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Enter the world of House Not So Beautiful where dirt and chaos reign supreme. Learn to live with things rather than fix them, put repairs off rather than face them. This parody will not help put things away, but will help put them in their proper and humorous perspective.


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computer assemblySome Assembly Required: Take This Flap And Shove It
by Marjorie Dorfman

Do you get into trouble every time you try to drive a nail into the wall? Are you one of those poor souls who never buys anything that isn’t fully intact? If so, join my club and read on. Maybe you’ll feel better and maybe you won’t. One thing’s for sure. You won’t be able to drive that nail into the wall any better than you did before.


He who is not good with his hands may find solace with his feet.   – The Dorfman Archives

Do you get into trouble every time you try to drive a nail into the wall? Are you one of those poor souls who never buys anything that isn’t fully intact? If so, join my club and read on. Maybe you’ll feel better and maybe you won’t. One thing’s for sure. You won’t be able to drive that nail into the wall any better than you did before.

Some smarty pants once defined mechanical aptitude as the ability to learn about mechanical objects and principles both formally and through experience. Mr. Know-it-all went on to say that such talent is reflected and measured by the degree of familiarity with everyday physical objects, tools and devices, especially their function, repair, size, shape, weight and appearance. Do you understand what I just said and could you pass a test like this? I certainly couldn’t. To say I am all thumbs would be an insult to my other fingers. Who gets to decide who’s mechanically adept anyway? (Is it the one who is quickest to pull the straw out of that big hat in the gene pool or is it the one whose parents simply sat by the pool?) Why do some people have a lot of it and others none at all? Whatever the reason, it doesn’t sound very fair to me. I don’t have to agree with anyone else’s definition, for I am the poster child for the lack of mechanical aptitude, and no test can tell me any different!
user's manual
A person who possesses mechanical aptitude is a natural tinkerer. Such a soul has an easy time when it comes to tools, physics and monkey wrenches. I once read that the great auto magnate, Henry Ford, when he was but a mere lad, pilfered the pocket watches of his family’s dinner guests and before their horrified eyes, took them apart and then put them back together again. This is certainly more polite than taking the guests themselves apart and is as apt an example of raw mechanical aptitude as I have ever come across. The sad truth is that when The Grand Mechanic in the Sky was giving out mechanical ability to the Ford family, somewhere along the way he missed my family’s house.

It is quite amazing to consider that no one in my family has ever possessed even one shred of mechanical aptitude, going as far back as our family history will permit, except for one cousin twice removed who married another cousin three times removed. They had twin girls who became gangster molls and then they were simply removed. My father could not screw in a light bulb or close a drawer correctly and yet he was brilliant in his field. My mother was a fine artist, but she could not hammer a nail without misplacing it. Their two daughters did not fall far from the non-mechanical tree. (I have the added helpful inheritance of lack of spatial concepts as well. This is tantamount to granting an ugly adolescent his or her very own set of pimples in an attempt to remedy current conditions.)
S. J.. Perlman
S.J. Perlman’s classic short story, Insert Flap A and Throw Away, has always been a kind of Bible story in my family. Even as an adult, whenever I read it I feel I should salute or stand up or do something to show my solidarity. Instead of Noah and The Ark, annoying revelations or Jonah in the Whale, my sister and I were told the tale of an innocuous mothproof closet (the Jif-Cloz) and a 10-inch scale model delivery truck construction kit. Both cause much consternation and hilarity when the head of the household (poor Mr. Perlman) cannot figure out how to put them together and his pride won’t let anyone else try. Of course both projects came with instructions, but we all know about how helpful those can be to the mechanically challenged like me, I mean.





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home humor repair

I am an excellent housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house.
Zsa Zsa Gabor

I will not vacuum until Sears invents one I can ride on.
Roseanne Barr


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