Monday, July 12, 2010

Lack of Virtue

I am not a craftsman. I have some skills but I lack the basic, most fundamental trait or virtue necessary to be a true craftsman. I lack patience. In fact, a co-worker, a former police administrator, often calls me “too timid” (pussy) because I refuse to drive across multiple lanes of traffic on left handed turns. The simple truth is not that I lack nerve… no… I have good insurance and a cheap car, so I am pretty sure that means I have the right of way. The fact is I lack the patience to wait and wait and wait when I can simply drive around the block and ease into traffic with a right turn.

So this week I took off work. My annual “I am too cheap to take the family on a trip so I will STAY home STAYCATION. I flipped channel s and played on the computer and got bored. SO I started a little project by taking some scrap wood and making a guitar hanger. Over the years I have made a few of these and everyone is slightly different as I improve upon the design of the past. This last one was a master piece. I created a fork to hold the neck of the guitar and I placed a simple shelf under the fork to reinforce it and prevent sagging from the weight of the instrument. I glued as screwed each piece together to give it added support and I believe you could have hung sides of beef on those hangers as well as a guitar. Then as an added bonus and because I was off work and hate to be bored, I upholstered, or covered the fork in black leather to give it added gripping power, prevent scuffing of the guitar neck and because I thought it would look cool.
I decided I would stain the back of the hanger pecan brown, mainly because I knew I had a small can of stain. So I spent two days making the hanger, mostly waiting on the glue to dry and applying the leather. Then I searched for a full day for the stain and never could find it. In the end I got impatient and used last of an old old gallon of pale green paint I had used in the bathroom years ago. I drilled a hole in the center of the backer board and went to the wall to hang the bad boy next to the piano.

Now I have all sorts of stud finders. I have a simple magnet that flips when you pass over a nail in a stud. I have a super electronic sensor that uses sound and telepathy and I think taps into my cell phone to call Ms Roberta the radio psychic. Of course I can never find one of these, and thus out of my lack of patience, I reverted to the old fashioned method. I tapped on the wall until I thought I heard a full solid sound and I tried driving the screw into the wall with an 18 volt Sears Craftsman cordless drill. Nothing. So I pulled out the screw and moved over an inch to the right and tried again. Nothing. So I pulled the screw out of the wall and a small chunk of wall came out with it, but hey I was going to have to repair the other missed hole anyway, right? I moved over another inch to the right and
tried again. Nothing.

At this point I should inform you that standard wall framing dictates that you place wall studs every 16 inches. I know for a fact the studs are 16 inches apart on this wall because I put up the dry wall myself a few years ago. So I moved over another inch to the right and tried another hole. Nothing. At this point I am growing really impatient and blaming everybody who has ever even driven down the road in front of our house for my inability to find the stud finder I never really bothered to look for because how freakin hard can it be to hit a Godamn stud in the fucking wall when you know the bastards are only 16 fucking inches apart? RIGHT?!!

Eh… did I mention when I get frustrated I tend to maybe swear a tad bit? Anyway, because I am trying to hang a guitar that will be on a wall and displayed in the living room, I am making all of these attempts by holding the hanger and the heavy 18 volt Sears Craftsman cordless drill over my head and by this time the hanger and the drill are getting really heavy. The screw is now firmly embedded into the backboard of the hanger and after the past several attempts of not getting a really square stab at the screw head, the powerful Sears Craftsman has stripped out the head. I move another inch over and another inch over and on the 14th GODDAMN attempt I hit the fucking stud only to bury the screw about half way in before completely stripping out the head. Now I can’t get the screw to go in and I can’t get it to back out. My arms ache and burn from effort, profanity is blistering the paint off the walls, my wife got out of bed to see what was happening because…

Did I mention it was about 12:30am and how hard is it to put a simple fucking screw in the damn wall right?!!... but when she walks out and sees a 15 inch gash in the living room wall next to her piano and me tearing out a huge hole in the sheetrock because the screw head is stripped, she quietly turns back around and goes back to bed without saying anything.

I have to say I am blessed with a wife who has more than enough patience for the both of us.

So there I am going absolutely bat shit crazy trying to rip this guitar hanger off the wall because it is NOW semi secured into the only stud that must exist in that damn wall when I hear the fork of the guitar hanger I worked on the for the past three days crack and break someplace under the upholstered leather cover that looks real cool.

Now it is two hours later I again show I am not without skill. The holes in the wall are patched and the first coat of mud is drying. Later, after my staycation is over, I will reseal all the wood trim and repaint the entire living room. I have been saying all year that It needed repainting anyway, so it is no big deal, right? I mean I have the skills and how patient do you need to be to paint anyway?

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