On a trip to the hardware store.

Not my hardware store. But no doubt, these are tool guys and they are good souls. Tool guys universally are.

On Friday, I had some projects to take care of at home that necessitated me taking a trip to the hardware store. Now I’ve said in an earlier post that I am not a tool guy. In its own way, that is part of what makes going to the hardware store interesting for me.

Most of the people who work at the hardware store are tool guys. I enjoy talking to them as if I understand what they’re telling me. The truth is, most of the time they might as well be speaking Latin.

I bought some wood. That really didn’t require a lot of discussion. I also rented a big, gas-powered lawn aerator. I waited my turn in the rental section while the tool guy explained to a tool guy customer the finer points of using and maintaining some monstrosity he was renting. I stood there and nodded knowingly as they discussed setting the compression and placing the flanges, or something like that. I like to think of that as practicing and warming up for the coming discussion.

When my turn came, my practice paid off. I really did a good job of deploying the knowing nod and chuckling in the right places as the tool guy told me about the last person who rented the machine I was getting. I got in a quick “what was he thinking” and managed to hide that if he hadn’t told me that story I’d likely have done the same thing.

Of course, maybe me was telling me the story because he sensed I’d replicate that guys mistake. I’m choosing not to think that though. I think he was just talking tool guy to tool guy.

All things considered, I did a pretty credible job of faking that I understood what he was telling me. My credibility lasted right up until I drove my car up to load the machine in for the ride home. Apparently tool guys know that you don’t put big machines in the back of a Honda CRV.  Lesson learned for all you non-tool guys out there: sometimes you have to borrow a pick up truck to keep your pseudo tool guy credibility.

On the way out of the shopping center, I saw a lot of people gathered in front of the supermarket. The store was having a fundraiser to help fight heart disease.

You can’t really argue with raising money to fight heart disease, can you? Hearts aren’t liberal or conservative, Christian, Muslim, or Jewish. No matter how we think about things, our hearts have to keep chugging along for us to do it. It is kind of sad that people don’t realize there are more issues like this that tie us together than there are those that drive us apart. But anyhow…

Not my hot dog.

Not my heart

The fundraiser to fight heart disease was a hot dog sale.

Hot dogs and the rest of the cured meat family have long been friends of the heart, and soldiers in the fight against heart disease. I don’t see this as an ironic choice at all, or at least not any more than a pancake supper for diabetes.

I had my charity hot dog with mustard because I am a purist.

I had a diet soda with my hot dog because I am not above mixing ironic caloric decisions with ironic charity selections.

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27 Comments on “On a trip to the hardware store.”

  1. spencercourt says:

    > lawn aerator

    A what? I’ve never heard of such a device and probably don’t want to know….(My wife takes care of the yard! That was the deal when we bought the house. A very good one, I might add.)

    As for the hot dog fund! Now I happen to like hot dogs, but knowing their pernicious effects I indulge only now and then.

    Yesterday just happened to be a “now” day. At the local Circle K convenience store, they are 2 for $1 AND they have all the fixings….sauerkraut, coleslaw, salsa, banana peppers, jalepeno slices, onions, relish, dill pickle slices, and even the nasty “liquid chili” which comes out of a pump, etc. I alternate between fixings as I like them all but the liquid chili.

  2. omawarisan says:

    Wish I’d made that deal.

    A lawn aerator is a horrible machine that rolls across your yard and makes millions of little holes in it. It weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of several trillion pounds Theoretically, water, seed and nutrients can get into the soil better after you use it.

    The hot dog fundraiser was unique. I’m the same as you…love them, but I save eating them for ball games and fundraisers. Mine was really good.

    • spencercourt says:

      > A lawn aerator is a horrible machine that rolls across > your yard and makes millions of little holes in it

      Oh…I think my wife has the “manual” version of that. Something she puts over her shoes and has all these 3″ or so spikes and she walks around the yard in. Haven’t seen her use it lately though. That’d be cheaper, if not as fast.

  3. wordofabe says:

    A lawn aerator, huh? I have caulked logger boots (with the nails on the bottom), perhaps I could rent myself out as a “Green” lawn aerator. Powered only by tofu-dogs I will run all over your lawn punching little holes in it. You’ve given me an excellent idea.

    I like the description of the hardware store. That’s great and reminds me of our local spot where the Go To guys are. These guys know their stuff. So much better than what we find in our local computer box stores, where the question, “Can I help you?” has the proper response, “No. You don’t know anything and I don’t need you tagging along trying to figure it out with me.”

    • omawarisan says:

      Oh yeah, you’ve got to have a fall back career, Aerator might be the thing. You’ve got to modify your boots though, this machine pulls little cores of earth out. If the lawn doesn’t look like it has several million little poops on it, it didn’t work.

      I admire the go to kind of people. Wish I knew where they came from sometimes.

  4. queensgirl says:

    What I learned today: there is something called a lawn aerator.

  5. Roger's Place says:

    I love hardware stores, especially the old time one’s with stuff stacked to the ceiling and rows so thick you can barely navigate them.

    There is nothing as ugly as a lawn that has just been aerated, but you can feel so superior while you tell people why you did it…Like, “Man, I am so Yard Savvy.”

  6. Counter Culture Clown says:

    *snicker* You said “flanges”.

  7. Kate says:


    On another, non-nasty-meat-related note, I always end up going to the hardware store or car parts store or snowmobile parts store with my husband, who inevitably has some long-winded conversation with an employee about stuff so foreign to me that I am sure my head will explode. My head has stayed intact thus far, but who knows how long that will last.

    • omawarisan says:

      I think you should be able to opt out of those conversations in any relationship. For instance, if he’s going to buy a snowmobile track flange, you should be able to say “see you when you get back” without penalty.

      Exploding heads are bad for the relationship.

  8. Pie says:

    That Lawn Aerator looks dangerous. I’m not surprised your shoulder hurt. Looks like you need to be built like Arnie to use if effectively. The guy in the photo doesn’t look as if he could handle it.

    As for hot dogs, you know my feelings on the matter, having experienced the extreme disappointment of a veggie hotdog in Ikea a month or two ago. No matter what the charity, I will never go down that road again. I’m still traumatised.

    • omawarisan says:

      This was a fine, fine dog. You should’ve been there.

      The aerator has a big wheel under it with things that pull cores of earth out of the ground. I’m proof you don’t have to be arnie-sih to use it…but then, I’d imagine he wouldn’t have been as sore as I was.

  9. linlah says:

    I’m a tool guy by proxy havign grown up where I might have used tools in my early years and then married a guy whose good with…okay no matter how I say that it doesn’t come out right. Let’s me just say the garage is full of stuff I don’t understand but it keeps the house and everything else running.

    • omawarisan says:

      yeah…it’s thin ice Linlah, but I know what you’re saying.

      I’ve learned to make myself as useful as possible to friends who are competent so when I need, I can access their competence.

  10. planetross says:

    Anything that requires more than a screwdriver requires a specialist.
    I’m a generalist … I guess.

  11. griffin says:

    When the women no longer find you handsome they should at least find you handy! I learned that from Uncle Red.

  12. […] wrote about this event over a year ago, but today I ran across it again and thought it needed to be documented further. Today was the […]

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