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DIY, A Disease Most Terrifying: There appears to be no cure
Posted by R. Wesley Lovil, Jun 5, 2011. 1180 views. ID = 4671

DIY, A Disease Most Terrifying

Posted by R. Wesley Lovil, Jun 5, 2011. 1180 views. ID = 4671
This post was written in 15 minutes.
This is not a tale for the faint of heart
This post has been awarded 23 stars by 5 readers.

I've often thought of myself as a logical man and yet when it comes to home renovation I seem to lose all reason. I have someone do my taxes because I am not qualified in that field, I leave auto repair to those who have been trained to fix cars, and I never attempt to fill my own cavities. However, when it comes to home repair I find myself falling under the delusion that I am capable of doing it myself. That I've never been trained in any phase of the construction industry doesn't stop me from my delusions of grandeur when I notice some part of my house that needs repair.

The tales of my faux pas in DIY are so legendary in my family that as soon as I start a project my wife grabs the video camera hoping for a $10,000 winner on America's Funniest Video show. Everyone has their own favorite anecdote about blunders I've made while, 'doing it myself' around the home. My nephew's favorite was when he was around seven years old. He was at our house watching me repair a broken light switch that was giving me a hard time, there was a taped set of wires running through the back of the box and when I untapped them I received an electrical shock. I jumped at the jolt and this made my nephew laugh, when retelling the story he always says that I said 'that it was imposable for me to get shocked because the power was off', and to prove it I grab the wires again. You see the old adage, "Once bitten twice shy," doesn't apply to me and DIY and the second shock was just as severe to me as the first but it twice as funny to my nephew.

I think my wife's favorite story was the time I decided to replace a toilet in our front bath. I won't go into the details but it involves breaking the porcelain tank on the new fixture and then having to reinstall another new toilet. Why I decided to do this when my mother-law was visiting, has been lost to the ages but her aside to my wife about never hearing her son-in-law swear so much still makes her laugh. Just as sure as giving a man a riffle does not make him a qualified hunter, giving a man a pipe wrench, does not make him a qualified plumber, and yet I keep on thinking that because I have a few tools I am capable of home repair.

However, when I pull out the power tools is when my wife puts down the camera and holds the phone predialed to 911 with her finger resting on send. Don't get me wrong I still have ten fingers and toes, although my wife says that is only due to her fervent prayers, but I do have a few mishaps with my collection of power tools. Builders have a saying about measure twice and cut once, and I believe this to be true, yet somehow no matter how much I measure, after I cut, it doesn't fit. For example, I decided to install paneling in our hall, now this product is expensive so mistakes are costly but somehow every piece I cut fit worse that the last one. The beauty of paneling is that you can install molding that cover the sins of shoddy work, ah but you see this is just another trap because you need to cut the molding to fit also (and no they don't have molding to cover up miscut molding). Here is a little DIY hint I've learned the hard way, when drilling holes in walls remember sometimes there are pipes and electrical wires behind them. When I say the hard way I mean, my project went from hanging a towel rack, into tearing down walls to repair leaking water pipes.

To all the new homeowners out there I hope you will heed my warning about this terrible disease. I believe if you catch it early, it is treatable, with knowledgeable contractors, and yet the early stages are when it is the hardest detect. My wife says the early stages can be seen in hardware stores by noticing the hypnotic stares of young men at the tools on display. She says if she had only known she might have been able to save me by a sharp slap to the face as I, stared slack jawed at all the wonderful adult toys the hardware stores sell.

Copyright 2011 R. Wesley Lovil. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 23 stars by 5 readers.
This post is part of a writing prompt: Home Improvement

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