Monday, July 25, 2011

Hey there Handyman

"Closing the skills gap doesn't just benefit future tradesmen and the companies desperate to hire them. It benefits me and anyone who shares my addiction to paved roads, reliable bridges, heating, air-conditioning, and, of course, indoor plumbing. Something for everyone to consider, perhaps, during their next bathroom break."


Mike Rowe,
Creator of Dirty Jobs




The oil kept coming up.

I'd pour it in. It'd pour back out. I'd pore in more. It'd spill out more. Finally, knowing this was probably a stupid move but out of options, I stuck my hands into the gas tank to keep the flap open and dumped in the rest of the bottle.

Maybe that would fix it. Maybe it wouldn't. At the time I had no idea. Now I know better.

It wouldn't.

Friday night, at the most inconvenient time possible, my Jeep started to cut out. Power there. Power not there. Power there. Power not...you get the picture.

This, of course, happened a few minutes prior to 1 am while I'm on that particularly spooky stretch of highway that remains abandoned because monsters live there. And mosquitoes.

Perfect. Now I'll just get stuck on the side of the road and never be heard from again. Just perfect.

It was late. I was tired. And it just wasn't a particularly good time to get abducted. So, I got on my cell and called in the National Guard.

The next day, parked at pump 12 of a nearby QuikTrip, I was pouring a bottle of greasy gunk called fuel injector cleaner into my gas tank and giving my vehicle what felt uncomfortably like a rectal examination. And all I could think was, it sucks when a man's not around.

Don't get me wrong. Men are great human beings. Well...some are. Some not. Just like women. So this isn't to stereotype. Except, well, yes it is.

Men are valuable as human beings. But they're also just this incredible tool that's really handy to have around.

BECAUSE THEY FIX THINGS.

Men are like a life-sized Swiss Army knife. Except they're self-propelled.

Today, a friend of mine sent me a message on Facebook saying how thankful she was for men who are willing to do work. Hard work. Serious labor. To do the job no matter how difficult or dirty or beyond my realm of understanding.

Thus the reason I posted the brief Congressional testimony of Mike Rowe, creator and host of Dirty Jobs, who - with his usual style and wit - expounded upon the great need and value of skilled labor.

I listened and just shook my head.

Yes! Skilled labor! I need some of that. I have a light fixture that's hanging and a porch roof that's sagging and guttering that's fallen and that's just today.

We're only hours away from tomorrow.

My dad is a handy guy. He can fix pretty much anything. I love it when he comes over because in an hour's time everything from my couch cushions to my door stop perks up.

Maybe that's why I love men who can fix things. Or maybe it's because it is something I can't do. I'm pretty decent with tools, not bad with wood, and painting is like child's play. But anything requiring true skill, anything with electricity or plumbing or even a coil or tube or wiry something, well...I'm out.

This is how I ended up with my hand down my gas tank. Or how I found myself last week messing with my garage door and finding out I could have killed myself.

Oopsy.

Or, and this is always part of it, maybe a man who can fix things is just exhibiting pure, undiluted masculinity. Maybe it's part of that ruggedness we rarely ever see. Maybe it's because, despite what popular culture says, society still craves a manly man with tools and rough hands and the tenacity to fix whatever is wrong in the world.

Even if that means one spark plug at a time.

1 comment:

Jason Michael Parrish said...

What exactly does happen when one pours oil into a gas tank? I know you do this with chain saws and weed eaters, but never with a car.