I have plenty of good attributes. I’m smart, I’m funny, I can multitask, I speed-read, and I am a professional masturbator.
I am not, however, “handy”. My wife does all of the small projects around the house, and we’ve recently started using a handyman named Charlie for the remainder of the work that we need done (after our previous handyman disappeared). I can change a lightbulb. I can hang a picture, as long as you don’t mind it being a little crooked. And that’s about the extent of my ability in this arena.
As part of cleaning and organizing my office, I’ve been unpacking some of the statues and memorabilia that have been sitting around in boxes. One of those items is a Justice League of America prop replica of Superman’s cape and belt. And I decided to hang it on my wall all by myself.
The box contained two screws, two wall anchors, and the hanging stand. I hadn’t even started, and I was already stymied. Amy was out of town on business, so I called my friend “Clown”, who’s slightly handier than I am, which is like being the best ice skater in Jamaica.
“Hey, Clown, it’s Adam. So, I have a quick question. How do you put an anchor in the wall? It’s a flat one, so I can’t screw it in directly.”
“Just drill in the screw that comes with it, then take the screw out and push the anchor in.”
“Oh, that’s easy. Thanks!”
So I drill the screws into the wall (after spending 30 minutes measuring everything to try to get the holes even and the right distance apart) and then reverse the drill and pull the screws out. I take an anchor and try to fit it in the hole.
Those of you who have even a modicum of skill will know immediately that the anchor was way too big for the hole. Which makes sense – the screw is designed to fit in the anchor, so why would a hole made by the screw fit the anchor?
I did what any Avitable would do. I took a hammer and tried to hammer the anchor into the way-too-small hole. At first I tapped. Nothing. Then I tapped a bit harder. Nothing. Finally I gave it a harder tap, which (of course) made a hole in the drywall the size of the anchor, defeating the purpose of having an anchor at all.
The anchor was now stuck in the hole, flush with the wall, completely useless. I tried to pull it out, but that only pushed it in the wall a little more, and now the risk was the anchor falling into the wall completely.
What would someone handy do? I have no fucking idea. I only knew what someone like me would do. I decided that I should suck the anchor out of the wall.
I placed my mouth against the hole to make a seal and inhaled deeply. All I needed was for the anchor to pull out of the wall just enough that I could get a grip on it with my fingers. Instead, the drywall dust shot directly down my throat, focused like a laser beam through the hole in the center of the anchor.
I choked for about five minutes straight, tears pouring out of my eyes while that anchor mocked me from its position safely ensconced in the wall. Once I could breathe and talk again, I called Clown back.
“So I tried your suggestion.” I explained what just happened.
“Well, there’s only one thing left for you to do,” he said.
“Call Charlie and ask him to come over and hang up your Superman cape for you.”
And by God, after accidentally knocking the anchor into the wall using needle-nose pliers and then hanging the rack crooked and then putting the screws in too far apart so they wouldn’t fit properly and finally deciding that the cape was light enough that anchors were unnecessary and spending another 45 minutes on this little “home improvement project”, I finished. And it is fucking beautiful. Now I just need someone to iron it.