Monday, 9 May 2011

Destroy It Yourself


I am a man of many talents.

Actually, that’s not quite right. I am a man with a modest number of talents.

Okay – I can sense your eyes rolling, dear reader – I’ll admit it; I am a man of few talents.

There are men in the world who take a look at a house or a car, nod their heads sagely and say to themselves:

“I can do wonders with that.”

Such men really are talented; they can build houses and turn old bangers into classic cars. They have at their disposal dextrous skills that can perform minor miracles with just a few ingredients, like a hammer a screwdriver and a chisel.

These guys are like MacGyver - only better.



I am not one of those men. Moreover, such men look at me as if I have just crawled out of a primeval swamp.

Why? Because when I pick up a screwdriver, I stare at it with a mixture of dread and fear. I may be quite intelligent but when it comes to DIY I am an absolute dunce.

DIY stores fill me with dread.

I hate DIY.

I hate DIY stores.

I am crap at DIY.

I don’t understand DIY.

DIY reduces me to an angry, gibbering, brainless moron.

I am surrounded by men who are good at DIY and I am convinced that such men look down at me.

“He ain’t a real man – he can’t even change a fuse.”

To be honest, I’m not as bad as I have just made you believe, dear reader. I can do simple tasks like putting up shelves, hanging wallpaper (with a little help), connecting light fittings, building furniture and decorating.

My problem is that I know my limitations and while I may be adventurous in some areas, DIY is one of those disciplines where I see the potential consequences of my failures and shy away from them. I would never even begin to consider attempting anything to do with plumbing, knocking down walls or constructing anything from a tree.

Hand me a computer and I will attempt anything. My determination knows no bounds in cyberspace. At work I will not stop until I have solved a problem.

Yet when confronted with a DIY task I will examine the possible outcomes and, if I think there is even the slightest chance of disaster, I will not attempt it.

Yet I have friends, who are willing and able to turn their hand to more adventurous pursuits and some of them look down on me. Such men always begin their sentences with the same words:

“All you need to do is …”

And then the rest is gibberish. I don’t understand what they are telling me. It is as if they have had a massive injection of testosterone and start speaking a new language that only real men can understand.

“All you need to do is, disconnect the capillary sprocket from the wing bobbit, knock down the adjoining wall, reconnect the grong dongle to the manflux pully and then screw in the flange wibbit. It’s a piece of piss.”

All I hear is

“All you need to do is LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA! It’s a piece of piss.”

Mrs PM’s dad is one of these real men. He has ripped out kitchens and replaced them with new ones, built bathrooms and all sorts of wonderful things.

“I wouldn’t pay anybody to do that,” he says to me. “It’s simple. All you need to do is LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA! It’s a piece of piss.”

I feel like an alien when I walk into a DIY store. It seems to me that all of the helpful assistants are snakes. I don’t mean that to sound bad – it’s just that if I ask a question, they hiss at me.

“You want to do WHAT???? And you plan to buy THAT???????”

followed by the inevitable sharp intake of breath and the unspoken words

“ARE YOU A COMPLETE MORON?????”

And of course the inevitable:

“All you need to do is LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!”

Ultimately I end up paying joiners, plumbers and builders to do a proper job for me. I can understand the buzz of achievement if you are talented enough to build a new kitchen but the cost is too much. It could be a total disaster and it will take much longer to achieve the same results.

I have not had any disasters as a result.

I know people who have and they have ended up having to fork out loads of money to fix them.

Even simple things like painting. Believe it or not there are guys who are less talented than me. One guy I know (who shall forever remain nameless) was redecorating a room – a simple enough task – but he somehow (don’t ask me how) managed to spill and entire pot of paint onto a brand new carpet. A simple accident maybe – but a costly disaster nonetheless.

The downside is that it costs more money to get things done properly. Mrs PM and I have spent a fortune fixing our house. I have attempted some of the necessary tasks myself and I am proud of that. But whenever there has been any doubt, I have turned to professionals.

And I am glad.

Before I finish, let me just say that I am not sexist at all and there are a large number of women I know who will undertake a major DIY project with great success.

And do you know what they say to me?

“All you need to do is LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA! Are you a DUNCE?”

Yes I am - but I am not as bad as this guy:



Honestly!

15 comments:

Kath Lockett said...

Plas, you had me cacking away like a crazy woman at the 'Lalalalalala' response!

Love Chunks is vaguely handy but has surrendered to experts in recent years because - his words - 'Life is too bloody short to spend my weekends sanding down floors or building pergolas.'

Amen. Like you, our idea of total UN-FUN is a visit to the hardware store.

The Plastic Mancunian said...

G'Day Kath,

Wise words from Love Chunks. Letting others take over does free up more time for more leisurely pursuits, that's for sure. And I am all for leisurely pursuits.

:0)

Cheers

PM

I Love-Hate America by Bing said...

I believe that every person has a talent. Some just don't know what it is. My husband is not also good at DIY and even automotive repair. But he can cook so well as he does play guitar, piano and flute. He is also good in writing music and articles.
Your talent is writing humor, and that's great---you make people laugh.

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bingkee,

I've visited your husband's FB page - he can certainly play a guitar

:-)

I've seen Steve Vai live twice - a great guitarist). Does your husband like Joe Satriani?

:0)

Cheers

PM

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Blogger seems to have lost some comments.

Apologies for that!

Sometimes I just love computer software!!

:0)

PM

I Love-Hate America by Bing said...

Of course, that is his passion since age 11 and his father is once a recording artist--a guitarist for a band in the 50's and 60's. I guess the guitars are running in the genes, veins and blood. Yes he does love Joe Sat and also Steve Vai.
A lot of Blogger users have complained about problems in their commenting and posting ...recently. It's not only you. Why don't you transfer to WP?

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bingkee,

I wish I had chosen the guitar instead of the trombone.

:-(

Blogger is usually OK to be honest - this is the first time I've had trouble with it.

I'll see how it goes before thinking about WP.

:0)

Cheers

PM

drb said...

Dear Mr PM,
Yes, Blogger ate my comments.
Here it is:

My hubby is like you FIL when it comes to DIY but a dumbnut with computer. So, he renovated our first flat himself - from smashing up the old kitchen to tiliing the bathroom floor. That project inspired him to be retrained as a plumber. We bought the flat together a few months after we met to move in together (pseaking of a leap of faith).
It was exactly 3 months after Valentine's day, I opened the front door of our newly renovated vacant flat after work, saw Rob on his knees on our brand new sissal carpet floor.
"What happened, hun?"
He looked up with fear in his eyes,"I was doing the final touches and I spilled the paint". "AAHHHH..." in my head but I said nothing. Dashed in and tried to get the paint out. God knows how long later, the paint came off without a trace - a miracle really. Sighed, got up and tuned around - Rob was still on his knee but with a diamond ring in his hand and popped the question. I laughed, he was not amused.


Later, his father asked Rob the question I wanted to ask,"Was the ring to distract her from killing you?"

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi drb,

That's a great story and it was a miracle that the paint came out. I think my friend had to buy a brand new carpet.

:0)

Cheers

PM

drb said...

Thanks Mr PM, I forgot to mention that I googled 'how to remove paint from sisal carpet'. I don't know how did we survive before Google.

To be fair, it was the thought of popping the question that caused him to spill the paint.

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi drb,

I agree - where would be be without Google?

I can imagine how he felt as the paint hurtled to the floor. Pity there's no YouTube video of it. I think that might have gone viral, particularly given the question he was about to pop.

:0)

Cheers

PM

drb said...

Hey Mr PM, suddenly it dawned on me maybe the spilled paint was a test! If I had given him a hard time, I might never see the ring! He is pretty swifty/crafty.... hmmmm..... hmmmmmm.....hmmmm

May let the sleeping dog lie

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi drb,

You clearly passed with flying colours.

:0)

Cheers

PM

Anonymous said...

at least as a female I'm not subjected to "it's easy ... all you need to do is ...". I just have to put up with "so when are you having kids?" tho at least that'll stop in a couple of years lol!
love mrs PM xx

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hello dearest,

Yes - I get the kids thing to - even though I have been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, cleaned vomit off the T-shirt etc.

You've seen this too, of course.

:0)

Dave xxx