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Bob Vila would shoot me in the face with a nailgun

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.

“What’s that?”

“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.

My finished project!
My finished project!

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115 Replies to “Bob Vila would shoot me in the face with a nailgun”

  1. Redneck Mommy

    A.) You are pathetic. Such a smart boy and completely useless. Amazing.

    B.) You have a GONZO!!! I covet! What would I have to do for a Gonzo like that? Cuz I’m cheap and easy and my heart wants what it wants, which in this case is Gonzo.

  2. Kirsten

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now, and I would have thought that, especially after the dolphin porn, you would know a thing or two about screws of all kinds. But at least your lack of experience screwing things keeps your fans waiting for the next exciting story.

  3. DutchBitch

    Right up to the sucking part (it’s my personal peeve, I don’t suck anchors) I would’ve matched your attempts…

    Dunno what I would’ve done after that really… probably pout at the first man that came along…

  4. Breigh

    I feel all chokey now after reading the sucking bit. It’s like I could feel it. Ugh.

    You just made me appreciate how handy my husband is. He’s not super handy, but by comparison he’s pretty good haha

  5. cat

    Your office looks great! So clean and organized… I’m just glad you didn’t inhale/ swallow that anchor. By Jove, man, stay away from the home improvement projects!

  6. cris

    Wow I feel like I just read the Floridian version of Midnight Cowboy. …that part where you sucked an anchor, then swallowed what shot out into your mouth…? Yup, you knew what you had to do, Cowboy.

  7. trishk

    Please, please, please do not try to iron the cape by yourself…that would require operating an electrical device that is very HOT! You can’t suck a hot iron if a piece of the cape should melt to it….

    Now I want video of you sucking on the wall…

  8. Dawn

    Seeing as you’re not “handy,” then your masturbation skills are especially impressive!

    And I’m also impressed that someone who isn’t handy knows what (and the name for) needle-nose pliers are.

  9. Grant

    I think you should just choose to wear it at all times. Now you just need GL’s ring, Flash’s mask, Batman’s utility belt, and Wonder Woman’s lasso (you already have the boobs).

  10. Clown

    I also told you to use one of those wall ice picks… Whatever they are called. For some reason I have a few of them and you seem to have none. Very easy!

  11. Clown

    It’s because I buy tools that I forget I already have.

    I don’t buy tools from tv… Although I do want that saw that cuts the car in half. I almost ordered it a few weeks ago. I also want a Little Giant.

  12. Ren

    You keep saying that they say to “drill a hole large enough for the anchor to fit in” but that *that* is your question?

    I don’t understand your question. Maybe a picture of the anchor would help, ’cause it seems like once it was flush with the wall it was in place to do it’s job. Unless it was just too loose at that point, of course.

    I do wonder what you viewed as the optimum result of trying to suck the anchor out of the wall would have been….

    • Avitable

      @Ren, my question is this. A wall anchor is designed to fit into the wall so that when you put the screw in and tighten it, it expands behind the hole, which spreads out the load and allows you to hang something heavy on something flimsy, right?

      But if the hole you drill is the same size as the anchor, how does it work properly? And how do you know what size drill bit to use to get the right size?

      I know some anchors have a lip on them, but this one didn’t. Here’s a picture of it: (

      And I thought that if I could suck the anchor out of the wall a little, I could get a grip on it and pull it out, then reuse it somewhere else.

      • Ren

        @Avitable, well, I presume it is because the screw hole in the anchor is smaller than the screw, so the anchor is forced to expand larger than the hole.

        As for spreading out the load, I doubt that happens unless it is one of those accordion anchors where the screw actually causes the anchor to fold in behind the sheet rock. Rather, I figure this type of anchor is just to make it less likely that the screw will simply rip out of the sheet rock. Not really for particularly heaven items.

        Of course, I’m hardly handy myself. There’s a good chance that I would’ve just tossed the anchors aside from the get-go. 🙂

  13. Starfish

    Hey did you have any extra parts left over?
    You know a project is never done right unless you have extra parts! At least thats what my husband tells me..

  14. martymankins

    I think I’m pretty challenged when it’s comes to home improvement projects. Just ask my wife how much I bitch and moan when asked to do some simple project.

    Nice cape. Now go find a phonebooth and film yourself changing into that.

  15. Coal Miner's Granddaughter

    Heather’s simple steps to hanging a Superman cape in one’s office:

    1) Throw away said anchors and screws.
    2) Purchase a coat rack.
    3) Hang the cape on the coat rack so it looks like Superman just came in for an afternoon of work at the Justice League’s Watchtower and hung his cape up in his office.

    Yep. That’s how I roll.

  16. Valerie

    You need to purchase a number of differently sized drill bits. You drill a hole with the electric screwdriver until the anchor fits in and shove it in. Then you screw in the screw. It’s all about having the correct tools at your disposal. Without the drill bits and electric screwdriver, you’re in trouble. Suck the anchor from the wall?!? You would need to put the cape on to have that much sucking power! Inhaling drywall sounds dangerous.
    Our house is riddled with holes from multiple attempts at getting anchors lined up properly for the object we’re hanging. Hanging things is a task we try to avoid. What to do with the anchors in the wall after the object has been removed is something I need to address. In our previous homes we plastered over it, but it looked crappy. I don’t want to do the same thing in this home. I’ve just been ignoring the issue.

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