Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of one of the most sophisticated piece of equipment known to man, please unpack carefully.
Sanity is generally a given for most of us; in fact unless your parents are direct blood relatives or the midwife that delivered you preferred to opt for a crowbar when extracting you, you should possess at least some realm of sanity.
But what I often mused on was “So what drives a man insane?” Well obviously you have: repressed childhood, abusive family and such like, which create people like Fred West; it’s an egg timer effect, it trickles away and you’re medically insane.
But that wasn’t what I was musing on, what I was musing on was the notion of why a person of reasonable social stature would go from well-mannered work colleague and friendly smiling neighbour one day and then transform to assault rifle wielding madman that wants to take out as many people as possible before turning the gun on himself the next day.
I have that answer.
D.I.Y . . . the mother of all emotional dispositions that the human mind can cope with.
Regardless of the job at hand, I would rather try my hand at D.I.Y and repairs on my household than pay someone else to do it properly. In fact unless my house is a burning mass or a Boeing 747 has ploughed through the neighbourhood I will generally be found trying my hand at doing the work myself before admitting defeat. I have, however, had some proud D.I.Y moments; I beamed with pride at my laminate floor laying skills, or at least I did until I read that even that fat retard’o Russell Grant can do it.
I even once tiled my bathroom, sure it’s still not entirely finished (three years later) and some of the tiles form ramps which would be useful if you could defy the laws of gravity on a motorbike, but hey, I did it with my own bare hands damn it.
Like most men (and dyke woman) I own power tools. Ok, unlike most men I go for the cheap alternative over the expensive models. I was quietly confident that my Homebase own brand 8 Volt battery powered drill would make mincemeat of any material including diamond.
So putting a roller-blind up was merely child’s play . . . right?
With a childlike enthusiasm and a song in my heart I took to what should have been a relatively simplistic task for even the most ham handed person. So after some basic preparation such as using my fingers to measure the distances out and a few test holes drilled; I was well and truly on my way to enjoying the thrill of new blinds, this clearly was to be a moment in my life to be proud of.
Until of course I encountered the lintel.
For those that don’t know, a lintel is a basically a load bearing chunk of metal that stops your house collapsing onto your beaming head after you open the window to breath in the morning air and wave to your elderly neighbours who are having angry sex in their greenhouse.
I have encountered lintels before, and unless you have the kind of hardware only available to James Bond villains then you’re going to struggle eternally when trying to drill a hole into it.
But of course with alpha male determination I switched my cheapo drill to hammer mode and my reasoning to “primate” and applied a pressure that was almost hernia causing, such was my ambition to get through the metal bastard.
As with all things in life I don’t see the point in spending decent money on tools, food, medicines et cetera, but surely a drill-bit only comes in one variety right? No. Apparently my Argos made drill-bits have the mining qualities of Daniel Day Lewis in ‘My Left Foot’, so what happened when I tried to drill through the lintel should have been expected.
With the hole drilled approximately an inch deep you can only imagine what happened when the shitty Argos drill-bit met construction grade metal . . .
The drill-bit flexed and eventually bent itself into an L-shape, thus gutting the wall as opposed to drilling it. Within a few short seconds I resembled a 9/11 escapee as the plaster broke away in the same manner you’d expect if I had taken a shotgun to it.
Never wanting to admit that it was my fault I took to blaming the wife with a scream of “Why do you always buy such cheap shit?” I was of course blaming the prone roller-blind that lay inanimately on the floor and not my ham-handed self.
By the time I had managed to get the blinds up I was covered in plaster dust and rage; it looked as if I had emerged from a coalmine, when in fact I had only drilled eight holes. A thick spittle had formed into the corners of my mouth and the wife had pretty much packed her things into a travel case. It was at this point I quietly reflected at my previous D.I.Y attempts.
The bird table that strikes fear into the heart of small children and has killed more birds than actually providing a well-deserved pit-stop for our avian friends.
The three legged table I once made, admittedly I ran out of wood, but I thought it was quite jaunty, but you couldn’t sneeze/talk/look at the thing without fear of a catastrophic collapse.
The loft ladder that is such a fucking liability that I often ask the wife to open it whilst I watch with nervous anticipation from behind a Perspex screen whilst also wearing a crash helmet and having 999 on speed-dial.
The skirting board that juts out at a seriously dangerous angle like a crude medieval ankle breaking device.
The simple repairs to my previous shed (R.I.P) that resulted in the windows suddenly being blocked out with liberated pallets and the door opening only enough to slide one hand through.
Anything related to D.I.Y I will always attempt before admitting defeat but I feel I should look back upon these rambling notes before I take on any more homely tasks.
Insanity . . . insert drill here.