The woes of being a Mr. Fix-it
by Rick Watson
Apr 22, 2012 | 1158 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rick Watson
Rick Watson
slideshow
I've spent a lot of time cussing machines today.

My lawnmower is having issues, the tiller's on the blink, the dishwasher is leaking, Jilda's Volvo (Ingrid) needs work, and the transmission of my truck grinds like it's eaten a bad burrito every time I shift gears.

All these machines have served me well through the years, but it's almost as if Ingrid started a nuts and bolts revolution.

I can see the picture in my head. While sitting around a campfire sniffing WD-40 and telling human jokes, she says, “Hey! I've got a great idea. Let's synchronize our solenoids and quit working at the same time.”

Things don't fix themselves, so today I decided to get started on the most important thing first. If the grass in the yard isn't cut soon, it will have to be cut with a scythe, so I decided to start with the lawnmower.

I replaced the fuel filter, air filter, fuel pump and hose. The only part I haven't replaced is the carburetor, and it still coughs and sputters like it has a nasty lung infection.

I decided to see if I had better luck with the tiller, but I discovered I'll have to completely disassemble the old beast to replace a pin not much bigger than a double-strength Tylenol.

This analogy came to mind when I realized I had a blinding stress headache.

I don't want to even discuss Ingrid. The tax refund that we thought we might use to take a trip will go for parts. The parts man will now be able to travel at our expense.

It's enough to make a saint swear.

Having the ability to fix things is both a blessing and a curse. A lot of people would simply call a repairman or load their defective machines up and take them to the shop.

That's fine and dandy if you're loaded with the moola, but since I've become un-jobbed, I don't have the disposable income I once had, unless of course I knock off a liquor store.

Through the years, I've had some success stories, but I've had other repair episodes that have gone terribly wrong.

There have been times I got so frustrated with whatever I was trying to repair, that I loaded it up, took it the recycling place and purchased a new device.

I'm not to the recycling stage yet, but I decided to step away from the tool shed for a while and collect my thoughts.

I found myself flipping through Mother Earth News and picturing myself astride a new John Deere yard tractor with the optional mulcher and bagger with cup holder designed to carry a glass of ice tea or an adult beverage if you're mowing on a hot summer Saturday — just saying.

Well, enough of this drooling over new lawnmowers. My headache has subsided, and I'm headed back to the tool shed with a new attitude.

I do think I'll lock up all the WD-40 just to ensure I have no more machines that join the rebellion.