Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Curse of the Handyman Dad

No, I am not getting into crime writing, and if this is the name of a murder mystery novel that has somehow escaped my attention, I apologise now.

No, this is about my Dad. I love him to death, don't get me wrong, but he and I have some differences. He has always been very 'handy' - I don't know exactly what that means, but I reckon it is all about the context. In the context of films involving 70's disco style guitar soundtracks and the milkman/pool cleaner/delivery guy/policeman/fireman/guy with large schlong, it means one thing. This is different - I am talking about being able to fix stuff, make stuff - you know.

My Dad is very good at all of this. He made me a mini bike when I was a kid, which is about the coolest thing you can have as an 8 year old. He has restored lots of furniture, even to the point of having done French Polishing courses (and no, that also has nothing to do with the movies mentioned above). He has even spent countless hours restoring a few antiques that I bought in crap condition for a song, to the point where they are gorgeous. He most recently bought a 1969 MG to play with, as he has been retired for a while now, and is clearly bored, having restored as much furniture as his house will hold, made most of his garden into a Japanese garden on speed (the garden, not him), and run out of other ideas. So what is my problem, I hear you ask?

Glad you did. It makes me look bad. I know, what a wanky thing to say. Now I am not completely hopeless in these things myself, but certainly not incredibly gifted either. My parents divorced when I was 8, so never really had those days where I spent the whole time helping my Dad in the garage. I firmly believe that this is where you osmose handyman skills. This means that if someone tells me what to do in the handyman game, I will do it, but otherwise have little idea of how to do stuff myself.

I mean, sure, I have made bits and pieces of shelving, even a computer box on wheels back in those days when laptops were for the rich and famous and I wanted to move my desktop around the house, but my Dad is really really good at this, whereas my skills lie... in different areas. Hidden, subtle areas. Areas so subtle I am yet to explore them myself. But I digress. I guess this is kinda my way of saying that I am actually quite proud of my Dad, but does he have to show me up?

What about your folks?

20 Comments:

At 11:22 am, Blogger Original Mel said...

As the eldest child of parents who renovated their entire house, I was always the handyman's helper. My brother, being the world's laziest person, however managed to avoid having to assist dad at all. As such, they now have a daughter who can change a tyre and break into a car with a coat hanger (thanks for the essential life skills, dad!) and a son who is still the world's laziest man.

However, I am also a big believer in the free market, exchange of ideas etc, and thus prefer not to fix things but pay someone to do it.

 
At 11:26 am, Blogger fingers said...

Owning pugs and owning power tools is kind of a mutually exclusive proposition, McGuyver...

 
At 12:04 pm, Blogger actonb said...

Mel - your brother sounds unbelievably cringeworthy. Please tell me you're using poetic licence and that he's not reaallly that bad.
Pretty please.

 
At 1:09 pm, Blogger mushroom said...

I'd rather be handy with a schooner glass, or handy with jelly wrestlers than fixing old stuff personally.

 
At 1:52 pm, Blogger W said...

Hmmm - well since I moved to Australia my mother has become proficent (read: not scared/I'm not there to do it) in opening champagne bottles. She is also on a tear of getting the apt in order before I arrive in T.O. Very cute.

Dad had a workshop and built me things when I was little like a dollhouse. Sadly, this proficency with things handy has not been genetically bestowed on me. When I was a Junior Ranger the blokes in Quetico nicknamed me Windy Nail due to an unfortunate picnic-table building incident. I can rig a rowing shell though thanks to Dad, and can quite easily camp by myself in the wilderness.

My mother of course has given me my love of champagne, exposure to excellent music and other less tangible things.

 
At 2:02 pm, Blogger WJ said...

Oh no fingers, I have a drill, drill press, jigsaw, sander, along with various other tools.

You are right about the pugs though. They have to be segregated/watched closely whenever any power tools are being used, due to behaviour that I can only project as equating to something like

"Wow, what is that thing that you just put down - it was making lots of noise just a second ago. I might just have a good sniff of it, especially around that funny sharp looking bit."

or

"Hey, that looks like fun - I reckon I should attack your hand and give it a good licking cos you are holding some loud thing which looks really fun..."

I never said they were smart...

 
At 2:41 pm, Blogger Original Mel said...

AB - possibly a leeeeetle bit of poetic licence. And possibly not. He's my brother and I can bitch about him as much as I want, after all.

 
At 3:11 pm, Blogger actonb said...

This is true. I just worry that there really are people like that out there. Even though it's fun to point and laugh sometimes...

 
At 4:45 pm, Blogger actonb said...

WJ - I'm a little concerned at the prospect of you exploring your own hidden subtle areas.
It all sounds a little ewww to me!

 
At 5:15 pm, Blogger fingers said...

The pugs would make fabulous buffing-discs if you glued them to the end of the drill...

 
At 7:32 pm, Blogger Georgia said...

My Dad is the best. He will fix anything for me. As a kid, I used to marvel at his prowess with anything handyman-related and I'd ask him where he learnt to do that. He'd always say: "Daddy's school." For years, I seriously thought there really was such a place. I do miss his handy skills. They'd be very useful in my jerrybuilt Dubai flat where the builder clearly had no concept of straight lines or level surfaces. On the upside, he is coming here for Christmas...

 
At 7:49 am, Anonymous SouthernBelle said...

I wished I had a dad that would make stuff for me, unfortunately he decided that I should learn to make things for myself, so as a young'un I had to basically construct my own dollhouse... as a young lady my favorite phrase was "can't we pay someone to do it?"

 
At 12:48 am, Blogger Jin said...

I learnt quite a bit from my dad - he made wicked wine & had a still in the (DoNotEnterIfYouValueYourLife) shed. He can mend things, fix things & change or adapt things. Hubs is also gifted & can fix heaps, but the sprog is fekkin clueless really! I wish he'd learnt a few things from us, but he's of the 'new genertion' & will rather pay someone to do whatever needs doing.

 
At 5:13 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can You Fix this and Can you fix that well

louisville handyman Advice at http://good-remodeling.com/wood.pl?expert=remodeling . If you are Looking for louisville handyman Then Here it is

 
At 3:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogers

Great advice can be founf at http://fallbrookremodeling.com/sitemap_1.html . We are starting a home improvement site for home remodeling experts and home owners.

 
At 1:55 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remodeling Your Home Welcome You To Our site. Home Owners, Builders, Contractors and anyone with a interest in Building and Remodeling in Southern California . We provide you with Modern up tp date Ideas, Quality Construction and Friendly Service. We will continue building this home remodeling site. Building and improving our web site temecula remodeling to keep you coming back.

 
At 1:06 pm, Blogger oakleyses said...

ugg boots, polo outlet, replica watches, tiffany jewelry, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, louboutin pas cher, tiffany and co, oakley sunglasses, gucci handbags, tory burch outlet, oakley sunglasses, jordan pas cher, ugg boots, kate spade outlet, polo ralph lauren, longchamp pas cher, burberry pas cher, longchamp outlet, prada handbags, christian louboutin, nike outlet, prada outlet, louis vuitton, jordan shoes, nike roshe, louis vuitton, louis vuitton outlet, christian louboutin uk, replica watches, christian louboutin outlet, nike air max, nike free, christian louboutin shoes, ray ban sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, air max, oakley sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet online, nike free run, sac longchamp pas cher, uggs on sale, michael kors pas cher, chanel handbags, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses wholesale

 
At 1:10 pm, Blogger oakleyses said...

true religion outlet, nike air max uk, timberland pas cher, true religion outlet, michael kors, guess pas cher, michael kors, ray ban uk, michael kors outlet online, hollister uk, nike free uk, burberry outlet, michael kors outlet online, kate spade, mulberry uk, coach outlet store online, uggs outlet, nike air max, north face, sac vanessa bruno, new balance, coach outlet, vans pas cher, replica handbags, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet online, nike blazer pas cher, lululemon canada, converse pas cher, oakley pas cher, michael kors outlet, ray ban pas cher, true religion outlet, burberry handbags, sac hermes, hogan outlet, nike roshe run uk, nike air force, north face uk, coach purses, michael kors outlet online, abercrombie and fitch uk, polo lacoste, nike air max uk, true religion jeans, michael kors outlet, uggs outlet, hollister pas cher, ralph lauren uk

 
At 1:13 pm, Blogger oakleyses said...

vans outlet, nike roshe run, hollister, iphone cases, north face outlet, insanity workout, beats by dre, nike trainers uk, ralph lauren, soccer jerseys, timberland boots, nike air max, bottega veneta, celine handbags, ferragamo shoes, mac cosmetics, chi flat iron, nike huaraches, lululemon, oakley, hollister, asics running shoes, herve leger, hollister clothing, baseball bats, ghd hair, north face outlet, valentino shoes, lancel, vans, jimmy choo outlet, hermes belt, giuseppe zanotti outlet, abercrombie and fitch, babyliss, mcm handbags, louboutin, ray ban, p90x workout, reebok outlet, nike air max, wedding dresses, mont blanc pens, soccer shoes, converse outlet, nfl jerseys, longchamp uk, gucci, new balance shoes, instyler

 
At 1:16 pm, Blogger oakleyses said...

wedding dresses, thomas sabo, pandora charms, swarovski crystal, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, karen millen uk, canada goose outlet, links of london, ugg pas cher, doudoune moncler, ugg uk, supra shoes, canada goose jackets, moncler outlet, coach outlet, swarovski, canada goose outlet, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, pandora jewelry, moncler, louis vuitton, hollister, pandora uk, pandora jewelry, louis vuitton, canada goose, toms shoes, canada goose uk, replica watches, moncler, louis vuitton, moncler uk, louis vuitton, montre pas cher, ugg, moncler outlet, moncler, juicy couture outlet, canada goose, canada goose, moncler, marc jacobs, juicy couture outlet

 

Post a Comment

<< Home