Tuesday, March 15, 2011

On Man Repairs

All men are going to agree with this statement:

There are exactly 5 ways for a man to fix something:

      That's it. Every fix ever is one or more of those..

      Today I tried a Japanese soft drink called Ramune. It's sealed with a little glass marble which you pop down into the bottle using a plastic stopper. Afterward I wanted the marble. I then spent about half an hour trying to pry off the top, cut through it and bend it awkwardly until–eventually–I gave up, placed the glass bottle daintily in a plastic bag and hit it with a hammer. Marble in 3.5 seconds. I hit all the Fix Plans other than taping the thing, but I finally found the one that worked. Certainly it was not as classy a solution as I intended, but it has its own simplistic elegance, I believe.

      Before that I "fixed" my new desk chair. Turns out it was not broken. Rather, I had not learned how to utilize its many functions properly. A few minutes and a screwdriver-used-as-a-prybar later, well, let's just say I'm now typing from that chair in a relaxed and reclined position.

      Yes, sometimes it's as simple as deconstructing how a thing works and then ensuring it functions properly. A couple years back one of my housemates returned home, went to pull her key out of the front door and somehow managed to wrench the key and the deadbolt into unnatural positions. The key we were able to bend back and remove rather easily. And be "we" I mean "I."

      What did I end up doing? Well I was an English major, so obviously I had no homework and plenty of free time. I grabbed a couple screwdrivers, a hammer and a pair of pliers and I very carefully took the thing apart one piece at a time, only removing a component after determining its proper function mechanically and geometrically. To this day I do not know how my housemate twisted and bent at a right angle a deadbolt by simply turning her key (best hypothesis: she is an amazon), but I do know I rebuilt an entire deadbolt lock mechanism in a couple hours using only pliers and a hammer.


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