Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Man’s Tools

A warm comfortable feeling came as his fingers wrap around the smooth maple handle, he peered over his left shoulder, eyes focused on the small natural split in the round. His hips, shoulders, arms, hands all work in one harmonized motion, twisting, lifting, arching and then driving downward, the speed increases and finally his wrists rotate doubling the ax head speed straight to its focal point. The still quite clear crisp mountain air is shattered and the round falls into two perfect halves. The action is repeated again and again and the mountains effortlessly absorb the sound. He works alone just him and his ax. A slight mist of perspiration begins to form on his forehead as the pile of fire wood grows.
Men love their tools – they become an extension of themselves, facilitating accomplishment and multiplying productivity. Emotion often becomes attached to these inanimate objects and they become like old friends. A man can spend significant time and effort caring for his tools. A thin coat of oil adding a safe protective vapor barrier or a file stroking a blade to remove a nick from a dulled edge, or a clean rag wiping down the tool before it is placed back to its assigned home.
I agree this can all sound a bit neurotic. But it does not change the way things are. Any man worth his salt has loaned a favorite tool for it never to be returned. The man that willie nillie borrows tools from the man who loves his tools has never come to really appreciate a good tool. There are exceptions to this rule like for instance my neighbor he truly loves his tools and he loves loaning me his tools. But he is the only man I have ever met like him. As a rule men don’t want to borrow they want to buy.
Many of my tools were acquired for a single project. I have a tile cutter– it sits on top of a cabinet in my garage with a layer of dust – how thick? Who really cares – it’s thick. The other day I thought about taking it to the Goodwill but I just couldn’t do it. After all I might need it as early as… tomorrow. Okay, truth - I probably will die and it will still be on top of that same cabinet – but if I need it I have it. Now you can’t argue with that.
This last Christmas I was at Home Depot. I saw a miter saw with a laser guide on sale. Did I have a project that needed a miter saw? No, you are missing the point. I bought it because you never know when it might be needed. Heck, it could be as early as tomorrow. It is now the middle of March, and it is still in the box. Hmm….that doesn’t sound so good. Gee – this makes me sound kind of crazy, like I have a problem or something. No, a problem is the number of purses my wife has, that is a problem. You see I only have ONE miter saw, it is simple math and simple logic. One thing about us men we are logical. Maybe, Saturday I will take the saw out of the box, plug it in and find a board to cut. I ought to know if it works.
There are certain tools I am particularly proud of – I have a worm drive Skill saw that I bought at a garage sale for $3.00. NO, it didn’t work it cost $3.00! I had the saw for a couple years. It had its own home on a bottom drawer of the cabinet that holds the tile cutter. Then last summer my son was fiddling with it – changed the plug and it now works dandy. Just so you know I do allow him to use it.
I have many tools that get used over and over – like my screw drivers. Of course everyone has a screw driver. I am not sure why I even mentioned it. Maybe, because I have one megalith drawer in my megalith tool box dedicated just to my screw drivers? By the way it is full. You really cannot have too many screw drivers.
Another important place for tools is in a man’s vehicle. The safest place to break down in your vehicle is way out in the woods. I guarantee the first man to drive by will have enough tools to overhaul your car. Just last year I came off the lake and my battery was dead. A guy in a really big truck had just pulled up. I ask him for a jump. Yes, of course I had jumper cables – who wouldn’t? This guy also had jumper cables, the really heavy duty thick ones; that bothered me a little they were way nicer than mine. But are you ready for this? He had a portable battery jump starter pack with an attached air compressor. Now that is just not fair. Hmmm…that reminds me I was going to pick one of those up.
Well I could write and write about my tools – I haven’t told you about my super charged chain saw, or my free table saw, or my free air compressor that didn’t work but now does.
So what is the lesson? Hmm…. nope, I got nothing.
Oh there is that one thing. Ladies - don’t nag your man to borrow a tool he doesn’t have – he might ask me and that ain’t happening.


Anonymous said...

OK. I get it. Actually, I also get things because I might need them "as early as tomorrow." I never thought of my husband's things that way--especially the 2 boxes (each 2 feet by 3 feet) full of cords with different types of plug ins. He thinks he'll need them--soon...I see. Also, each year old the thing is probably makes it seem even more likely the thing will suddenly be needed! Very helpful (yet funny) post.

Grayquill said...

Sounds like your husband has more cords than I have screw drivers. A woman that will understand a man and his tools is a dream. You have just made your husband's day.