Friday, January 18, 2008

Mickeys Challenge

Mickey Porazzo had a project all mapped out for that Tuesday. It seemed as though it was going to be a simple procedure, one that he had seen done before and knew, just knew, that he would be able to accomplish it with ease. Mickey had never been what you would call "handy" but there was always the spark in him to get things done on his own rather than pay someone else to do it. Perhaps it's because the man who raised him, his father, could do just about anything he needed or wanted to do with his hands or maybe it was the fact that Mickey was as he called himself, frugal; I don't think even Mickey himself knew the true reason except he loved a challenge and deep down knew he was "cheap".
It started with a trip to the home improvement center where he was going to purchase that wood slat fencing that they had been advertising "on sale". He had made sure to borrow a pickup truck the night before and had gone out of his way to be sure that he had all of the tools he thought he was going to need. The only thing he himself didn't have was a post hole digger and lucky for him the neighbor who had lent him the truck had one and was willing to lend that as well.
He explained what his intentions were to the sales associate, gave him some dimensions, and was quickly taken to the racks that housed the fences. He selected the merchandise he needed, had the cement and gravel loaded into the bed of the pickup and was on his way back to begin his project in just under an hour. This was going to be a piece of cake he thought to himself as he drove home.
After unloading everything he began with measurements since the first step was going to be digging the holes. He carefully measured out the distance between posts and began digging the holes along the property line all the while contemplating his next step. Once the holes were dug he decided to lay out the panels to be absolutely sure that the holes and panels matched and sure enough they did. He filled the holes with some gravel as a base and raised the first panel which easily slid into place. The second panel slid in easily as well and he was well on his way to getting this done. Around the time that he slid the fourth panel into it's base he realized that the second panel had been put in backwards. This meant reversing the process until he was back at number two which could then be reversed and set properly.
After completing the fix and continuing onto the sixth panel, Mickey now looked back to see that the fourth panel was not like the others at all. It was then that he realized that panel number four was not the same as the rest and had to be replaced. Once again he backtracked, removing panels six and five and swapping out panel four for a correct, matching panel and then moving on to replace five and six again.
He had nine panels in total and after placing number eight he put the mismatched panel back in the pickup and headed for the store to get its replacement. Quick apologies and a reload had Mickey once again on his way home. As he pulled the pickup as close to the rear yard as he could he glanced over at his fence only to discover that what he had thought was perfect looked like a herd of camels with up and down humps along the course; it was apparent that some of the holes hadn't been dug to the right depth. Once again all of the panels had to be removed, the gravel had to be withdrawn, the holes re-measured and the depth corrected. Gravel was once again placed in the holes and the panels one by one replaced.
As the ninth panel was slid into place, out of the corner of his eye Mickey could see the first panel listing. Perhaps it was all of the manipulation of the soil but as he walked towards it to straighten it the panel fell over pulling all of the others down with it! He was getting mighty frustrated by now as you can well imagine. It took him another two hours to mend the holes and re set the fence which this time he propped with 2X4's. He once again examined everything and it looked pretty good to him; time for the cement. He walked to the driveway where he had left the bags of quick drying cement and with ease hoisted one to his left shoulder. As he was walking to the fence he could feel the weight on his shoulder decrease along with hearing an almost instant "Whoosh" sound. The bag had ripped open and cement was all over the ground and covered his back as well.
He was now disgusted. He threw the empty cement bag across the yard, turned and began kicking at the mound of cement which sent dust flying everywhere! He trudged into the house leaving everything where it was, grabbed the phone book and flipped page after page until he found what he was looking for. When the other line was answered Mickey felt a wave of relief as he heard "Charlie's Handyman Service, can I help you?". An appointment was made for an estimate late that afternoon and Mickey was thrilled. He grabbed a beer out of the fridge and plopped in his favorite chair, grabbed his daughters Rubik's Cube off of the coffee table and thought to himself...This has got to be easier! Little did he know that he had been warming up for this all day!


paisley said...

smooth... you even pulled off a weekend wordsmith!!! i am jealous!!! i haven't even got close to that one yet!!!!! i just got my friday 5 up for pete's sake!!!!

MedStudentWife said...

*lol*.. tis true.We seem to set ourselves up for this sorta stuff... like we unconsciously set the stage for the "aaahhhhh" feeling at the end.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Been there... not with fences, fortunately.

As for the Rubik's Cube, to pick it up after all that was ... I don't know what. Torture?