I may have lost. My skin is pasty and white, my eyes are permanently adjusted to the grey air of the garage and tool shed. When did I become this thing you may ask. I suppose if I had to narrow it down it was probably around two children ago.

               On a weekend afternoon that used to flit by in consecutive moments of joy, I now find myself more often than not, gazing longingly at a glimmering ray of sunlight creeping in beneath the garage door. The clank of my shackles against the concrete floor sounds tauntingly like the driver of my youth sending a ‘Titelist’ hundreds of yards across a veritable paradise. My oldest son can always be found nearby sulking in a corner. Forced to help toil in the dark recesses of the house every weekend, he is slowly beginning to resemble Tolkien’s pitiable cave dweller Gollum. I’ve always said that nothing helps a bad mood like spreading it around.

               The chirping sound of a bird in the distance stirs me from my self pitying stupor. I got back to work as I secretly hoped the happy go lucky avian would be eaten by a cat.

                Earlier today I woke up exhausted after a late night traveling back home from work. Leaving the fishing poles at home, my son and I headed to the hardware store. I only had sixteen hours to build storage space in the garage, replace a garbage disposal and replace the dishwasher I couldn’t limp along any longer. We were almost done Installing the hanging storage rack in the garage. I had pretty much completed the whole project single handed. Eleven year olds as it turns out are not the best apprentices.

               This brings me to an interesting phenomena. My boy’s only job here is to hand me tools when I ask for them. That’s all ! Despite the plethora of tools in the shed, I only have the few I need immediately scattered about the floor of the garage. Each tool is exactly where my son last placed it. All ten tools or so are within the same ten square foot area. The overhead garage light is on. The light from the florescent is further aided by the afore mentioned gleam from outside. Needless to say the tools are in plain sight. Now for some reason each time I say, ‘Cameron hand me a screwdriver.’ This intelligent, young and so far as I know sane son casts his eyes to the heavens and spins slowly in a circle. His arms outstretched in a pose of confusion, he continues to search the ceiling in vane. After just enough time to piss me off, he declares the tool doesn’t exist!

               I say ‘Son, it’s right there!‘ I point down and to my right, so that he may follow my finger to his target.

               The agitation in my voice accelerates his own frustration and ecliptic rotation as he looks up and to the left.

               ‘I know that he is relatively normal though because I have seen this same behavior in his brothers and sister and thankfully even in the children of my peers.

               Next, dragging our chains behind us, we headed upstairs to remove the old dishwasher and install the new one. After working for an hour to reverse engineer the old machine out and prep the new machine for insertion, My wife announces that if I don’t know what I am doing perhaps I should have a professional come over. I must have muttered something particularly vile under my breath because for the first time today my son is smiling and only a swear word of imaginative creation can turn around such gloom. I informed my wife that both the dishwasher and the garbage disposal would be finished in no time.

               Check your mailbox tomorrow and you can read how it is done!

                        Your bewildered and hauntingly handy son


Kevin Mc said...

It seems to me that a repeat of my eleven year old life is happening in your household. And if this is true, then I can only imagine what the word that you "muttered" must have been. I look forward to hearing how this story unfolds.

The Missourian said...

Unfortunately the last time I attempted to post my mutterings the FCC and other faceless organizations came and impounded my laptop. I am a very experienced and profficient swearer!