This is the last of my reposts of things from my previous blog while I’m on vacation. My son’s high school marching band is heavily into competitions and that means a lot of prop building by parents. It is prop building season again. This is a tale of woe from last year and an appreciation for a friend who is as competent as I am incompetent.

I am the son of a son of a tool guy. My Dad can build whatever he decides to. His father could do the same. I am incredibly incompetent with tools. It is one of those inexplicable things. I should have some ability, shouldn’t I? Some would say “it is what it is”. I hate that phrase.

My thumb is really hurting today, badly.

Tools, including some hammers and one of those heavy things from Bugs Bunny cartoons

Tools, including some hammers and one of those heavy things from Bugs Bunny cartoons

We’re constructing something for the marching band our sons are in. We decided to do it at Terry’s house. Terry is a tool guy. He owns a lot of tools and as a special bonus, he understands how to use them. We could do it at my house. I own a few tools, I’m not sure what to do with them. We went to Terry’s.

I hit it with a hammer, hard. No, seriously. Really hard.

We’re building it with plastic pipe and cloth. It will eventually be a backdrop for marching band competitions. Building it involves a couple trips to Lowe’s and standing in the aisle puzzling out what will work. There is a lot of pointing and talking. This is my strong point. When I am a much older man and my first grandson is born, he will be the son of a son of a talking and pointing guy.

I wanted to yell. All I managed was half of a growled expletive.

Things need to be cut. Terry has a saw for that. He calls it a sawzall. I use it enough to maintain my guy credibility. It looks like a sawzfingers to me. Mostly there is a lot of fitting together and gluing. I can fit and glue. It is coming together. When its done and the band sees it, my son will smile. He will know I helped build it. Dad is a tool guy.

I had some choice words, if only i could have said them

I had some choice words, if only i could have said them

I had a complete expletive in mind. My thumb and tongue are connected. Both are paralyzed by the blow.

Cloth goes over this frame. The art teacher will paint the cloth. We screw the cloth to the frame on top. We point and talk about how to connect it on the bottom so we can make it tight, but still be able to collapse the frame to transport it to band competitions. Again with the pointing and talking. My strong point. We can both still point due to my limited use of the sawzall.

I was putting grommets in the cloth part. Grommet tools are kind of small.

This is what Grommets look like when they arent already in something. Who knew?

This is what Grommets look like when they aren't already in something. Who knew?

We could put some grommets in the bottom edge and use that to tighten it. He told me that and I said it was a good idea. Inside myself I asked, you can put grommets on something? I thought things either had or did not have grommets. Terry knows you can put grommets on things. It figures. To Lowes for more talking pointing and some grommet buying.

Hammering in grommets. They went in fine, until I belted my thumb with the hammer.

It occurred to me that the difference in the sizes of the grommet tool and the average hammer didn’t seem to be in favor of whoever was holding the grommet tool. The difference in the sound when it happened told me I was right. Clank, clank…thump.

Oooh, he says, that had to hurt. Understatement as humor is lost on me at this point.

Luckily the hammer doesn’t fall on my toes. I’m not sure why. I just let it fly.

Walk it off? What the hell does that mean?

Walk it off? What the hell does that mean?

Tool guys probably don’t let hammers fall out of their hands. I’m not a tool guy. I walk in a big circle shaking my thumb. Why am I “walking off” a smashed thumb? I don’t know, probably some gym teacher told me to walk something else off decades ago. Thanks a lot coach. Nice whistle.

The use of tools and the opposable thumb are signs of evolution. Why then are they so at odds with each other?

We’re done now. It is built. I even hammered in three more grommets. Why? I don’t know. Seems like a smart person would pass that job on to the tool guy, but not me. We stand it in the driveway. It looks good, it collapses the way we need for transport. I’m all proud of myself. Who am I kidding, I’m just thinking thank God this is over, my thumb is throbbing.

I’m living on Tylenol. It is evolutions fault. A day later, it is still hurting.

I guess there are places for tool guys and for guys who point and talk. Sometimes those places intersect and good stuff happens. Sometimes you get a tool guy when you need a talking guy, or the other way around. I think that is also what happens when things get messed up in our world. We can’t get by with just one kind.

When the son of a son of a son of a talking and pointing guy comes, I hope his Dad tells him to mind his thumb.


3 Comments on “Ow!”

  1. sekanblogger says:

    I did not know about the band stuff.
    I marched from grades 7 through 12.
    A lost artform now, in most smaller areas.

  2. sekanblogger says:

    Sorry about the thumb. I broke the middle finger, left hand. Running an overhead crane at work. I was loading some scaffolding into my pickup truck when the load shifted.(this was stuff I had bought for myself and did not tell the boss it was being delivered there, thus no accident report)

    The top 1/3 of the finger was pointing entirely sideways.
    I just went back to my office, layed on the floor and jerked it back into place.
    Taped it to the fingers on each side.
    Of course it’s still crooked.

  3. omawarisan says:

    That couldn’t have been comfortable. I broke that same finger in high school. Had it splinted. I raised my hand to answer a lot of questions while I had that splint.

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