Sledge hammer a necessary tool

By Jim Lee

What really annoys me is a skinny cooking show host. If that stuff the host is demonically devising is anywhere near as good as claimed, why is that person skinny? It has about as much credibility as Bob Vila in a body cast. Who’s going to believe a fix-everything toolmeister who falls off a ladder or gets roughed up by a band saw?
Only two other things on this old Earth of ours strain credibility to this extent. The first is my claiming to be 39. The other is the myth of my empty tool box.
Jack Benny got away with 39, so why can’t I? I may look even younger than that because when I asked Saundra if I looked that old, she said I didn’t. When I responded by asking how much younger than that I looked, her laughing fit was severe enough to require a trip to the emergency room. I see no reason why no one believes me because I have really had a lot of experience being this age — after all, I’ve been 39 for more than 20 years.
The other half of this credibility gap is the empty tool box. That tool box really isn’t empty. I’m not that inept. As a matter of fact, it has a faucet put-in (or pull-out) wrench thing and two crescent wrenches. I also have a cheap ratchet with a spark plug socket. What more does any domestic fix-anything dude need?
A hammer and a screwdriver reside in a kitchen drawer, but Saundra won’t allow them in the tool box. She says it’s because I might hurt myself, but we all know better than that, now don’t we?
I have no idea why she has that attitude. It all started when she returned the sledge hammer to the hardware store after all the trouble I went to in sneaking it into the house. Some thanks for fixing the drapes, eh?
The cat broke the drape thing, not me — so why take my sledge hammer away?
See, there’s this elongated horseshoe shaped whatever-it-is at the top of the living-room drapes. My domestic supervisor calls it a “valance.” I come from humble origins and don’t have much experience with fancy terms like that, so I just call it the horseshoe shaped whatever-it-is. Hey, the name works for me.
The problem with the thing is the cat likes to leap from the top of the TV to the whatever-it-is to the mantle over the fireplace. Well, the force and the weight of the feline nemesis messed up that drapery bracket. The screws came right out of the drywall.
I was assigned the task of replacing the bracket screws with screws that had those plastic anchors on them so they would stay put. After a month or two of procrastinating, I got those screws with the anchors in place and the whatever-it-is back on the wall. Just to make sure it stayed fixed permanently, I wanted the screws in as tight as they would go. So I used that nine-pound sledge.
All right, I confess to one minor glitch. So what? I mean, sometimes an honest effort goes a little haywire, right? I have enough character to admit that. But I don’t see why somebody has to take away my new sledge hammer over it. The drywall can be replaced, can’t it?
In the meantime, that hole gives us some extra ventilation during the hot summer months. I’ll get some glue for those shattered bricks on the other side of the wall before winter. So what’s the big deal? It’s not like I’m a skinny chef.
Oh well, that sledge hammer didn’t fit in the tool box anyway.

Jim Lee is news director for KENW-FM radio. He also is an English instructor. He can be contacted at 359-2204. His e-mail: