I don’t know why, but DIY and I, don’t get on, never have, probably never will. It’s probably something to do with my DeoxyRiboNucleic Acid, as my birth certificate seems to indicate, I was cloned from a block of cement. So, as a rule, I avoid DIY like the plague (although! luckily I haven’t had to avoid the latter as much as the former).
However, having been left ‘home alone’ with the cat for 3 days, it was inevitable something would happen, which would leave me with no alternative but to open the scary object known as…….the toolkit.
My main objectives for the weekend had been to update this blog, keep the cat alive and avoid doing any DIY. In order to achieve these objectives I had a master plan, which I’d created in Microsoft Project. It had cat feeding times, lists of what chickenyfishybeefinjellyish items I had to give it, and in what order. My list mainly consisted of tweeting times, football on TV times and a list of tips on how to avoid DOING ANY DIY WHATSOEVER!
So, although the cat hadn’t stuck entirely to the Project plan, it was still alive after 24hrs and I was sipping wine watching television before heading to bed. It will always stick in my mind, that I was watching Thin Lizzy live in Sydney from 1978, when I heard a slight thud. Nothing to ‘jump out of the chair and grab the nearest object’ type thud,but, it was a slight nondescript silent thud. I continued watching Phil and the boy, but eventually realised it was getting late and, no doubt, the cat would be up at dawn wanting fed……
I headed for the door to the hallway. Now, at this point you should be made aware we’d had door handle problems a couple of months ago. It wouldn’t open properly. After inspection and a bit of lubrication, it appeared fine. So, I turned the handle, and turned the handle and turned it again. Already, I was thinking along the lines of ‘having beaten me at scrabble, the cat was now playing tricks on me’. I turned around. Nope, the cat was still purring away on its luxury bed (£49.99 Pets At Home sponsors theworldaccordingtodave.wordpress.org)
Even the cat wasn’t clever enough to pull a stunt like this. I tried and tried and tried but, nope, midnight, a bottle of wine inside me, and I couldn’t even get outside the living room door of a Saturday night #strange . Luckily, fate nudged me on the shoulder and reminded me I could get throught the conservatory and round the side of the house. Fate also whispered in my ear that, most likely, I hadn’t locked the kitchen door, and then, she reminded me laughing, if I had, I was f…….
Fate was starting to get on my proverbials. Even more so when she reminded me I’d moved my trainers (Adidas Samba trainers £49.99 amazon.co.uk sponsors theworldaccordingtodave.wordpress.org) through to the hall. Bu$$er, I’d have to walk round the side of the house in my socks. Cursing a little 👀, I opened the conservatory door and headed across the grass. Now, I’m not a wimp. Wet feet I can live with, but, the side of the house is all gravel. Ouch, ouch, ouchity, ouch. Even numbed by wine, crossing foofin stones at midnight, in the dark, with just socks on, is not a recommended Olympic sport.
As I reached the kitchen door, the pains in my feet were subsiding. The #evilskydish on the roof was cackling at my mishap with aplomb (both of you who read my twitter posts will know what I’m talking about), but the kitchen door handle moved, and, et voila, j’étais dans la cuisine!
I got to the, now appropriately named, ‘evil door’, and wiggled the handle from the other side. It just turned, like a mirrored version of its counterpart on the other side. I couldn’t leave the cat locked in, I’d have to find a screwdriver and take the door handle off. Now, even with poor DIY DNA, it’s bad enough, but trying to take a door handle off at midnight half squiffed, is an art form worthy of the Tate Gallery. Eventually it relented, and little bits of broken inside fell into my hand. It was well and truly bu$$ered.
Next morning, the cat woke me at 6:30. With no other half available to look after said cat, I had to attend to its every whim. ‘Why won’t you go outside and do whatever cats do of a morning…….ok that’s it, I’m closing the door……..walks to kettle…..jeezo…..now it wants out again…….’.
Once I’d been dealt with by Princess Spike, I remembered I’d have to fix the door. I went to remind myself of the job in hand. Ha ha! I’d remembered from a previous occasion that checking the size of the lock mechanism was important. It should be simple. Measure it, get new one, slot new one in hole, screw it together, et voilà , la porte est fixé.
So, after a coffee or two, and some tweeting, I headed off to Homebase, confident, that by the time the family’s ferry had berthed at Cairnryan, I’d have the door handle easily fixed. 5 minute job, ya dancer.
Finding stuff in Homebase is easy. They almost never seem to move things around. Unlike M&S foodstores where they appear to want to drive members of the public insane by constantly moving things around like deck chairs on a ship. After a bit of shenanigans, I found the right sized lock, checked it visually with the existing said item, bought some screwdrivers I didn’t need, and headed for the till.
Now, tills. I hate queuing for anything. I hate queuing nearly as much as I hate DIY. You can almost touch your life floating past you, as you stand inanely looking at packets of sweets, the food you’ve bought, or even worse, the conveyer belt itself. As I approached the till, I could sense ’tillgate’ was about to happen. It always does. Never, just up to the till, scan item, pay for item, out the door, home, fit lock, pat self on back, get beer, watch footie. Nope, never ever ever!
There was a man and a small child already at the till. As I moved towards him, two attractive women appeared on a convergent course. Now, being nice, and, being a gentleman, even though I was slightly ahead of them in the ‘race’ for the till, I’d made up my mind I would let them in front to me. I smiled, and nodded to them to go first. They kept talking to each other and looked at me as if I was wearing a Darth Vader mask and only underpants. Miserable sods I thought, as I trolled myself into the queue behind them. If only my light sabre I had brought 😜
Just then a woman joined the queue behind me and I heard the dreaded words. “Next please”
From 20 yards away the customer service till was obviously posing as a normal till. I assumed the women in front of me would go first. NOooooo. The woman behind me was faster than Lewis Hamilton. Off she shot, as I stared at the back of her horrible beige coat.
As I turned round expecting to find the two women tutting, they’d bu$$ered off too!
This was not going well, simply reinforcing my hatred of all things queuing. 😞
I turned round to the man with the small child, who were now standing at an unmanned till. He turned to me ‘sorry about this, I got some 20% off vouchers 3 millennia ago and she’s trying to see if they’re still valid’
I groaned. I groaned even more when I saw the 2 snobs I’d let in front of me plus Lewis Hamiltons beige coated friend heading for the exit door.
The little girl with the man was pulling his trouser leg. She had a DVD in her hand. ‘Can I have this Papa, can I have it?’
‘No, put it back, you’ve already eaten me out of house and home and now you want a DVD!’
I felt sorry for her for 2 long more minutes until she’d gone through the same routine with a 3rd DVD ‘Can I, can I have this one instead…?’
I nearly took it off her and put it back on the shelf myself! Finally, the 20 percenter returned. They’d done a deal with God and we’d soon be running past that till……..
‘Sorry for keeping you waiting today’
Arrrgghhhh! She’s only doing her job Dave. Only doing her job. She had no inkling my life was being wasted away by women in beige coats and 20% off vouchers.
‘Its ok, not a problem’……..what was I saying……it was a problem……..I smiled a smile of nonsmilility.
And then it was over, I was on my way to a 5 minute DIY job, a pat on the back for repairing the door handle and a conglaturary beer.
I cut open the polycarbonate casing with more aplomb than u could shake a stick at. Then I thought ‘toolbox, screwdrivers’ and other DIY thoughts that your brain throws at you during DIY eventualities.
So, there we were, toolbox on living room floor, screwdrivers, two of, one Phillips, one flathead, new door mechanism 3″ correct size in hand………
I tried to slip the mechanism in the hole…….oh don’t tell me…….it wouldn’t fit, it doesn’t fit……..oh how cruel could the world be……..it was too big for the hole! After all I’d been through to get here, the endgame. I was thwarted once more. My balloons were always getting burst.
‘Get a grip Dave’ I said to myself, in one of the worst motivational speeches I’d heard for while.
I searched the toolkit, garage and woodshed, finally stumbling upon some chisels I didn’t even know we owned. Next minute I was back at the #evildoor , chisel and hammer in hand. Now, I did say I’m not good at DIY and this would be no exception. I chiselled and chiselled, lock in, lock out, chiselled some more, lock in lock out. I wished I’d YouTubed it for posterity to warn kids to learn DIY In their teens.
Eventually, with now half the door in chiseledy woody bits lying over the carpet, it was in the hole.
I smiled as I put he door handle through the hole and started looking for the little screws. After cursing trying to get the little grub screw in, then the tiny locking screws which I kept dropping, I was finished. I’d done it. All that pain. All that anguish. Just for this moment. It was worth it. I closed the door. Christ, the door wouldn’t shut. It was hitting the faceplate at the front. Arrrgghhhh!
I beat the door as if it was wearing a beige coat..
I unscrewed the whole lot and chiselled some more. I then had to drop the little screws again for a while before finally the door closed. I fell back to the floor, I was sweating, I was weary. Even though I’d beaten the door it felt like defeat. I was shattered.
I looked the mess on the floor. I’d have to do the second most hated chore and hoover. What a nightmare. I collected the tools and put them in the toolbox. Even it, had a sting in the tail, as when I lifted it, it had left all sorts of debris on the carpet from lying in the shed, including a spider which sneered at me as it headed through the #evildoor.
Eventually, the door decided it would open and close properly. As I hoovered, I realised that, once again, I’d been reminded my DNA gene had been inactivated at birth. I had been beaten by two snobby women, some 20% off vouchers! a cute pigtailed girl with a DVD, a door and a woman in a beige coat. It would be the last time I would do anything with the letters D I and Y in the sentence. Well, at least until the next time………………
‘Dave and the Evil Door’ was brought to you by @qosfc1919 and sponsored by wwww.beigecoats.co.uk. © Dodo Productions Dumfries Scotland theworldaccordingtodave.wordpress.org